I just had surgery, can my osteo help me with my post operative rehab?

Osteopaths pride ourselves in being a support system for our patients, and something we do well is help manage pain and stiffness leading up to surgeries.

This includes surgeries and procedures such as:

  • Joint replacements (such as the hips and knees)
  • Joint reconstructions (such as the shoulders and ankles)
  • Spinal surgery (such as intervertebral disc removals or replacements)
  • Carpal tunnel surgery
  • Plantarfascia surgery
  • Explorative procedures (such as gastroscopies, colonoscopies or laparoscopies)

We love being able to help our patients get back on their feet, reach their goals, and return to doing what they love doing as soon as they can!


So what can osteopaths do to help after surgery?

There is PLENTY your osteopath can do to help you following surgery, from helping to treat surrounding structures, to providing you with rehabilitation exercises to get you back on your feet. We like to wait until you’ve had your post-operative check up with your specialist before coming in for treatment – usually 1-2 weeks after the procedure. This way, surgical wounds have been checked, you’ve been cleared for signs of infection, and any potential stitches have been removed.

In the early stages post-op, osteopaths are great at reducing surrounding muscular tension and joint stiffness. Leading up to the procedure you may have been moving differently to compensate for pain, may have been walking differently (from limping, or wearing a brace or moon boot in the case of lower leg injuries), or may have been using an area of your body differently (such as immobilising your shoulder due to pain).

Your treatment will depend on how you’re recovering from the procedure as well as your pain levels, and will be specific to you and your needs. Hands on osteopathic treatment in these times can include soft tissue massage to loosen tight muscles, gentle joint articulation and traction to help improve range of motion, or friction over scar tissue.

We also may provide you with mobility exercises for the area of concern, to help maintain and improve your range of motion and general function at the joint/area. Below we have a video where our osteopath Dr James Clark discusses what an osteopath can do to help!

If you have any questions about how our Total Balance osteopaths can help you before or after a procedure or surgery, give us a call on on (03) 9773 8085! We are more than happy to have a chat over the phone to discuss what your options are, and to help you achieve the best possible recovery. Alternatively, click here to book an appointment online.

Sarah @ Total Balance Healthcare



This blog post is an educational tool only.  It is not a replacement for medical advice from a registered and qualified doctor or health professional.

Phone: (03) 9773 8085

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