Physical therapy is often an alternative to surgery for patients with joint pain. In fact, a 2008 study found that physical therapy can be just as effective at relieving pain and stiffness for patients with moderate to severe arthritis as arthroscopic knee surgery.
The goals of physical therapy differ based on your injury. It usually involves several weeks of working with a therapist as well as doing prescribed exercises at home. For people with joint pain, the first goal is usually to strengthen the muscles around the joints in order to stabilize the joints.
Other exercises can be used to improve range of motion in some joints, and for people with back pain, exercises that improve posture can help reduce pain as well.
Rehab Therapy After Surgery
While physical therapy can be an effective alternative to surgery, it is also an important part of recovery from surgery.
For patients who’ve had joint replacement surgery, rehabbing the joint is essential for long-term success. A 2009 study in Arthritis Care & Research found that exercise to strengthen the quadriceps after surgery can improve the function of the new joint to nearly that of a healthy adult.
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