How to Avoid Surgery with Physical Therapy

Today I want to talk about how to avoid surgery with physical therapy. One thing I tell all of my patients is you need to act early. If you’ve been having pain for whatever reason, and it’s lasting more than about a week and it’s not on its way to getting better, then I do want you to speak to a medical professional.

Whether that starts out being your physician or a physical therapist, we want to get you back on track as soon as possible so you can avoid any of the complications that might come from you having pain for a longer period of time. One thing that we want to make sure you do is listen to your body and take action when the problems first start to arise.

Starting Physical Therapy Treatment

When you reach out to a physical therapist to avoid surgery, there’s a few things that we look at.

We’ll start with your posture, your workstation setup, and any of the repetitive activities that you might have to do at work or at home. That could be typing on a computer, that could be lifting and carrying or feeding your child or your baby. All of these things can lead to pain.

The best thing we can do is teach you ways to stay in a better posture, to be stronger and have the mobility to do these things so that they don’t lead to strain. We want to avoid damage to different tissues, joints, soft tissue, tendons, things like that, which could eventually lead to surgery.

What Injuries Can Be Avoided?

Some of the problems that we might be able to avoid could be things such as rotator cuff tears or arthritis in any of our joints. Arthritis is wear and tear on our joints when we wear through the cartilage. Sometimes that can happen because our joints are in poor alignment, which is something we can have control over.

As I was mentioning earlier, the repetitive use of a mouse clicking and keyboarding can cause problems. Being in a poor ergonomic setup at your desk could predispose you to these conditions, which could be avoidable. If they are left uncontrolled, they could require you to have surgery in the future. That’s what we want to prevent.

Surgeries That Might Be Prevented

Some surgeries we might be able to avoid would be back surgeries for herniated discs or joint replacements if that arthritis gets too bad. And again, how do we do this? We train you how to move. We make sure that you’re strong in the right muscles, that you’re aware of the proper mechanics to do things like bending, lifting, squatting. Doing things like that the right way can avoid that unnecessary wear and tear that leads you down that path to surgery.

The Risks of Surgery

As we know, surgeries have risks, right? If we can avoid surgery altogether, we can try to prevent some of the risks that accompany surgery like these:

  • Infection
  • Wound complications
  • Difficulty healing
  • Muscle or nerve damage
  • Blood clots
  • Reactions to the anesthesia or other drugs

We just don’t want to put ourselves in situations where we have to worry about this at all. Also, surgeries are expensive in a lot of ways, not just monetarily. You could need time off work. And you could suffer a lack of independence. You might need somebody to come to your home to take care of you. I know for some people like myself, the inability to take care of your own family can be stressful and hard.

Start Being Proactive

Why should we make things harder when all we have to do is try to be proactive for our own health. Reach out to a physical therapist as soon as possible and learn how you can maintain your strength and independence. If you’d like us to help you on this path, please reach out to our clinic to set up a complimentary consultation or initial evaluation. Call (925) 284-3840 today. I hope to see you soon.

Lauren Masi is a Doctor of Physical Therapy, board-certified clinical specialist and certified athletic trainer. She earned her bachelor’s degree in physiological science from UCLA, a master’s degree in physical therapy from CSU Northridge, and a doctorate from the University of St. Augustine. As owner of Lafayette Physical Therapy and Bay Area Physical Therapy, she has assembled a skilled team to provide highly personalized and effective care. Lauren’s extensive career encompasses expertise in various physical therapy techniques, including Mulligan and Paris methods, myofascial release, and spinal mobilization. Lauren enjoys horseback riding and family time when not treating patients.

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