Physical therapy: Not just a recovery process after surgery

Published 10/30/2013

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SPRING, Texas -- When most people think of physical therapy, they think of the process of recovering from an injury or surgery. However, the use of proper exercises, strength building, and pain management are all wonderful ways to prevent injury and increase chances of a full recovery after an issue arises. In honor of National Physical Therapy Month, The Village at Gleannloch Farms is raising awareness about the advantages of preventative physical therapy and how it helps the body—especially the elderly body.

After surgery, it is easy for one to take on the mentality that recovery will happen on its own once the pain goes away. Many believe that lying in bed until they feel better is the correct solution. However, this is the worst mentality to have when it comes to the recovery process.

“The first step in physical therapy is to mentally accept your condition and work through any emotional issues you have regarding your situation,” said Jeannie Linton, PT, rehabilitation director of The Village at Gleannloch Farms outpatient program. “Once you let go of any feelings of resentment, you can decide to improve rather than stay in bed and be inactive. For every day you are inactive, it takes three days to regain the strength you lost.”

Many times, it takes seniors longer to recover from injury or surgery due to pre-existing conditions such as diabetes or arthritis. Physical therapy becomes even more important to the healing process of these individuals. If you have arthritis, it is much easier to stay in bed than to find ways to safely work through the pain. Having a physical therapist assess you and come up with a personalized healing plan according to your conditions is the best way to fully recover.

“Many people have a negative view of PT and think it stands for physical torture,” chuckles Linton. “This is never the goal, and so much of what a therapist does is to educate others about how to become better versions of themselves.”

“We believe in thoroughly educating our residents—especially those in independent living—so they can stay there longer,” said Jan Piveral, executive director of The Village at Gleannloch Farms. “Our therapy program is contracted through Legacy Healthcare Services and contains physical, occupational and speech therapy to help with all of the health aspects our residents may experience. We have seen first-hand how important physical therapy is in the healing and preventative processes and want to share this realization and knowledge with the community.”