Why Prehab is just as important as Rehab
- April 21, 2017 at 10:43am
- Josh van Kalken
Are you scheduled for a surgery soon? Whether it be a knee replacement, rotator cuff repair, an ACL reconstruction or any other kind of surgery, you can expect a similar set of steps from when you have your surgery to returning to full function.
The day of the surgery you’ll go to the hospital to have the surgery, and afterwards you may undergo some rehab in the hospital for the first few days after the surgery until you are ready to go home. From here you’ll see a physiotherapist for a period as they work with you to bring you back to you full function, whether it be playing premier grade rugby or walking to the shops on a Saturday morning. They’ll do this by restoring any lost range of motion, muscle strength and any other deficits prevent after the surgery and period of non-use.
However, one part of the process often overlooked is physiotherapy in the weeks leading up to the surgery. This is known as ‘Prehab’. Much of the recovery and rehabilitation after a surgery is devoted to restoring strength and other deficits caused by a lack of activity immediately after surgery. The goal of prehab is to reduce this period through pre-surgery strengthening and optimization.
Engaging in a simple strength and function based prehab program with your physiotherapist can greatly reduce the recovery time post-surgery and restore you to your best quickly. This is achieved through building muscle strength and body function prior to surgery, so that when some is inevitably lost after surgery, the impact is not as great, as you have more to lose. Couple this with the fact its far easier to strengthen a muscle in a body part before it’s been operated on, and you can see the benefit of prehab!
So if you’re in line for a surgery soon, let your physiotherapist know so they can help with a simple prehab training program, your future self will certainly be grateful!
Until next time,
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