A physical therapist assisting a man lifting orange weights in Bethesda.

Many patients will partake in physical therapy following surgery to help strengthen their muscles and improve mobility. However, there are a number of benefits to trying physical therapy prior to surgery—including preventing you from an unnecessary invasive procedure. 

At Bethesda Physiocare, we help patients manage their chronic pain through physical therapy and education. Our goal is always to give you individualized, one-on-one care so you can return to a quality lifestyle. Contact us online or call (301) 656-5613 to begin your journey to better health.

Surgery or Physical Therapy

While surgery has its benefits, depending on the severity of a patient’s condition, it may not always be necessary—or at least, it doesn’t have to be the first and only option. For orthopedic conditions such as spinal surgeries for back pain, meniscus repair, and common hip surgeries, physical therapy is a good first line of defense for pain relief.

While physical therapy requires patience and time, the wait may be worth it, as surgery may not always get the long-lasting results you expect. Through physical therapy, your therapist will work with you so you can properly understand your condition and pain triggers and utilize at-home exercises and stretches that help manage chronic pain whenever you need it.

Benefits of Prehabilitation

Through prehabilitation, the process in which you engage in physical therapy prior to surgery, you’re able to strengthen the targeted muscle or area. The benefit of this is simple: the stronger you go into surgery, the stronger you’ll exit. By partnering with a physical therapist, you’ll get a tailored program that suits your condition and pain levels to slowly but surely build up your tolerance. However, other benefits can include:

Shorten Hospitalize Time

According to a study from the National Library of Medicine, 37% of patients who participated in pre-op physical therapy showed a decrease in hospitalization, often leaving inpatient care on day 1—saving you both time and money.

Reduced Recovery Time

With the practice of manual therapy, strengthening exercises, and a focus on balance and coordination, physical therapy can offer patients the tools they need to prevent further injury, like falling, after an operation. Similarly, physical therapy helps improve circulation and relieve tension in the muscles, allowing muscles to heal much faster.

Chronic Pain Management

With many orthopedic conditions comes chronic pain. Chronic pain can be described as consistent pain lasting more than three months and not responding to treatment. This can include common conditions like arthritis, lower back pain, or joint pain. Physical therapy can help with chronic pain management in just two phases. 

Phase 1: focus on reducing pain through methods like manual therapy, dry needling, posture training, functional training, and education.

Phase 2: focus on graded exposure to desired lifestyle activities through progressive loading and strengthening. 

Schedule Your Prehabilitation Physical Therapy Session Today!

If you are experiencing a common orthopedic condition, try physical therapy first. At Bethesda Physiocare, we pride ourselves on providing individualized care. Contact one of our highly-reviewed physical therapists online or call (301) 656-5613 to schedule an appointment today.