Physical Therapy: A Surgery-Free Solution

Avoiding Surgery - Salinas PT

In a world where surgery is often seen as the ultimate solution to musculoskeletal problems, Physical Therapy offers a beacon of hope. Many people facing issues like chronic pain or injuries believe that surgery is the only option for relief. In this article, we’re sharing how Physical Therapy provides a non-invasive, holistic approach that can help avoid surgery altogether

Targeted Rehabilitation Programs

Physical Therapists are experts in designing rehabilitation programs specific to your ability and condition. These programs aim to improve strength, flexibility, mobility, and function, while addressing the underling issues causing pain or dysfunction. By targeting specific areas of weakness or imbalance, physical therapy can alleviate symptoms and restore optimal movement, reducing the need for surgical intervention. 

Working with our Physical Therapists begins with a thorough assessment and evaluation of your condition. This involves gathering information about your prior medical history, current symptoms, functional limitations and your goals for therapy. We will perform specific tests and measurements to assess strength, range of motion, flexibility, balance, posture, and other relevant factors. This initial assessment then becomes your roadmap for recovery.

Cost-Saving Pain Management

Chronic pain undoubtably impacts your daily life, both physical and psychological. The nagging pain often leads people to seek surgical options for relief. However, physical therapists are inherently trained with various pain management techniques. During the acute phase, manual therapy, therapeutic exercise, and modalities like electrical stimulation, ice and heat are implemented. These techniques help alleviate pain, improve mobility, and enhance overall well-being long-term.

In addition, a study published by Health Services Research concluded that patients with Low Back Pain who received care from a Physical Therapist first experienced lower-of-pocket, pharmacy, and outpatient costs after 1 year.  Patients who visited a Physical Therapist first also reduced their likelihood of receiving an opioid prescription by 87% compared to patients who never visited a Physical Therapist. 



Prehabilitation (Pre-Surgery)

For those facing the prospect of surgery, prehabilitation (pre-surgery rehabilitation) can be incredibly beneficial. We often work with patients before going into surgery to help optimize their physical health and function. With targeted interventions, prehabiliation aims to strengthen muscles, improve range of motion, and enhance overall conditioning of the tissue surrounding the injury. By preparing to enter surgery in a better physical state, individuals can experience faster recovery times and better post-operative outcomes, potentially reducing the need for extensive surgical interventions.

Education and Lifestyle Modification

One of the most important components of physical therapy is patient education. Throughout the course of treatment, our team will educate you about your condition, proper body mechanics, and strategies for effectively managing your symptoms beyond therapy treatment. We will also educate you on the risk factors that may be contributing to your condition.

Our goal is to empower patients with the knowledge of their condition and equip them with the tools to overcome it. We’ll provide guidance on lifestyle modifications, ergonomic techniques, and proper body mechanics to prevent further injury and promote long-term health. By adopting lifestyle changes, people can mitigate their symptoms and avoid the need for surgery altogether.

Avoid Surgery - Lifestyle Modification - Salinas PT

Conservative Management of Injuries

In many cases, injuries can be effectively managed through conservative measures. Whether it’s a sports injury, a sprain, or a repetitive strain injury, Physical Therapy focuses on restoring function and promoting healing through targeted exercises, manual techniques, modalities and patient education. By addressing the source of your dysfunction and facilitating the body’s natural healing processes, physical therapy offers a holistic approach.

Final Words

Through prescribed rehabilitation programs, pain management techniques and patient education, our physical therapists empower patients to take control of their long-term health and avoid surgery altogether. By emphasizing a patient-centered approach, they are committed to providing personalized treatment for your needs, and goals for therapy. If you’re facing musculoskeletal issues, or just looking for answers to your questions, our team is here to help! Contact us using the link below to get started. 

In Good Health,

– The Salinas Team


[1] Frogner BK, Harwood K, Andrilla CHA, Schwartz M, Pines JM. Physical Therapy as the First Point of Care to Treat Low Back Pain: An Instrumental Variables Approach to Estimate Impact on Opioid Prescription, Health Care Utilization, and Costs. Health Serv Res. 2018 Dec;53(6):4629-4646. doi: 10.1111/1475-6773.12984. Epub 2018 May 23. PMID: 29790166; PMCID: PMC6232429. (last accessed 4/2/24)

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