Physical therapy and a rehabilitation program are essential after a number of injuries and surgeries, but a lot of people don’t understand why rehab is so important. Because they don’t really understand its purpose, many people stop rehabbing once their injury feels “good enough.” The problem is that rehab is not intended to get an injury to a state of tolerability, it’s designed to help you get back to a pre-injury level of fitness or even stronger than you were before.
The Importance Of Spine Rehab
Rehabilitation serves a number of purposes after an injury or surgery. It helps to:
Improve Mobility – After surgery, rehabilitation and physical therapy will help to prevent the onset of scar tissue that can limit mobility in the area. Even if you just suffered an injury that didn’t require surgery, rehab helps to increase flexibility in a recovering area.
Increase Functional Strength – Rehab also helps to improve muscle strength, which can make the difference between having an injury recurrence and being able to handle the stress. Strengthening affected muscle groups improves their healing. If targeted physical therapy does not occur, your injured spine may never get back to full strength, which can make it more likely that the same injury will happen later down the road.
Coordination and Balance – Injuries with our spine can sometimes affect our balance, coordination and the way we walk, but rehab can help us relearn and adjust. This is especially important for older individuals who may be more prone to fall injuries after an operation, but it’s also important for athletes who are looking to return to their pre-injury level of fitness.
Movement Awareness – During rehab, you’ll also gain an understanding of muscle movement and how or why certain movements cause relief and pain. Aside from learning how certain movements affect your individual injury, you’ll also come to learn the importance of posture awareness and how we can be stressing our back when we’re just sitting or standing.
Pain Control – Studies have shown that therapy can also help to reduce or eliminate pain after an injury or surgery. This should come as no surprise if you’ve read the above tips, because actions that strengthen the surrounding muscles and improve your mobility should serve to help reduce pain and discomfort. Rest can help provide pain relief, but active rehabilitation is often better.
For assistance with your back injury, whether you need a diagnosis or the development of a treatment plan, reach out to Dr. Chang’s office today.