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Patient Education:
Why is Physical Therapy so Important After Orthopedic Surgery?

While it’s an increasingly common condition, not many are familiar with what exactly carpal tunnel syndrome entails.  Caused by pressure on the wrist’s median nerve, this condition most commonly affects people whose wrists and hands are subject to constant, repetitive motions – like carpenters, assembly line workers, and more. The median nerve runs from the forearm into the palm of the hand and controls sensations and movement in the thumb and first three fingers, the area most affected by carpal tunnel syndrome.  If you’re ready to learn more about this condition, keep reading to find out answers to some of the most commonly asked questions.

After orthopedic surgery, it is common to experience pain, swelling, bruising, stiffness, and a limited range of motion. Physical therapy helps to accelerate the healing process and increase circulation to the area that was operated on. Here are a few facts about how physical therapy assists and improves orthopedic surgery outcomes.

Blood circulation.
Blood contains cells that help the body heal. Physical therapy exercises help restore and increase blood flow to the area that was operated on. Increased blood flow also helps alleviate swelling, which causes pain. By restoring blood flow, healing occurs at a faster rate.

Strength.
Depending on the part of the body that was operated on, it is common to have limbs and joints immobilized following orthopedic surgery. When muscles are immobilized, a weakening and loss of mass occurs, called atrophy. Physical therapy helps rebuild the muscle, helping to prevent further or repeat injury. Strengthening exercises can also improve your overall health.

physical-therapy-320x200Range of motion exercises.
Stiffness and swelling are part of the healing process following orthopedic surgery. During physical therapy, patients are guided through range of motion exercises that help to break up the swelling in a joint and restore natural motion. Physical therapists will measure your healthy joint’s range of motion and compare the measurements against the joint that was operated on to gauge progress. Increasing range of motion is essential to healing properly and preventing other injuries. A decreased range of motion can shift your body’s natural gait and cause problems elsewhere in the body.

Decrease stress and increase confidence.
Suffering from an injury requiring orthopedic surgery can be an extremely stressful and traumatic experience. Physical therapy can help alleviate stress and increase confidence in patients. Physical therapy helps patients set goals for themselves while reestablishing independence and confidence.

Safety.
Practicing rehabilitative exercises under the supervision of a physical therapist is important to ensure safety. By improperly performing exercises, patients can cause more harm than good to their healing efforts.

Sports Medicine in Hackensack, Emerson, Elmwood Park and Montclair

If you suffered a sports injury and need to be evaluated by an orthopedist, contact us today to schedule a consultation. We have four convenient locations throughout Bergen and Essex Counties:

Hackensack, New Jersey
(201) 343-2277
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Emerson, New Jersey
(201) 358-0707
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Elmwood Park, New Jersey
(201) 904-2400
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Montclair, New Jersey
(201) 680-7831
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