When you have had surgery on a joint, such as a shoulder or knee, you will have to have the joint immobilised for around 6 weeks or more, depending on your recovery speed. In this time, you will find that the joints begin to weaken and stiffen. This is due to the fact that you are not using those joints on a regular basis. After you have had your rest and heal period, you will then go on to receive physiotherapy. Here's what you can expect:
What Will The Physiotherapist Look For
A physiotherapist will look at the way you are using the joint compared with the way it should be moving. They will also take into account the type of surgery you have had, and what limitations the affected joint will suffer from. From this information, they will work out a program to suit your needs. Age, weight and overall physical condition all affect how you respond to the rehabilitation.
What Form Of Physio Will Be Given
There are various types of treatment that can be given to a patient, and these will depend on the type of surgery or injury you need treatment for.
Manipulation is a process where the joint is manually put through a range of movements which are gradually extended by your therapist until your joint had reached its full range of movement.
Massage relieves the tension in the muscles, helping to relieve the pain and stiffness around the affected area.
Exercises are tailored to suit each patient. Some are gym-based, with a ball, stretchy bands, and walking aids. Others are done in a cubicle and on or next to the bed. These are done in the clinic under observation. The observation is important to make sure that they are being done properly, as doing them badly is not only ineffective but can also be damaging to the joint. That may affect the amount of time it takes to recover movement, as well as the quality of the end result.
Once the physiotherapist is confident that the exercises are being performed in a satisfactory way, you will be given a program of exercises to do at home, clearly set out on a sheet, with the number of times you need to do each one. This will also help you keep the movement at its maximum and avoid pain at a later date. This progress is sustained simply by going through the exercise sheets regularly yourself.
These exercises also improve your posture, the way you move, and your core stability. That is beneficial as walking badly and moving incorrectly can undo the result of the treatment, causing you to need further courses of treatment in the future which may have been avoidable.
Ultrasound is a way of using ultrasonic waves to work deeply into the muscles to relieve pain and discomfort. It is given in a short number of sessions only, around four to five, typically. This can also be done in conjunction with strapping to support the affected joint. It is often used for foot pain.