Recovering from knee replacement will always require some physical rehabilitation. The more avenues you approach your recovery from, the better. It can be disheartening that the recovery process is sometimes, temporarily, as painful as the knee condition that required surgery in the first place. But by working through the stress, the pain, and the physical effects, you can make your rehabilitation as effective as possible.
Sometimes, when people hear that there is a psychological aspect to their pain, it can seem like a dismissal: you only think you're in pain. But in fact, stress has many concrete physical effects on the body. When you are under stress, you have a tendency to hold your body rigid and tense your muscles. You also get less sleep and less restful sleep, which is an important time for the body to repair itself. And the more stressed out you are, the more sensitive to pain you will be.
It's a rough combination because stress makes knee recovery more difficult – but knee recovery itself can be stressful. That's why many people take up activities like yoga, which combine stretching with meditative techniques that reduce stress. Because your knee will be extra sensitive, be sure to have any yoga program checked by your doctor or physical therapist before you begin. The most ideal program would be one under the supervision of a physical therapist.
While lowering stress can reduce your experience of pain, it's likely that there will still be some knee pain as part of your rehabilitation. It's crucial to remember that this pain is temporary; as your knee recovers, your pain should diminish. If possible, most doctors now recommend trying to manage pain through over-the-counter pain medication first and only moving to prescription painkillers if absolutely necessary.
In addition to reducing stress, techniques like meditation and controlled breathing have shown promise in reducing physical pain. Massage and acupuncture may also be effective for many patients.
Depending on how long you were in pain before having your knee replaced and how severe the pain was, you may have had a lot of difficulty walking before your surgery. You may have gotten little exercise and have weakened leg and knee muscles. Physical therapy is key for getting your knee back to the point where it won't hurt to walk on anymore.
This can be a long process, even lasting months. But recovery means more than simply the healing of surgical scars. By strengthening your muscles, helping you stretch and increase your range of motion, and even massaging your scar tissue to keep it from tightening and becoming restrictive, this physical side of rehabilitation is also essential for a good recovery.
My name is Shawna Banks and this is a blog that focuses on health issues that affect women. I became interested in women's health when my sister began having medical problems. After her condition worsened, she went to see a doctor. After her diagnosis and successful treatment, I helped her research the different kinds of health conditions that are common in women. By becoming knowledgeable about these types of problems, we can keep ourselves healthier. I hope that when you read this blog, it will help you to identify symptoms that shouldn't be ignored. If necessary, you can schedule an appointment with your physician as soon as possible.