shutterstock_83687608_EYkc90h.jpeg (shutterstock_83687608.webp)October is National Physical Therapy Awareness Month(opens in a new tab), and as orthopedic surgeons, we know how important it is for patients to understand why physical therapy is an essential part of their recovery. Whether you’ve sustained an injury at work, been injured while playing sports, or you’re recovering from a much-needed orthopedic surgical procedure, physical therapy is the key to completing your recovery and getting back to the activities you love.

At Barrington Orthopedic Specialists, we’re proud to provide Rehabilitation Services for patients in recovery, and we want our patients to understand the importance of physical therapy as well as we do. Here are four reasons why physical therapy is vital:

1. It Helps Prevent Future Injuries

If you’ve already opted for surgery following an orthopedic injury, you’ll want more than anything to avoid another injury in the same spot. However, the fact is that if a bone, joint or muscle is injured once, that same area can actually be more prone to reinjury or future injury. Not only that, but surgery is itself a form of trauma to your body from which it must heal and recover. Finally, if you’re inactive following your procedure, you may experience muscle atrophy(opens in a new tab). Going through treatment for physical therapy will allow your muscles to regain the strength you need to support your injured area, allowing you to return to regular activities safely and with confidence.

2. It Helps to Reduce Swelling

Swelling isn’t exclusively a bad thing -- it’s normal, and it actually serves a purpose. When your body swells immediately after an injury (including surgery), it sends white blood cells to the injured area, which release important enzymes that help repair any damage. However, although immediate swelling is important, it can also become a source of harm when it occurs late. When the same enzymes stay in an area for too long, they begin attacking healthy tissue as well as damaged tissue. After time, this can cause atrophy and rigidity in your injured area, making reinjury more likely and reducing your mobility after surgery.

Physical therapy can reduce the swelling you experience after your procedure or injury -- when your physical therapist guides you through certain exercises, they’re doing so with the intention of decreasing your existing swelling and preventing chronic pain in the area.

3. It Helps to Restore Your Body

If you’ve been injured playing sports, doing your job, or simply due to an unforeseen accident, your body begins losing its functionality in various areas from the moment you receive your injury. Some of the most important areas that can be affected by an orthopedic injury include strength, mobility, and balance. Your physical therapist will work to help you restore these areas of functionality, offering you back control of your movement and assisting you in your return to peak performance. Physical therapy can also help you learn appropriate techniques for moving the area of your injury, which can help reduce the scarring that may occur as a result of surgery or your injury itself.

4. It Helps You Get Back to Your Life

No matter how you sustained your orthopedic injury, your primary goal is most likely to return to all the facets of life you’ve been denied during your recovery, whether it’s work, sports, or just walking normally through your day. Your physical therapy will be specifically tailored to your injury, needs, and goals -- this way, you can target the areas of restoration you need to achieve full mobility and make a full, effective, and long-lasting recovery. If you take physical therapy seriously as a part of your post-injury treatment, you’ll be back to the activities you love in no time.

If you’re struggling with the aftermath of an injury, or you’re considering surgery to correct an orthopedic injury, you’ll want a top-tier team of physical therapists on your side to assist in your recovery. At Barrington Orthopedic Specialists, our Rehabilitation Services team is here to help you at every step of the way. For additional information please contact our Rehabilitation Department at (847) 885-0078.

To be scheduled with a physician at Barrington Orthopedic Specialists, contact our office at (847) 285-4200 or schedule online here.

For urgent needs when our physician’s offices are closed, visit our Immediate Orthopedic Care (IOC) in Schaumburg, Illinois.