Pre-hab or preventative rehabilitation helps patients heal faster after surgery, speeds recovery, and, in many cases, prevents injury in the first place.
It’s no secret that having physical therapy after an injury or surgery helps you recover faster. But what if there was a way to prevent an injury in the first place? Or what if there was a way to speed recovery from surgery long before you went under the knife?
Do you have a surgery coming up soon? If so, call our office today for a consultation with our physical therapist. They can determine if pre-hab is a good choice for you!
What is pre-hab?
You might be wondering what the term “pre-hab” means. The term pre-hab is short for preventative rehabilitation. The purpose of pre-hab is to get the body as ready as possible for a challenging situation. A physical therapist typically uses pre-hab in two ways.
First, they can teach targeted exercises and stretches to patients who are at risk for serious injuries. Second, they can use pre-hab as a form of physical therapy before surgery to speed healing and recovery.
During this process, you will work directly with the physical therapist to improve the strength, durability, movement, and overall functionality in the areas and areas around where the surgery will take place.
The process of pre-hab can vary based on which practice you go to, but for the most part, the goals remain the same. These include:
- Getting you mentally prepared for your operation
- Teaching you about the surgery and the path to recovery
- Improving the overall health of your body to reduce the risk of complications during surgery
If you choose to participate in pre-hab, you will be one of many! A study done by the APTA shows that out of the 5,852 of patients who received rehab, 52% of them did rehab before their surgery.
How pre-hab can help with recovery after your operation
Surgery can be scary, especially when you’ve never had one before and you are uncertain of the outcome. This is especially true for anyone who has a total joint replacement. When faced with the risk of time in a rehabilitation hospital, many people delay joint replacement surgery because they are scared of recovery.
However, according to the Arthritis Foundation, doing physical therapy before surgery can reduce the odds of needing inpatient rehabilitation by 73 percent! Patients who are physically stronger before surgery also meet their milestones quicker than those who aren’t.
Within 24 hours of surgery, someone who has had a total knee replacement is expected to walk 500 to 1000 feet with the assistance of a walker. Patients who work with a physical therapist before surgery are more likely to meet this demand. These patients have better blood circulation and better strength as well. Physical therapy also teaches them many of the movements, stretches, pain relieving techniques, and strengthening exercises they will need in their recovery.
How can pre-hab prevent you from sustaining an injury?
Since an object in motion tends to stay in motion, physical therapy is also an ideal way to begin an exercise regimen. Focused on strength, mobility and balance, pre-hab can keep you injury free for life as you begin the process of getting in shape.
Pre-hab is one of the best ways to prevent injuries in patients at risk for developing significant movement problems. If you work a particularly physically demanding job, you may find that the exercises, stretches and pain relieving techniques taught at physical therapy can help you perform better.
This is especially true regarding jobs where there are high numbers of work related injuries. Preventative rehabilitation typically targets areas where injury is most likely to happen. For instance, those in the military are more prone to develop foot, knee, hip, and back problems due to the rigors of training and combat. Pre-hab can mitigate many of these injuries by teaching the patient the correct way to lift things, proper posture, and effective core strengthening exercises that keep service members strong and healthy. The same can be said for construction workers, firefighters, factory workers, or other employees in physically demanding occupations.
Both pro and amature athletes benefit from working with a physical therapist, long before an injury happens. A physical therapist focuses on the areas that are stressed by everyday movement and poor habits, and looks at your most injury-prone areas to help you correct any problems before you sustain an injury.
Do you work a job where you are hunched over your computer for a majority of your day? Working with a physical therapist can help strengthen your core and correct your posture, keeping you strong and healthy.
Call our office today to learn more
Do you have an operation coming up, or are you an athlete looking to prevent injuries in the future during your sport? Physical therapy is a great way to fine-tune your fitness. Call our clinic today for more information on preventative rehabilitation and how it can benefit you!