Hip, shoulder, knee or other joint replacement rehab therapy is a vital part of the recovery process after surgery. Experience shows that such therapy is often best introduced within a day or two of surgery. Rehabilitation, including physical therapy will continue until you and/or your doctor or physical therapist are happy with the progress made.
The aim of such therapy is to boost mobility, range of motion, flexibility and help reduce pain. Let’s take a closer look at what rehab for joint replacement surgery might entail.
How Long will Rehab for Joints Replacement Surgery Take?
The duration of therapy after surgery for a joint replacement will depend on your overall health condition and medical history. It will also depend on which joint was replaced and on what you want to achieve.
However, most therapy programs can achieve the desired results in 2-4 months. Significant mobility improvements can be achieved within as little as two weeks after surgery. By the end of such rehab, patients should be pain-free with greatly increased mobility, flexibility and strength.
Self-esteem and confidence gradually return with the right physical therapy, diet and emotional support. The best thing to do is stick with the tailored program, work though a little pain at first and persevere. It’s worth making the effort to do all your stretching and flexing exercises at the prescribed times. This is the surest way to achieve the benefit of rehab after surgery for a joint replacement.
What is rehab for joint replacement?
After surgery you will see a lot of your physical therapist because he or she will guide your recovery. Your exercise regime will depend on which joint, or joints are affected, and your overall health condition. To begin with you will take things very slowly and just try and gently move the affected area. Gradually, however, you will build up muscle strength and range of motion.
Physical therapists can also help with assistive devices such as canes, and/or train you to climb and descend stairways. One of the things that many patients don’t understand is that physical therapy helps relieve pain. That may not seem to be the case initially but, with the right exercises, the pain gradually eases.
Education is a key part of recovery and rehab for joint replacement surgery. Doctors, physical therapists, and occupational therapists can offer advice. The latter focus on one-to-one training to help you with the tasks of daily living. These include washing, combing hair, dressing, tying shoelaces, and using the bathroom.
Physical therapy can also involve massage for pain relief and/or use of a swimming pool for aquatic therapy. This can be particularly beneficial as a form of rehab after surgery for a hip or knee joint replacement. The water can help take the body weight off the joint and allow it to move more freely.
We at Haym Salomon Home for Nursing and Rehabilitation in Brooklyn, NY, offer restorative therapies to patients after joint replacement surgery. Contact us to find out more about our treatment and care services.
This blog is for general educational purposes only and is no substitute for professional medical advice. For any questions or concerns about your own medical condition, or health issues you need resolving, speak to a qualified doctor.
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