Is there a joint replacement in your future? Want to shorten your recovery time and resume your prior level of activity more quickly? You need pre–op therapy.

What does this mean? Receiving physical therapy before going in for a joint replacement surgery, whatever it may be, offers a number of benefits after the surgery.

Research has shown that the stronger the muscles around a joint are before having a joint replacement, the stronger they will be after, making for a faster return to daily, functional activities. Besides building increased strength, physical therapy before a joint replacement can also help in decreasing swelling and increasing motion that will decrease overall pain prior to surgery and help decrease time spent in the hospital, and allow a person to return home more quickly.

Exercises aren’t limited to being done in a gym, they can also be performed in a pool. Pool exercise in itself can be very beneficial, especially if a person is having increased joint pain. When exercise is performed in a 92-94 degree therapeutic pool, a person can benefit in a number of ways. The warmth of the water helps to relax muscles and increase blood supply, therefore making a person more comfortable with less pain and allowing them to move more freely throughout the water.

Another feature offered by water exercise is buoyancy, or the reduction of gravity on a joint while in the water. The deeper a person is in the water, the less pressure being put through a joint. For example, at waist level a person will decrease the weight distributed by 50 percent and at chest level it will be decreased by 75 percent compared to when on dry land. This allows for increased ease in moving of the joint.

The final benefit of pool exercise is that water provides 600-700 times more resistance than air, therefore creating a greater force when performing any strengthening. This resistance can be increased further by the use of different equipment to promote further strength. Our trained therapists can go in the pool with you, offering support and safety during each session. Pool therapy progression is specific to each individual’s comfort level.

Any strengthening done before a joint replacement can be beneficial and doesn’t have to be a long, drawn out process. At OSPTI we can get you started on the basic strengthening exercises and then a person can work independently at home to continue with gaining strength until their surgery, or continue with Physical Therapy if needed for management of pain and increased swelling.

For further information feel free to contact OSPTI at (218) 641-7725. You can also find us on Facebook and our website www.opsti.net.

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