If you're recovering from a sports injury or recently had orthopedic surgery, your doctor may send you to orthopedic physical therapy. This is a type of physical therapy that deals with your bones, muscles, ligaments, and tendons. The therapy can help you heal properly after surgery or an injury. Here are three ways orthopedic physical therapy can help.
1. Encourage You To Keep Moving
You might need to rest some in the early part of your recovery, but being sedentary isn't usually good for you. You may go to a physical therapy clinic for your treatment sessions, but the therapist might also come to your home or to a rehab center if you can't get to the clinic.
The therapist can walk with you to start so you get up and move around. They can also teach you exercises and stretches to do on your own at home so you have movement every day. Staying as active as possible can help prevent weakness and muscle loss from staying in bed too much during your recovery period.
2. Teach You How To Do Stretches
The therapist might do passive stretches with you until you're able to do them on your own. This might involve them bending your knee and doing leg raises so your body goes through the motions without you exerting yourself. As soon as you're able, you'll need to do stretching exercises on your own.
You can do the exercises with the physical therapist in the orthopedic physical therapy clinic and also at home by yourself. By stretching to the best of your ability, you might keep your muscles from getting stiff and painful. Plus, you'll be able to maintain flexibility in your joints as you heal.
3. Start You On Strength Training
Strength training is a big part of orthopedic physical therapy. When you have surgery or an injury, the affected part of your body gets weak. Weakness can interfere with recovery and cause you to have problems with balance and be at risk of another injury. You'll start out with mild exercises and gradually increase them so you can build muscles and strength in your recovering muscles.
You may also work on developing muscles in other parts of your body that support your injured area. For instance, you may work on your core muscles to help with general body conditioning, support for injured muscles, and to help with balance.
It's important to work with a physical therapist so you do the right exercises and avoid the ones that could cause harm. Plus, it's essential to learn proper techniques so you get the results you need. Once you learn the moves, you can continue doing the exercises at home throughout your recovery period and beyond.