Physiotherapy Logan

Tips to Speed Up Recovery After Surgery

Recovering from surgery shouldn’t be complicated, but it will take some time and effort – as well as motivation – to get back to your usual activities. A surprising number of people do not heed the instructions of their doctor or surgeon and unintentionally cause delays or sometimes harm to their body’s natural healing process. We’re here to help when that happens and would love to be there on your recovery journey, but we’re all about proactive healing here at Core Physio, so we want the best possible outcome for you post-surgery.

It’s important to remember that your healing body needs time to recover and won’t tolerate being rushed, but being smart and proactive in your post-surgery recovery will lead to a quicker and easier healing process. We have a few tips for your time post-surgery to ensure you’re doing your best to help your body heal. 

Listen to the advice of your specialist

The many years of education and experience that your specialist has are not coming from anywhere. It is important to follow all of the aftercare instructions they give you to avoid infection, as well as refraining from activity until you have been cleared to pick it up again. This includes attending all scheduled follow-ups to ensure your incision site – whether internal or external – is properly monitored. Ensure you contact your doctor or GP if anything feels wrong or painful, or if your wound looks suspicious. 

Keep pain under control

Some people avoid their pain medication as prescribed because they don’t like how they feel when on it, or they fear addiction. Others feel that they don’t need pain medication, or that taking it would be a sign of weakness. However, if you are in too much pain to walk, you are at risk of blood clots, digestion issues or slower recovery. If you’re in too much pain to cough, you are at risk of pneumonia. 

By keeping your pain at a tolerable level you will keep moving (as advised), thereby speeding up the healing process. Good pain control can also make it far easier to sleep, which also promotes healing. If you’re following the instructions that your doctor gave you when the medication was prescribed, you will be rewarded with an easier recovery. 

Maintain a healthy diet to support healing

For the most part, you are relying on your body to take the reins when it comes to post-surgery recovery. However, there are many ways you can support it from the inside out. A healthy diet will work wonders as your body finds its way back to normal. Foods that promote healing and reduce fatigue include protein (chicken and eggs), Vitamin C (fruit), B12 and iron (fish and eggs), as well as fibre and probiotics for your gut (yoghurt with granola). 

Avoid refined sugar post-surgery as fluctuating blood sugars will cause fatigue. Although it is important to stay hydrated, the sodium in sports drinks can cause the body to retain water, making it difficult to decrease swelling – so avoid them if you can. Avoid alcohol both before and after surgery as this will slow wound healing and has been associated with a higher risk of infection, among other complications

Get moving – but don’t push yourself

During recovery, avoid staying in bed or on the couch. As soon as you are able to walk, you will likely be advised to do so by your physician, physio or pain management specialist to prevent blood clots and get your digestive system moving. Continuing this movement at home will help prevent other complications post-surgery, like pneumonia or deep vein thrombosis. Don’t push yourself to get up and about before your body is ready, as it’s important not to put pressure on your body – particularly your incision – before it is ready. 

Ask for help from friends and family until you can get moving. Once you are ready, a short walk every hour or two will help decrease the risk of complications and improve blood flow for speedy healing. Once you are recovered enough, your physio can further help you get your body back on track to its pre-surgery abilities. It can be particularly important to rehabilitate with a physiotherapist after major hip or knee surgeries, so speak to your physio for advice. 

Overall, recovering from surgery is a straightforward process. It is important for a full recovery to support your body’s natural processes and let it work its magic. If you think you need help getting your body back up and running post-surgery, contact one of our friendly physiotherapists today. 

Book in for your treatment now with one of our exercise, physio, or pain specialists via 1300 012 273 or head to our website and book a session at your nearest clinic.