This post was most recently updated on January 27th, 2023
Hernia surgery is a common procedure that involves repairing a weakness or tear in the abdominal wall, which can cause a bulge or protrusion in the area.
Recovery from hernia surgery can take several weeks to months, and during this time, physical therapy can play a crucial role in helping patients regain strength, mobility, and function.
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How does it Work?
Physical therapy for hernia surgery recovery typically begins within a few days of the operation and can include a combination of exercises, stretches, and modalities such as electrical stimulation and ultrasound. The specific approach of treatment will depend on the type and location of the hernia, as well as any other health conditions or complications the patient may have.
One of the primary goals of physical therapy after hernia surgery is to reduce pain and inflammation. This can be achieved via the use of some modalities such as heat, ice, or ultrasound, as well as gentle exercises and stretches that target the affected area. Also, physical therapists will work with patients to improve their posture and alignment, which can help alleviate stress on the abdominal wall and promote healing.
Another important aspect of physical therapy for hernia surgery recovery is building strength and endurance in the abdominal muscles. This is particularly important because the muscles in the abdominal wall are responsible for supporting the spine and maintaining proper posture. To accomplish this, physical therapists will typically prescribe a variety of workouts such as:
- Gentle abdominal exercises: such as isometric contractions, where the patient tightens the abdominal muscles without moving the trunk.
- Bridging: the patient raises their hips off the ground while lying on their back.
- Pelvic tilts: the patient tilts their pelvis backward and forward while lying on their back.
- Knee to chest stretch: the patient brings one knee towards their chest while lying on their back, to stretch the abdominal muscles.
- Leg raises: the patient raises one leg at a time while lying on their back, also to strengthen the abdominal muscles.
- Side planks: where the patient supports their body on one elbow and one foot, to work the oblique muscles.
- Stretching exercises: for the hip and groin area to improve flexibility and mobility.
- Progressive resistance exercise: Using light weights or resistance bands to build strength in the abdominal and core muscles.
- Deep breathing exercises: to help improve the patient’s lung capacity and help with recovery.
- Gentle walking: as tolerated, to improve circulation and cardiovascular health.
This is especially important for patients who have had a hernia repair in the inguinal area, as the surgery can cause stiffness and pain in the hip and groin areas.
In addition to exercises and modalities, physical therapists may also use manual therapy techniques to help reduce pain and improve mobility. These techniques include soft tissue mobilization, joint mobilization, and myofascial release.
Physical therapy after hernia surgery is not only important for physical recovery but also for the emotional well-being of the patient. The recovery process can be a long and difficult one, and patients may feel discouraged or frustrated. Physical therapists work to help patients set realistic goals and track their progress, which can provide a sense of accomplishment and motivation.
If you need this type of medical care, and you are near Michigan, visit the page of Miracle Rehab Clinic and book an appointment: https://www.miraclerehabclinic.com/waterford
Overall, physical therapy plays a crucial role in helping patients recover from hernia surgery by reducing pain and inflammation, building strength and endurance, improving mobility and flexibility, and providing emotional support.
Patients must work closely with their physical therapist to create a personalized treatment plan that meets their individual needs and goals.