Whether they participate in team sports or solo activities, all athletes are at risk of some kind of injury. Though many use many tips and tricks to avoid these things, like warming up and using the best gear, accidents happen sometimes, and in some cases, the injuries from these accidents require surgery. If you’ve recently undergone or will be undergoing surgery for a sports injury, or if you’re an athlete who wants to be prepared just in case, our physical therapists at Performance UNLIMITED want you to know how important physical therapy is after surgery.
Helps Prevent Further Injury and Other Issues
If an injury has taken you out of the game and put you into a hospital, the last thing you’ll want is to reinjure the area. When you break a bone, sprain a ligament, or strain a muscle or tendon, your likelihood of doing so again increases. This means that healing, protecting, and strengthening these areas is particularly important. After your surgery, our physical therapists can work with you to create your perfect rehabilitation regiment, helping you build your strength back up to support the injured area, lessening your chance of reinjury.
Sports rehab physical therapy can also help lessen your chance of scarring, infection, and blood clots. Surgeries require incisions, and incisions of all sizes can lead to scarring. Incisions, being an open wound, can also result in infection, and blood clots can form in the aftermath of a surgery due to inactivity. Physical therapy can help with all of this! First, a physical therapist can help reduce scarring by performing different kinds of tissue mobilization techniques, softening and reducing scar tissue. Second, physical therapy allows you to get on your feet in a safe way, reducing your risk for both infection and blood clots.
Helps with Pain and Swelling
When we get injured or undergo surgery, our body has many tools to heal itself. One such tool is swelling, which allows the body to send white blood cells to an injured area. These white blood cells release enzymes that help heal the injury by breaking down damaged tissue. Though this excess blood in one area can be uncomfortable, causing redness, hotness, and pain, swelling can still be beneficial, In fact, even the pain can be beneficial—the excess blood pushing down on your nerves, which is what causes the pain, also causes you to leave that area alone, keeping you from worsening the injury.
For as good of a tool as swelling is right after an injury first occurs, too much of a good thing can still be harmful. Prolonged inflammation can cause issues with chronic pain, muscle atrophy, and chronic swelling, the last of which causes injured tissue to become rigid, making reinjuring that part of the body even easier. Luckily, with the help of a physical therapist, your swelling and pain can be minimized and even eliminated, ultimately decreasing swelling and pain, as well as preventing these other issues.
Helps Restore Functionality
Physical therapy after surgery can help restore your body’s functionality. When recovering from surgery, the body purposefully makes movement uncomfortable through not only swelling, but also tightening muscles and limiting range of motion. As previously mentioned, the injury, surgery, and inactivity after surgery can all be damaging, and specifically can be damaging to your body’s mobility, balance, flexibility, and strength.
However, through therapeutic exercises that strengthen the muscles in your core and back, exercises that stretch any tight muscles throughout your body, and exercises that encourage blood flow, a physical therapist can help restore your ability in these areas.
Helps You Get Back to the Game
If an injury has taken you out of the game and put you into a hospital, the first thing you’ll want is to get back to your sport. Though surgery will go a long way in helping you achieve that goal, physical therapy for athletes will be the final piece that quickly returns you to the field, track, court, pitch, ice rink, or wherever it is that your sport happens. By working with a physical therapist at Performance UNLIMITED, you can keep yourself from worsening your injury or injuring yourself again, reduce your pain and swelling, and get your body back to its full functionality.
If you’re an athlete who has undergone surgery after an injury, let the physical therapists near you at Performance UNLIMITED help you get your body back. Schedule an appointment online today to get started with our physical therapists in Wexford, PA.