It is well-known that back surgery can be an uncomfortable experience after the operation and that physical therapy can help in alleviating the pain and helping a person to return to an active life. However, unfortunately, many people overlook the after-effects of back surgery and skip the physical therapy which can have far-reaching implications for the long-term health of their back. In this article, we will discover what can happen if you opt to skip physical therapy after back surgery.
Overview of Post-Surgery Physical Therapy
What Is Physical Therapy?
Physical therapy is a type of rehabilitation that uses exercises and other techniques to help people with a wide range of health issues improve their mobility, strength and overall wellbeing. It not only helps restore nerve, muscle and joint strength and flexibility, but also assists with how the body recovers from surgery or an injury.
What is the Role of Physical Therapy After Back Surgery?
The main goal of physical therapy after back surgery is to reduce pain, restore the backbone’s range of motion, improve posture, and promote healing. Through prescribed movement, stretching, strengthening, and postural exercises, physical therapy can help patients regain their natural range of motion and optimise their muscles’ functioning. This in turn can help them to return to their daily activities quicker, with lasting results.
The Benefits of Post-Surgery Physical Therapy
Physical Therapy addresses issues such as:
- Improves pain, inflammation and swelling
- Reduces nerve compression
- Improves strength, flexibility, and coordination
- Increases range of motion and mobility
- Reduces the risk of further injury.
After a successful surgery, physical therapy helps a person to resume daily activities and minimizes risks related to scar tissue and nerve compression. Additionally, Physical Therapists can also help identify and correct any possible areas of improper healing. Finally, Physical Therapists can offer chronic back pain management, injury prevention exercises, and a comprehensive healthcare program.
What Can Happen If Physical Therapy is Ignored After Back Surgery?
1. Risk of Re-injury
After a back surgery, the risk of re-injury can be higher if physical therapy is neglected. By working with a Physical Therapist, a person can learn the correct posture, positions, gait and other lifestyle habits that can protect one from future injury. Physical Therapy also teaches a person the exact types of movement that should be avoided, helping to minimize re-injury risks.
2. Chronic Pain
Chronic pain is a common complaint for those who have skipped physical therapy after back surgery. Everyone who go through a major operation are recommended to go through physical therapy to regain strength and flexibility as well as to prevent pain. By ignoring physical therapy, patients are more likely to experience chronic pain symptoms that can last beyond the initial recovery period.
3. Muscle Weakness and Muscle Imbalances
Muscle weakness and muscle imbalances often result from completely avoiding physical therapy after a back surgery. Strengthening and stabilizing core muscles can help protect and stabilize the spine. Flexibility and overall strength for the whole body is improved when physical therapy exercise is included in a patient’s post-surgical recovery.
4. Loss of Mobility
Loss of mobility is also another potential risk after a back surgery. Prescribed physical therapy exercises help to restore what was lost and develop positional awareness to further protect the spine while moving and performing activities in everyday life.
5. Delayed Recovery
Patients who who do not attend physical therapy after back surgery may experience slower recovery. Physical Therapy helps to create a strong foundation for the patient’s future health and helps them to return to their daily activities quickly, with long-lasting results.
People Also Ask
What is the importance of physical therapy after back surgery?
Physical therapy after back surgery is essential in order to reduce pain, restore the spine’s range of motion, improve posture and optimise the functioning of the muscles. It will help a person return to daily activities quickly and reduce the risk of re-injury in the future.
What exercises should be avoided after back surgery?
Exercises that involve bending, lifting, and twisting should be avoided after back surgery. Activities that are more aggressive such as running and playing contact sports should also be avoided until your doctor allows them.
What is the difference between physical therapy and chiropractic?
Physical therapy is a form of rehabilitative exercise and treatments used to help people with a wide range of health issues improve their mobility, strength and overall wellbeing. Chiropractic is a manual therapy used to correct alignment of the spine, correct posture and improve range of motion.
How important is physical therapy after spinal fusion?
Physical therapy is very important after spinal fusion surgery as it reduces pain, increases range of motion, strengthens the muscles and improves posture. Physical therapy also improves blood circulation and reduces the risk of re-injury.
How often should physical therapy be done after back surgery?
The frequency of physical therapy sessions after surgery will depend on the patient’s condition, healing progress and the recommendation from the healthcare team. Generally, physical therapy is done 3-4 times a week for a few weeks or months.
Overall, physical therapy is an integral requirement for successful recovery after a back surgery and should never be ignored. Not attending post-surgical physical therapy can put your health at risk in the long-term and delay the recovery process. It is important to always follow your doctor’s advice, attend physical therapy and stick to a prescribed post-operative program to get back to an active life as quickly and safely as possible.