Physical therapy offers a non-invasive and relatively risk-free alternative to surgery. If you’re suffering from knee pain, back pain, issues with your rotator cuff or other problems that are diminishing your life quality and limiting your mobility, surgery may not be the best solution. Surgical procedures cannot be fully undone. More importantly, no surgery is fully guaranteed to be a success. Following are three reasons to try therapy before considering surgery as your best option.
Physical Therapy Can Provide Equivalent Results With Far Less Risk
Research performed in Finland has conclusively determined that targeted physical therapy can be just as effective as open surgical repair and anthroscopic surgery for repairing non-traumatic rotator cuff injuries. Moreover, a study in the New England Medical Journal found that physical therapy for a torn meniscus can provide many of the same benefits as surgical repair. Ultimately, if people are proactive in resolving their chronic pain and physical injuries, they may be able to get similar or even greater results without cutting, tissue removal or joint and bone replacements. Best of all, if physical therapy doesn’t work, there is always the option of having a surgery performed.
Surgery Will Not Provide An Immediate Solution
Physical therapy can be an arduous and time-consuming process which is a huge deterrent for many people. It can take weeks, if not months, to start recognizing noticeable improvements in your mobility and comfort levels. It is important to note, however, that surgery will not provide instant relief. Most invasive procedures will usually entail lengthy and painful recoveries. It is also important for people to have feasible expectations concerning the potential outcomes for these procedures. The improvements resulting from surgical treatment may not be complete and patients will likely need physical therapy anyway.
Many Injuries Are Actually Treatable Without Surgery
You won’t know whether or not surgery is your only option unless you spend time pursuing other courses of treatment. According to Dr. Edward Laskowski of the Mayo Clinic Sports Medicine Center, many types of knee injuries can be successfully resolved without surgical intervention. As a general rule, if an injured joint can still be moved, it will likely prove responsive to therapeutic care. When full mobility is lost or cartilage is torn, the likelihood of these issues being resolved with non-invasive treatments is minimal. Talking with your doctor about the potential benefits of therapy could lead to a risk-free resolution and impressive results.
Surgery is costly, time-consuming and filled with inherent risk. If a surgery does not provide the desired improvements, it will be impossible to reverse its effects. Conversely, a physical therapy plan can be altered and streamlined to meet the unique needs of each patient. When therapeutic care does not produce optimal results, small changes can radically alter patient outcomes. For these and other reasons, physical therapy is a more than worthwhile option to pursue before having surgery performed.