5 Costly Mistakes patients make before/after Therapy
You get out of life what you put in. The same goes for therapy. The process of recovery begins before therapy and continues beyond its conclusion. Nobody imagines that their quality of life will ever decline. By taking control of the body today you will be more prepared for adversity tomorrow. Those who avoid these costly mistakes experience a better outcome from injury, surgery, and therapy.
1 – Sedentary Lifestyle
If you don’t use it, you lose it. Your body was built to move. Living a sedentary lifestyle forces the body to conserve energy. What costs energy? Supporting the muscles that move you, the bones that support you, and the organs that are essential to your survival. Being sedentary limits the natural ability to fight disease as well as recover from injury. Making it extremely difficult to return to the lifestyle you once had. Most often, it leads to people becoming dependent much earlier than they should.
2 – Avoiding Weight Bearing Activities
Along with a sedentary lifestyle, avoiding weight bearing activities is detrimental to your health. Weight bearing activities may include walking and hiking. However, it is important to include activities such as resistance training to support muscles and bone. Individuals that participate in weight bearing activities are prepared for the rigors of therapy. They also are more inclined to continue their exercise activities even after their prescribed therapy has ended. Individuals that are not active tend to have excess weight. This causes more pressure on your joints and can accelerate the injury process.
3 – Failing to Lose Weight Before Surgery, Gaining Weight After Surgery
Patients that heavier tend to have a harder time during the recovery process. Excess weight causes excess stress on your joints. This may have contributed to the injury in the first place. After an injury or surgery, excess weight makes it more difficult to recover. It is crucial that before you have surgery, you minimize the amount of stress on that limb. The easiest way to do this is by reducing your weight. This will also prepare you mentally and physically for temporarily moving without the use of that limb. This will help you avoid gaining weight after surgery. Besides diet, continuing exercise post therapy will greatly assist in your recovery. Again, as we add weight onto our body, we are only adding more stress onto the injured limb.
4 – Discontinuing Therapy Exercises
Patients leave therapy feeling stronger and more secure. Upon completion of therapy, your therapist will give you exercises to continue improving your quality of life. However, because patients may feel better, they may gain a false sense of security. You must continue your exercises after you have been discharged from therapy. It ensures you maintain the strength, flexibility, and mobility gained under professional supervision. Failure to do so provides the opportunity for our body to fall back into a weakened state. This may also lead to faulty mechanics. Reverting to the same mechanisms that lead to your injury in the first place.
5 – Self-Guided Return to Recreational Activities
For patients who successful transition from therapy first and foremost congratulations. By maintaining therapy exercises and leading a healthier lifestyle you have a better quality of life post-surgery/therapy. This may lead you to jump head on back into more recreational activities. Perhaps getting back to the green. Maybe you decided to try out tennis. It is in these moments that you need to consult with a professional to ensure your return to play doesn’t result in an injury. The body is always changing and adapting to stress. This can be a positive change or a negative change. It is important to find out how your body has changed before returning to recreational activities. Walking upstairs is different than Hiking. Tossing a ball while balancing isn’t the same as swinging a golf club. A professional can screen every individual and determine what level of activity is appropriate based on your mechanics. This will ensure a safe return to activity and minimize the risk of injury.
In order to avoid these costly mistakes, it is important to be physically active and monitor your weight. Recovering from any injury, surgery, and therapy becomes easier. You are much more likely to be successful. Upon completion of therapy, it is important to maintain and progress your exercise routine to ensure you reach your desired quality of life. If you are not sure what to do, or how to do it, it is important to contact a health and wellness professional. They can make sure you lose weight, get stronger, and safely return to the activities that you love to do.