Do You Need Physical Therapy After a Long Hospital Stay?
If you have spent a long time in the hospital, whether it is recovery after a major injury or a critical care stay for treatment of a serious illness like COVID-19, you will come out of the hospital weaker than you were before. That’s why you and your doctor should always have a plan for physical therapy after your hospital stay is over.
What Happens During a Hospital Stay
If you are in the hospital for a long period of time, you likely spend hours and hours a day in bed recovering. Your muscles that are used to moving every day will begin to grow weaker without movement. You may also be eating less, which can lead to both fat and muscle loss. It’s estimated that you may lose 2 to 5% of your muscle mass every day you are in the hospital.
If you need a ventilator while in the hospital, you will also need help regaining strength to breathe deeply on your own. You will need to build back up your cardiovascular endurance, too.
How Physical Therapy Can Help
Fortunately, physical therapy can help you regain your strength and quality of life after your treatment is complete. You may receive your physical therapy at home, at an outpatient office, or you may spend time in an inpatient rehabilitation center while you regain your strength.
Your physical therapist will create a personalized plan based on your current abilities, your health and what you were able to do before your stay. They will work closely with you to get back your former abilities safely using strength exercises, stretches, walking and more. They will also assign you exercises to complete at home. The better you follow your physical therapist’s instructions, the faster you will improve.
Physical therapy after a hospital stay has proven benefits, including:
- Lower risk of being readmitted to the hospital
- Reduced pain as a result of injuries, illness or treatments
- Improved strength and balance
- Improved quality of life
At Bon Secours Physical Therapy, our physical therapists provide supportive, customized care to help you recover after a hospital stay. We work as your partner for better health and help you set safe, achievable goals for movements and strength. If you or a loved one have recently been hospitalized, contact Bon Secours Physical Therapy today to schedule your first appointment and take the first step toward recovery.