Physical therapy or physiotherapy is essential in helping people recover from surgery or injury. It alleviates discomfort and helps patients regain their strength. However, while physiotherapy in Scarborough is essential in restoring a person’s mobility, not all physiotherapy treatments are helpful to a person’s journey to recovery. Some treatments can be a waste of time and resources, while others can slow down recovery or lead to another health concern.
Understanding how therapies work can help you choose a treatment that’s right for you and speed up your healing. Here are six therapies you should carefully reconsider and their corresponding alternative:
1. Exercise machines following a knee replacement surgery
People who’ve had a knee replacement usually begin therapy within 24 hours after their surgery. Some surgeons recommend patients use a continuous passive motion (CPM) machine to exercise the knee for a couple of hours each day. This exercise helps patients move their knee again and it lowers the risk of blood clots in the affected leg. However, no evidence shows that CPM machines help improve knee functions nor do they help manage the pain. You can still do simple knee exercises without the use of the CPM. Only consider using it when you’ve had complications from your surgery or if you’re recovering from another knee replacement procedure after the first one failed.
2. Heat and cold treatments
Hot and cold packs may feel good on treating a swollen joint or an aching back but they don’t really speed up recovery. It’s one of those treatments that elicit a feel-good response but are not helpful in the recovery process. Unless you’re treating an injured knee or sore back at home, feel free to refuse hot or cold treatments when you’re at your therapist’s office.
3. Bed rest to treat blood clots
Older patients who’ve recently had surgery are at risk of developing deep vein thrombosis (DVT), a blood clot found in a deep vein in the leg. Doctors put patients on bed rest to prevent the clot from travelling to the lungs and possibly block the flow of blood there. But studies reveal that bed rest doesn’t help buck the problem. If anything, lying down might make the clot larger or create new clog formations. If you’re on anticoagulant medication to treat the clot and there isn’t any sign of a clot that has made its way to your lungs, try to walk as soon as you can if your therapist gives you the go ahead. Wearing compression stockings can also help stop blood from pooling in your legs. Avoid vigorous exercise unless permitted by your therapist.
4. Inappropriate strength exercises for adults
In some cases, exercises designed for older patients are too easy (using much lighter weight and very few repetitions). This runs counter to the principle of strength building, which is to stretch a person’s limit to achieve greater results. Your physical therapist should create an exercise plan that matches our abilities. Your program should increase your weight, repetitions, or introduce new exercises that challenge your muscle groups.
5. Whirlpool for wound healing
A whirlpool bath is a common treatment in wound care, specifically in cleaning wounds that are slow to heal, infected, or chronic. However, there is no solid evidence that proves that whirlpool baths help accelerate healing. They can even cause infections when the tub is not clean, which can be harmful for open wounds. Whirlpool jets may also damage newly grown tissue in the wound. Instead of bathing, therapists should rinse the would using a saltwater wash. They can also deliver the liquid using a sterile device used only once on a single patient to prevent bacterial infection.