Post Surgical Rehab: Function and Stability

November 26, 2019: In our post last week, we talked about the initial steps following a surgery including pain management, improving range of motion, and addressing strength. But that is only half of the picture. What good is range of motion if you can’t lift that jar of pickles from the top pantry shelf? What good is having the strength to do a squat if you can’t get up from your favorite soft easy chair? This is where function and stability must be addressed.

Function takes range of motion and strength a step further. If we set a goal for you to achieve 4+/5 strength in your shoulder, what does that mean to you? Probably not very much. But if your goal is to be able to put your groceries away without help, this functional goal means much more. Once we have the range of motion and strength as good as they can be for you, then we want to begin to work on what that means for you. If you like to play with your grandkids, then function may mean the ability to move about the playground. If you like to be able to get in and out of the tractor then that function may mean being able to walk on uneven farm ground and climb a ladder. This answer is different for everyone, but each answer is the most important one for you.

Stability and function go hand in hand. We must have stability in each of our joints if we are going to take on the task of being functional. Stability is much more than just staying upright while we walk or run. If you are going to reach out and turn on the water valve at your house, you must have good stability through your shoulder to do so. If you are going to climb a tall set of stairs to get a great view of the countryside you must have excellent hip stability to achieve this goal. Stability is achieved from the joints closest to our trunk first. Without good strength we can’t have good stability. Without great stability we can’t have great function. There is a systematic approach that must work together for you to achieve your goals. This is our primary focus at Witte Physical Therapy, you and your goals!

Your Witte Physical Therapy team #homegrown #backtolife