Guidelines For Rehabilitation Therapy After Surgery
Posted By: Becky Davis - 12/27/2017 12:00:00 AM

You may feel overwhelmed if you are facing surgery and rehabilitation. It is a surgeon's job to make sure that surgery goes successfully. Your physical therapist will assist you with exercises to help you gain normal range of motion. You will also need to actively participate in your rehab in order to fully heal and recover. The following are some guidelines you can follow to make the rehabilitation process go smoothly.

Be serious about your recovery and rehab therapy

You need to make sure that you do all the exercises that your rehab therapist prescribes, especially those done at home. Do not miss any appointments you have after surgery with your doctor or the physical therapist. You should also take all your prescribed medications and do not stop taking them unless directed by your doctor.

Take supplements and vitamins

There may be supplements or vitamins that can help with your rehab and recovery. You should ask your doctor if there are any that you should be taking and how they may react with medications. For example, the right levels of vitamin D help with muscle and bone pain reduction and iron supplements help replenish your blood count.

Use ice packs and heat when appropriate

During the first few days after surgery, icing your incision area can help reduce pain and swelling. When inflammation is reduced, you can begin to alternate ice and heat. Do not apply an ice pack directly to your skin. Place a thin towel or pillowcase between yourself and the ice. Heat will help your muscles relax and relieve stiffness and soreness, but should only be used after swelling has gone down.

Do not drink or smoke

Drinking alcohol is something you should not do if you are taking narcotic pain medications or blood thinners. Smoking during your recovery is also not a good idea, because it will shrink your blood vessels and slow down the healing process. If your lungs are healthy, you will heal faster and have higher blood oxygen levels.

Eat healthy foods

You will avoid gaining weight and give your body the nutrients it needs if you eat healthy portions of protein, whole grains, fruits, and vegetables. Changing your diet before surgery will aid your body in healing more quickly and will be less stressful than waiting until after the procedure. A healthy diet gives your body the nutrients it needs to heal during rehab therapy.

Be aware of your mental health

If you or your loved one experience insomnia, depression, or anxiety before or after surgery takes place, report it to the doctor. It is not uncommon for changes to happen in a person's state of mind after surgery because of loss of independence, decreased mobility, and medication side effects. Discomfort and pain can also cause mental changes. If you or a loved one have problems with anxiety, depression, or insomnia after surgery, seek help. If you take care of your mind, you will have more success with the results of your surgery and rehab therapy.

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