When I realized that my shoulder was not going to get better without surgery, I had to make the decision to go ahead with what I had taken many patients through as a Physiotherapist – a shoulder reconstruction. After 15 months of rehabilitation, I finally feel back to normal again.
Whether you’ve had surgery, a sprained ankle, or a small muscle tear, rehabilitation is an essential part of the healing process and getting back to a healthy you.
A structured and committed rehab plan, often with the progression of individualised exercises, can help to determine whether the injury will resolve successfully or not. Many patients, myself included, can find the process not only physically difficult, but equally mentally challenging.
The whole journey of post-surgical rehabilitation can be hard to comprehend especially if you haven’t experienced it yourself. I found it frustrating that I wasn’t able to progress as quickly as I would’ve liked, but the body does need time to heal throughout the different stages of the process.
After the initial part of the rehab process, I began basic range of motion and active exercises, while becoming best friends with a Theraband. This progressive resistance training not only helps with strengthening the muscles, but also gives a clear guide as to how that strength is improving over time. This type of exercise is one that we use often with many different conditions and patients here in our practice.
One of the biggest don’ts of rehabilitation is to not push yourself too quickly for what your body can manage. It has to be graded, and often a surgeon or your Physiotherapist can help you progress your rehab at an appropriate level in the right time frame.
We understand it can be hard for you to know exactly what this level is at each part of your recovery process, especially as there’s no ‘one size fits all’ approach for every person.
This is why it’s so important for a Physiotherapist to be involved with your recovery from injury or surgery. I was extremely lucky to have such an experienced surgeon, but also count myself lucky to have had such a great support from my own Physiotherapists – I did need lots of extra help along the way!
Your own Physiotherapist can assess you, treat you as needed, and be there to grade any appropriate exercises that may help you rehabilitate your injury or surgery.