Pre- and Post-Surgical Treatment

If you're having surgery, you're probably aware that you'll need physiotherapy afterwards to help your rehabilitation. It makes a huge difference to your recovery.

But why wait until after surgery? The stronger you are going into surgery, the better you'll be coming out. That's why pre-operative physiotherapy is gaining popularity.

Here's everything you need to know about pre and post-surgical physiotherapy treatment. 

What is pre-operative physiotherapy?

Pre-operative physiotherapy aims to get you as fit and strong as possible before your surgery, whether that’s a heart operation, cancer surgery or fixing a busted knee.

Surgery is a major stress on your body. It sends you into an amplified ‘fight or flight’ state that increases your oxygen consumption and metabolic rate. Physiotherapy before surgery helps you to withstand that stress to the best of your ability.

Depending on the nature of your operation, your pre-op physio program may include:

  • Cardiovascular exercise to help you stay fit and active – walking, jogging, swimming or anything else you enjoy
  • Strength training to support your joints and bones – adjusting for any areas of injury
  • Flexibility exercises to move a joint through its full range of motion and improve your balance and strength
  • Stretches to ease tight muscles and manage painful joints.

Because physiotherapists have a deep understanding of how your body works, we’re also able to advise you on how to relieve pain and improve function using massage, heat, ice, braces and walking aids if necessary.

While physiotherapy is a major component of prehabilitation, it’s often part of a multidisciplinary approach that also aims to:

  • Improve your diet and nutrition
  • Reduce your stress levels
  • Optimise your medical management.

What are the benefits of pre-operative physiotherapy?

We’re still gathering evidence on the benefits of prehabilitation. The evidence is limited at present but does suggest that prehab leads to less time in hospital and less pain after your operation as well as fewer postoperative complications.

What about post-operative physiotherapy?

Once you’ve had your op, you’re likely to experience a decline in functional capacity – but hopefully only in the short term. Bed rest and inactivity reduce cardiovascular fitness and muscle strength.

Hopefully prehabilitation has helped to ensure that that drop in functional capacity isn’t too great. And now it’s time for rehabilitation.

Often rehabilitation starts before you’re discharged from hospital. A physiotherapist will often visit you on the ward to help you get moving and recommend exercises to help you regain strength and mobility.

Once you’ve been discharged, your post-operative physiotherapy may continue in a number of ways including:

  • Continuing to see the hospital physios in the outpatient department
  • Home visits from a community or private physiotherapist
  • Attending a private physiotherapy practice.

While your operation took a few hours, rehabilitation takes weeks or months. It’s a slow, deliberate process of rebuilding your body so you can get back to your normal life and activities.

Post-operative physiotherapy may include:

  • Motion, balance & strength exercises
  • Gait retraining
  • Rest
  • Ice and cold therapy
  • Compression
  •  Elevation.

What are the benefits of post-operative physiotherapy?

Surgeons often recommend physiotherapy after surgery to:

  • Decrease pain
  • Strengthen muscles
  • Improve function.

Being part of a physiotherapy program continues your care and helps you avoid the twin problems of doing either too much or too little after your operation. It provides an ongoing point of contact with a trained health professional who can encourage your progress and identify any issues impeding your recovery.

How can Sycamore Health help?

Whether you’re about to have surgery or have already had your op, we’re here to help you develop your strength, balance, fitness and function and to cheer you on as you get back on your feet.

Why Choose Sycamore Health?

Two Convenient Locations in Morayfield and Sippy Downs: our clinics are ideally located in the heart of Morayfield and Sippy Downs.
Easy online bookings: we offer a straight-forward online booking system so that you can book your appointment in seconds, no matter the time of day.
Same-day appointments: we understand that sometimes you need to be seen by our team as soon as possible, so we keep a number of appointments each day for those who need help urgently.
Private treatment rooms: our treatment is provided one-on-one in private rooms to make sure you are comfortable.
A range of physiotherapy services: we offer a range of physiotherapy services, including hands-on treatment, custom home exercise programs, gym-based rehabilitation and tailored advice.
Qualified, highly-trained physiotherapists: our team of physiotherapists are all highly-skilled and fully qualified.
Customised therapies: we know that your situation is unique and will tailor your program and exercises to suit you.

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