Senior woman does a stretching exercise with her physical therapist.

Benefits of Physical Therapy for Mobility and Strength

September 11, 2020 | Wellness

A knee replacement can provide an opportunity to help you move around better than you’ve moved in years –but to maximize that opportunity you should follow up the surgery with physical therapy. Physical therapy is a non-invasive discipline that can ease pain, strengthen the knee joint and improve mobility.

Of course, each person’s experience with a knee replacement is different; some people are motivated to get surgery because of the pain, while others experience more pain in their recovery. This requires a physical therapy team, like CC Young’s, who understands that every recovery experience is different.

How Physical Therapy Can Improve Mobility and Strength

When your knee hurts, the first instinct is to avoid moving it as much as possible. This often becomes the thought immediately after surgery, too, as you’d rather keep it still to avoid pain and discomfort. Unfortunately, doing this can actually harm your mobility and strength.

According to Joel Duran, PT, DPT, and Assistant Director of Rehabilitation at CC Young, physical therapy can improve mobility and the sooner physical therapy begins after surgery, the better.

“This allows your body to start healing itself right away,” Joel explained. “But if you don’t move the knee in the way it’s supposed to and you don’t properly rehab it, then the scar tissue can develop and become thick over time and cause you to always have limitations in your movements.”

Physical therapy can help you avoid limited mobility by getting you to flex and extend your knee, strengthen the muscles around the knee and practice the physical movement needed in everyday life. This all ultimately leads to an improved range of motion and balance.

Physical Therapy for a Knee Replacement at CC Young

The CC Young community is comprised of compassionate senior rehabilitation experts who are there to help you get back to living your life to the fullest. Our physical therapy services help with mobility, fall prevention, balance training, lower body strengthening and more.

Knowing recovery is different for each patient, our physical therapists take the time to assess your specific needs and create a physical therapy plan that’s right for you.

“We begin the assessment by asking questions to learn what the patient used to do prior to their knee replacement. We want to know how active they were and their hobbies,” Joel explained.“And then, understand what they’re currently able to do, where their pain is, and take measurements of their strength and range of motion.”

Knowing the starting point of knee strength and mobility allows the physical therapy team to design the right exercises and activities to increase strength and get you back to a healthy range of motion. This improved mobility and strength will aid in occupational therapy sessions, which are meant to help with functional activities, such as getting in and out of a car, shower training, dressing, and completing chores around the house.

Physical Therapy Exercises for Mobility and Strength

The physical therapy exercises will vary depending on your unique recovery needs. However, you can expect a mix of isometric and concentric activities meant to rebuild strength.

“Typically, our physical therapy exercises begin with lower intensity exercise called isometric contraction exercises where you’re contracting your muscle without moving the joint,” Joel explained, “This is a gentle way to begin strengthening.”

Once you’re strong enough to move past isometric exercises, our physical therapists will help you begin more intense therapy sessions using resistance and gravity.

“We then will go into concentric exercises that involve actually moving against gravity and adding resistance,” Joel said.“We also have the option to go into eccentric exercises where you’re moving slowly in the opposite direction of muscle movement.”

With the guidance of CC Young’s physical therapists, these exercises will help you gradually begin to move your knee again after surgery, overcome any pain you’re feeling, and build back the strength and mobility needed to do more of what you want to do in your day-to-day.

Experience Personalized Physical Therapy at CC Young

At CC Young, we understand that every patient is different, which is why we provide physical therapy care unique to your specific needs and goals. Our objective is to help you heal and improve your mobility and strength.

To learn more about our physical therapy program and services, contact us at 214-258-4000.

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