Evidence-based exercise rehabilitation is a critical component of any physical therapy treatment plan to help those recovering from an injury or surgery.
Exercise rehab can alleviate pain and restore movement and function of an injured area by focusing on flexibility, muscle strength, and endurance. Balance exercises are also important to help you avoid re-injury. Performing targeted exercises not only strengthens the body but can shorten the amount of time you need for recovery. It can also prohibit the formation of blood clots after surgery or periods of inactivity, which can be fatal in some circumstances.
In addition, following surgery, healthy muscles, joints, and connective tissue may be overworked in an effort to accommodate the weakness caused by the injury or surgery. This, in turn, can cause misalignment issues, sprains and strains, as well as other problems. Exercise rehab can address these secondary issues as well.
Physical therapy that includes exercise rehab typically starts within three days of surgery. Because muscle strength is lost quite rapidly following an injury or surgery, the quicker therapists get involved, the easier it will be to improve or return your body to the shape it was in prior to surgery. So, the sooner you begin your rehabilitation program, the sooner you’ll be able to return to your normal activities.
As your recovery progresses, the exercises will be adapted to encourage strength and mobility. During a recovery period, the patient should be challenged every step of the way. Your therapist will identify areas needing additional work and create a program centered around that area for you to continue at home.
Benefits by Rehabilitation Stage
Most rehabilitation focuses on a three-part plan of early stage rehab, mid-stage rehab, and end-stage rehab.
- Early stage rehabilitation involves very gentle exercises that simply aim to help you regain flexibility. At this stage of rehab, the exercises mostly consist of sitting and trying to bend the affected area without causing pain. The goal is to increase flexibility and prevent the buildup of scar tissue that can make flexing the affected body part more difficult.
- Mid-stage rehabilitation exercises progressively increase resistance on the injured area. You may start out with light pressure placed on tendons, ligaments, joints, and muscles. The goal is to heal the tissue, without permitting scar tissue buildup, and to gradually regain strength in the affected body part.
- End-stage rehabilitation encourages you to engage in strength-building exercises. At this stage, healing should have occurred and significant strides made in the areas of regaining muscle strength, flexibility, stamina, and endurance. The goal of end-stage rehab is to stress the repaired area to better integrate it with the functioning of the other noninjured areas of the body. Exercises should be nearly pain-free and you should be able to participate in daily activities without causing pain in the affected area.
By actively engaging in rehab efforts and following your therapist’s suggestions, you can more quickly return to playing an active role in your family and community.
If you or someone you know is slated for surgery or recovering from an injury, contact Lynx Healthcare and let their professionals guide you through an exercise rehabilitation process to make you better and stronger, faster. Call (509) 591-0070 or request a consultation now and experience the Lynx difference for yourself.