Pain management after a knee replacement is something that every patient must work through. Everyone’s threshold of pain is different as well as their situation both before and after surgery. However, there are a few common practices that everyone can do to help manage their pain and get on the road to recovery. Many patients have said that following a prescribed plan of medication, physical therapy and a little common sense allowed them to be back on their feet in no time. Here are five tips to consider for managing pain after a knee replacement.
These days many people are worried about becoming addicted to pain medication. However, using prescribed drugs in a responsible manner, especially immediately after surgery, will help your recovery and help you manage your pain. It is important to follow your doctor’s directions exactly as stated and don’t assume anything or leave something open for interpretation. If you have questions be sure to ask. Also it is important to report any ill side effects of the medication to your doctor right away.
Physical Therapy for Knee Replacement
Regular exercise and physical therapy should be a major part of your recovery and pain management plan after knee surgery. It is best advised that you have this planned out prior to your surgery with a qualified physical therapist. You want to make sure you understand what will be required to do and you want to be on their schedule so they can help you through the exercises. It is common for there to be slight to moderate pain during your exercises after knee surgery. However, exercising will help reduce inflammation, joint pain and increase your range of motion and ultimately increase your recovery time while reducing your overall pain. Speak to your doctor and physical therapist before surgery to make a plan to begin exercising at home as soon as possible after surgery.
Ice and Elevation
Part of every good plan to manage pain after knee replacement must include regular ice and elevation. As a general rule of thumb you should ice your knee an average of four times a day for 15 to 20 minutes at a time. This will help reduce the inflammation and help the tissues heal quicker in addition to reducing your pain without medication.
There is really no substitute for rest. Your body needs this to heal and recover. It is important to do your exercises and take your medicine, but it is equally important to take the time to rest your knee. This is a great time to read a thick novel, watch all those movies you’ve been wanting to see, or catch up on your sleep!
There are many alternatives available today to traditional medicine. One of the most commonly practiced alternatives for pain management is meditation. There are many different types of meditation, from in-depth guided meditation to simply taking five minutes to focus and clear your mind. If it is something that interests you ask your doctor or physical therapist for recommendations.