After most orthopedic surgeries, you won’t be able to return to your favorite activities immediately because it can cause more injuries, frustration, and a longer healing time.
To expedite your recovery after surgery, utilize individualized and goals-based physical therapy. Physical therapy helps you overcome physical restrictions and limitations after surgery by targeting and improving your strength and mobility.
With a trained physical therapist and other members of our team at Princeton Sports and Family Medicine, P.C. in Lawrenceville, New Jersey, you’ll work toward realistic goals and regain your pre-surgery abilities.
It starts with a functional movement screening, gait analysis, and other advanced tests to evaluate your functional needs. Our sports medicine and rehabilitation team designs a personalized rehabilitation program to meet your postoperative needs.
Of course, you’ll play an active role in your physical therapy. You can take steps to ensure progress in your rehabilitation program, resulting in a timely and complete recovery. That means you can return to work, be active, and enjoy your favorite activities. Keep our helpful suggestions in mind to ensure you’re prepared for successful physical therapy.
1. Goals help you stay focused
Make your recovery goals well-defined and attainable. Our physical therapy team helps you to set realistic goals for your recovery. The more specific, the better. For example, if you want to run a 5k next year, tell your physical therapist. We’ll help you set goals based on your age, surgery, and prognosis.
Some examples of physical therapy goals include the following:
- Increased strength
- Increased flexibility
- Restored independence in the home
- Reduction of postoperative pain
With time and dedication, you’ll experience measurable improvements as you work toward your goals during regular physical therapy visits. Try not to skip any scheduled physical therapy visits.
Physical therapy actually reduces pain after surgery. If you have persistent post-surgical pain (PPSP), a common occurrence after surgery, physical therapy can reduce pain, depression, and your need for pain medications.
2. Practice at home
Our physical therapists teach you exercises to practice at home to support your postoperative recovery. These exercises might be geared toward strength, flexibility, or other specific abilities. Follow your physical therapist’s instructions and do your homework, even if you’re the only one holding yourself accountable at home.
Dedicate a spacious room in your home or garage for your physical therapy needs, or go to a gym if you don’t have the space.
3. Dress for your success
For many people, the ultimate goal of postoperative physical therapy is to be active again. That could mean functional independence or a return to your favorite sport or physical activity. As you go through physical therapy to rebuild strength and mobility, dress like the active person you want to be.
By that, we mean dressing in comfortable clothing that allows plenty of mobility during physical therapy visits. Also, invest in supportive footwear with non-slip soles, which reduces your risk of slips and falls.
4. Stay engaged and ask questions
Your physical therapist and other experts at Princeton Sports and Family Medicine are highly knowledgeable and ready to answer your questions. By asking questions and gaining more insight, you’ll better understand your body, recovery, and needs. Asking questions is an excellent way to improve your care and optimize your recovery.
Prepare for your recovery today
If you have an upcoming surgery, now is the time to schedule with us for postoperative physical therapy. To learn more about postoperative physical therapy and how to make the most of it, book an appointment online or over the phone at Princeton Sports and Family Medicine, P.C.