Physical Therapy Can Help Relieve Knee Replacement Pain

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Physical Therapy Can Help Relieve Knee Replacement Pain

Knee replacement surgery is a commonly performed surgical solution to those suffering from severe knee pain. This operation replaces the thighbone, shinbone and kneecap with an artificial joint to improve mobility and reduce discomfort. Unfortunately, some individuals experience persistent discomfort after knee replacement that interferes with daily activities.

Physical therapy is an effective way to relieve and prevent knee replacement pain. This type of rehabilitation involves working with a certified physical therapist who will create an exercise program designed to increase range of motion, strength, and flexibility.

Physical therapy is used to break up scar tissue that has built up inside your knee after surgery, relieving you of pain and stiffness caused by this buildup.

Your therapist will instruct you on the proper way to perform these exercises and create a personalized plan that you can do at home or in the hospital. This is an integral step of recovery as it allows your knee joint to move without putting undue strain on it.

Your therapist has given you an exercise plan to help accelerate healing and maximize the effects of surgery. However, failing to follow through on these exercises could stall progress and increase pain levels.

Pain medication is another essential aspect of the recovery process. Your orthopedic surgeon likely prescribed narcotic pain medications after your surgery to manage any discomfort you might be feeling. Taking these drugs for several weeks will allow your body to heal from the surgery while still relieving some of your discomfort.

If your pain persists after a few days of recovery, talk to your doctor about increasing medication dosage. This is especially relevant if there is an infection or other issue with the implanted knee joint.

Speaking to a psychologist about pain management techniques after knee replacement can be beneficial. Studies have demonstrated that guided imagery, biofeedback, acceptance and commitment therapy or cognitive behavioral therapy can significantly reduce the amount of discomfort people experience following this type of surgery.

The sooner you begin these techniques, the better off you’ll be. In fact, some patients have reported being able to remove their knee replacement after just one year of consistent exercise and physical therapy!

At the start of your recovery journey, your therapist will teach you how to utilize a continuous passive motion (CPM) machine to move your knee through its natural range of motion. This machine can help accelerate range-of-motion improvement and enhance comfort levels.

Your therapist may suggest applying ice as often as possible to your knee during the initial week of recovery. This will reduce swelling and help speed up healing time.

Once your doctor certifies you are fit to begin exercising, be sure to continue with the prescribed exercises at least 3-4 times daily. Over time, you should notice improvements in both knee movement and strength.

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