Physical therapy isn’t only helpful after surgery!
Surgery can be extremely stressful and traumatic for your body to go through, therefore, it’s normally only done when there are absolutely no other options available. If a surgery is in your near future, you’ve probably already discussed a post-operative physical therapy appointment with your doctor.
It’s extremely common (and highly recommended!) to see a physical therapist during recovery. Without the help of a physical therapist, it can be difficult to get back up and move on your own. It is also recommended to see a physical therapist prior to your surgery as well!
This is referred to as “pre-habilitation” or “pre-hab.” Pre-hab is the process of working with your physical therapist to prepare your body for your impending operation. Pre-hab with a physical therapist has been proven to cut down on recovery time and improve the overall quality and outcome of your surgery. It is incredibly valuable, and certainly something everyone should take advantage of!
Contact our office today to talk to a physical therapist about pre-hab and how it can benefit you before your operation.
Rehabilitation vs. Pre-habilitation
What is Rehabilitation?
When you have surgery, it’s expected you’ll feel discomfort and pain afterwards. This pain can make you avoid moving in certain ways. You might also have to limit how much you’re moving for a while as well to make sure you’re healing properly. However, not moving often can cause serious problems over the long-term. Your body will experience inflammation and adhesions. You absolutely must move to some degree to prevent these undesirable issues.
There should be no attempts at avoiding rehab after surgery. A physical therapy can help you move safely to keep adhesions from forming and combat inflammation. Physical therapy also improves your strength, so you can return to your normal life quicker.
What is Pre-habilitation?
Pre-hab can help you get a jump start on your recovery process with the help of a licensed physical therapist. It can also make your surgery more successful! Pre-hab therapy is designed to strengthen your body before your surgery. It also decreases discomfort and inflammation, so your surgeon will have an easier time completing your operation.
Think of pre-hab as an opportunity to “stock up” on your health for later. Even just having a few sessions with your therapist can set you up for better success after your surgery, so that when you’re out of the game for a while after all is said and done, you’ll have more strength to draw on.
How Successful Is Pre-hab?
Pre-hab is a pretty straight forward concept to grasp, but has it been proven successful? The answer is: absolutely! According to the Arthritis Foundation, a study conducted by three universities in Boston — including Harvard — demonstrated that patients who engaged in pre-hab had much better outcomes following surgery.
You can also get out of the hospital post-surgery much faster if you have a few pre-hab sessions. A great example of this is shown with patients who have had knee replacement surgeries. Patients who went through a physical therapy pre-hab program beforehand were able to meet the necessary discharge requirements than patients who opted out of pre-hab. So there’s another bonus for you!
Usually knee replacement patients can be discharged once they have walked a certain distance and climbed multiple sets of stairs. Patients that have worked with a physical therapist prior to surgery are able to meet these requirements much faster. Their bodies are simply stronger because of the physical therapy!
An Extra Surprise…
If your pre-hab treatments work well as far as improving your pain levels and overall health conditions, there is a chance you might not even need to have your surgery after all. Now, this isn’t a common case, so don’t get your hopes too high, but it’s not impossible! Some patients find that their pre-hab treatments were so successful for them with reducing their pain, that they were able to cancel their scheduled surgery altogether.
Contact our office today to learn more!
Anyone who has undergone surgery before can relate to the fact that surgery preparation can leave you feeling quite anxious, but pre-hab programs might be able to put your worries to rest. A pre-surgical rehabilitation program can help to not only become physically prepared, but also mentally prepared for your imminent procedure. It’s a win-win situation.
Our office can schedule an appointment for you with one of our physical therapists. From there, he or she will do a full assessment of your condition, check into your medical history, and provide you with an exercise plan to set you up for success before and after your surgery.
Contact our clinic today to learn more about your pre-hab options. We are here to make sure that your surgery and recovery time are as simple and convenient as possible.