How Rehabilitation Physio Exercises Can Speed Up Post-Surgery Healing

We firmly believe in the significance of injury prevention, offering specialised advice to help you maintain optimal well-being and fitness.


​​So, you’ve had surgery or are gearing up for it, feeling a mix of nerves and curiosity about what comes next. We get it—surgery is a big deal, and the recovery journey can be a bit bumpy. But here’s the good news: it doesn’t have to be a slow and painful process. In this blog post, we’re here to chat about how physio exercises can help, leading you to a quicker recovery after surgery.

Why Physio Exercises Matter

Think of exercise as your trusty sidekick in surgery prep and recovery. Whether you’re getting ready for orthopaedic surgery or trying to figure out those first days post-op, adding some exercise to your routine becomes a super important part of the healing process. The exercises your surgeon recommends contribute to your overall healing, help with balance, improve your range of motion, and even break up any scar tissue hanging around. And trust us, these aren’t just good for your body, they’re like a boost for your mind, too.

Getting Started With Physio Exercises 

Starting post-op exercises might feel a bit overwhelming, especially if you’re dealing with a freshly operated area. Being unable to move around like usual can mess with your mood and motivation, even leading to feelings of depression. In this case—physiotherapy, with its safe and planned exercises, not only helps you heal physically but also becomes your support system, guiding you through stress and making you feel better as you recover. Here’s how it works and some benefits you should keep in mind.

  • Stretching and Strength

​​As you step into post-op physical therapy, expect your therapist to introduce stretching exercises for the operated area. Stretching not only aids in regaining range of motion but also allows your therapist to monitor incisions and wounds, ensuring a smooth healing process. Strengthening exercises become the driving force behind your recovery, helping rebuild the strength in the muscles surrounding the operated area. Your therapy team becomes your guiding light, showing you the safest ways to stretch and exercise while supporting any recovery pain through techniques like ice, massage, and heat.

  • Pain Management and Scar Tissue Prevention

Post-surgery pain can be managed effectively through physical therapy. Techniques such as massage therapy and ultrasound become valuable tools in alleviating pain, complemented by continued stretching to aid your ongoing recovery. Moreover, physiotherapy can prevent the build-up of scar tissue and break down any existing scar tissue. This proactive approach allows your body to move and stretch as it should, contributing to a smoother recovery process. Communicating openly with your surgeon and therapy team about any pain or concerns is essential for personalised assistance as you heal.

  • Restoring Mobility

Every surgery, regardless of its scale, can impact your mobility by limiting your range of motion or causing muscle weakness. At Be Well Physio, our dedicated physiotherapists craft exercise plans tailored to gradually restore mobility without causing additional harm. Using tools like resistance bands and balance balls, we aim to improve stability, coordination, and strength in weakened muscles, ensuring a well-rounded approach to your recovery.

  • Preventing Complications

Remaining inactive for an extended period post-surgery can heighten the risk of complications like blood clots or infections. Our physiotherapists step in with techniques such as deep breathing exercises and leg movements to enhance blood flow, reducing the risk of these complications. This proactive approach ensures not just recovery but a recovery devoid of additional challenges.

  • Providing Emotional Support

Recovering from surgery can be an emotional rollercoaster. Anxiety and depression about your progress are normal feelings many patients experience. Our experienced physiotherapists understand the emotional aspect of recovery and provide continuous support throughout the rehabilitation process. From encouraging your progress to offering guidance on coping strategies for anxiety or depression symptoms, our team is here for you every step of the way.

Tailoring Physio Exercises to Your Injury

Now, let’s take a closer look at post-surgery exercises tailored to specific injuries:

Post Hip Replacement Surgery Exercises:

  • Hip Abduction: Lie on your non-operated side with a pillow between your knees. Raise your operated leg a few inches and hold.
  • Stair Climbing and Descending: Lead up the stairs with your good leg and down with your operated leg, using handrails for support.
  • Walking: Begin with a cane, gradually increasing walking time to 20 to 30 minutes 2 to 3 times per day.


 If you find your crutches are causing you discomfort, or you’re finding that you’re a bit dependent on them for getting around, we have some tips for you on how to use crutches more efficiently while you heal. Check out our video below for more information. 


Post Knee Surgery Exercises:

  • Passive Knee Extension: Sit and place your heel on a chair. Allow the knee to straighten with support.
  • Straight Leg Raises: Lie down, bend the non-operated leg, and slowly lift the operated leg.
  • Heel Slides: Sit on the floor, sliding your heel slowly across the floor to bend the knee.

Post Spinal Surgery Exercises:

  • Nerve Stretch: Lie on your back, lift one leg, and pump your ankle for a stretch in the back of your thigh.
  • Bridge: Lie on your back with knees bent, lift your hips off the floor.
  • Upper Body Extension: Lie on your stomach and raise your head and shoulders by squeezing your shoulder blades together.


If you would like an example of a beneficial exercise, check out my YouTube channel, where we have over 70 instructional videos to aid you in your recovery. 


Post Shoulder Surgery Exercises:

  • Shoulder Forward Elevation: Clasp your hands, lift your arms above your head, and hold for a count of 10 before lowering.
  • Walk-Up Exercise: Crawl your fingers up a wall without pain, holding for a count of 10.
  • Pendulum, Circular: Bend forward, allowing your operated arm to dangle. Rock your body in a circular motion, clockwise and counterclockwise.

Looking for an expert physio clinic in Dublin? 

If you’re in Dublin and looking for top-notch physiotherapy, Be Well Physio is your go-to destination. Our team of experienced chartered physiotherapists functions like a dedicated squad of problem solvers, employing a variety of techniques to ensure your swift and effective recovery. We’re not just about fixing immediate issues, but we’re committed to helping you maintain peak physical condition. 

Explore our comprehensive range of physio services, ranging from expert musculoskeletal care to tailored exercises for knees and shoulders, specialised services for women’s health, and rehabilitation techniques. Whether you need assistance with knee physio exercises, post-surgery healing, or any other physiotherapy needs, we’ve got you covered. Visit our physio clinic in Dublin for personalised care today.