How physiotherapy helps restore mobility after surgery


How physiotherapy helps restore mobility after surgery

Physiotherapists have a wealth of knowledge on how to best manage post-surgical mobility issues and pain.

If you’re about to undergo surgery, it’s natural to feel a mix of emotions.

You may be excited about the prospect of feeling better, but you may also feel anxious or scared about the surgery itself and the recovery process.

One thing that may be on your mind is how you’ll be able to move around and get back to your normal activities after the surgery.

The most common surgeries that cause lack of mobility include:

  1. joint replacements,
  2. spinal fusion, and
  3. hip or knee arthroscopy.

Restoring mobility after surgery can feel like a daunting task.

Recovering from surgery can be a difficult process, both physically and emotionally.

Many people experience fear as they are uncertain of how to return to their pre-surgery lifestyle and activities.

The most common fears include fear of pain, fear of immobility, or fear of inadequate recovery time.

Fear of pain is a common concern following any type of surgery.

With the right guidance and therapy, anyone can learn to cope with their fear of pain after surgery.

In addition to aiding physical recovery after surgery, physiotherapists can help overcome fear of pain by increasing self-confidence and psychological resilience.

Through patient education on anatomy and physiology, along with positive reinforcement on progress made in rehabilitation sessions, an individual’s outlook towards recovery is significantly improved.

A Physiotherapist can also increase awareness around posture management by highlighting areas where individuals may aggravate their condition through poor body mechanics or habits.

Participation in goal-oriented activities such as hydrotherapy sessions or gym exercises provides tangible evidence that they are making great strides towards complete recovery while learning new strategies for self-management post-surgery.

These fears can be overcome with the right knowledge and understanding.

The top goals for those attempting to restore mobility after surgery are:

  • regaining strength,
  • flexibility, and
  • function in the affected area(s).

When done correctly, this goal can lead to an even higher quality of life than before surgery. It is important to take the necessary steps to gradually increase activity levels so that the body does not become overworked or injured again. It is also important to focus on proper nutrition and rest so that the body has the necessary energy and up-time required for successful post-operative rehabilitation.

What to expect from physiotherapy after surgery

As a Sports Specialist Physiotherapist, I have designed in-depth programs for many patients who have experienced post-surgical pain to help increase their mobility, decrease their pain and improve their wellbeing.

These programs are built around helping them regain strength and flexibility while properly managing pain through various exercises and activities over time.

The specifics of your physiotherapy treatment will depend on the type of surgery you’ve had and the specific challenges you’re facing in your recovery. In general, though, you can expect to work on a variety of exercises and activities that are designed to help you improve your mobility and function. These might include:

  • Strength training: Building up your strength is an important part of the recovery process after surgery. Your physiotherapist may have you do exercises that focus on specific muscle groups or that work on your overall strength and endurance.
  • Range of motion exercises: These exercises are designed to help you increase the movement in your joints and improve your flexibility. Your physiotherapist may use techniques such as stretching, massage, and mobilization to help you regain your range of motion.
  • Balance and coordination exercises: If your surgery has affected your balance or coordination, your physiotherapist may have you do specific exercises to help improve these skills. This might include activities such as standing on one foot or walking in a straight line.
  • Cardiovascular conditioning: Depending on the type of surgery you’ve had and your overall physical condition, your physiotherapist may recommend that you do some cardiovascular conditioning to help improve your endurance and overall physical function. This could include activities such as walking, cycling, or using a treadmill.

In addition to these specific exercises and activities, your physiotherapist may also provide you with education and guidance on how to take care of yourself at home. This might include advice on how to manage pain, how to perform specific self-care tasks, and how to safely return to your normal activities.

A plan for improving mobility after surgery

Here’s a general plan that a specialist physiotherapist might implement in order to improve mobility after surgery:

  1. Assess the patient’s current physical condition and mobility. This includes evaluating the patient’s strength, range of motion, balance, and coordination.
  2. Develop a customized treatment plan that takes into account the patient’s specific needs and goals. This may involve a combination of exercises, activities, and self-care strategies.
  3. Gradually increase the intensity and difficulty of the treatment plan as the patient progresses and is able to handle more. This may include adding in more challenging exercises and activities, as well as increasing the frequency and duration of treatment sessions.
  4. Monitor the patient’s progress and make adjustments to the treatment plan as needed. This might involve modifying exercises or adding in new ones to address specific challenges or goals.
  5. Provide education and guidance to the patient on how to manage their recovery at home. This might include advice on how to manage pain, how to perform specific self-care tasks, and how to safely return to normal activities.
  6. Work closely with the patient’s medical team to ensure that the treatment plan is consistent with the overall goals of the patient’s recovery. This might involve coordinating with the patient’s surgeon, primary care physician, and other healthcare providers as needed.


If you’re about to undergo surgery, it can be helpful to know that physiotherapy can play a crucial role in helping you regain your mobility and independence.

With consistency, dedication and guidance from a Sports Specialist Physiotherapist, patients can achieve their goals of increased mobility coupled with decreased pain and improved overall wellbeing!