Benefits of Pre-Hab: How Can Therapy Before Surgery Help You?

Apr10th 2023

It’s no secret that physical therapy helps you heal faster after an injury or surgery. But what if there was a method to avoid an injury altogether? What if you could speed up your recovery from surgery even before you go under the knife?

Pre-hab, also known as preventative rehabilitation, helps patients heal faster after surgery, recover faster, and, in many situations, avoid operations altogether. Call our office now to schedule an appointment with one of our physical therapists. They’ll be able to tell you if pre-hab is suited for you.

Pre-rehabilitation defined

The term pre-hab is short for preventative rehabilitation. 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, pre-hab is a form of physical therapy used prior to surgery to speed healing and recovery.

Pre-surgical rehabilitation resides under the category of preventative care known as “pre-hab.” The purpose of pre-hab is to get the body as ready as possible for a challenging situation. If you choose to participate in this practice, you won’t be alone. 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.

During this process, the patient 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:

  • Improving the overall health of your body to reduce the risk of complications during surgery
  • Preparing you mentally for the surgery
  • Teaching you about the surgery and the path to recovery

Recovering from surgery with pre-hab

Many people are afraid of what happens after the stitches are sewn and they’re sent home to recover.This is especially true for people who have had entire joints replaced.

When faced with the prospect of spending time in a rehabilitation facility or recovering at home, many patients put off joint replacement surgery because they are afraid of a long and difficult healing journey.

However, getting physical therapy before surgery can cut your chances of needing inpatient rehab by 73 percent. Patients who are stronger prior to surgery achieve physical milestones more quickly than those who are not.

A complete knee replacement patient should be able to walk 500 to 1000 feet with the help of a walker within 24 hours of surgery. Those who work with a physical therapist before surgery are more likely to meet this demand. These patients are stronger and have better blood flow. Physical therapy also teaches them many of the movements, stretches, pain relieving techniques, and strengthening exercises they will need in their recovery.

Pre-hab can prevent injuries

Pre-hab is one of the best ways to prevent injuries in patients at risk for developing significant movement problems. Those with physically demanding jobs may find that the exercises, stretches and pain relieving techniques taught at physical therapy help them perform in their jobs.

This is especially true in jobs where certain injuries occur often. This type of physical therapy focuses on the areas of the body where injury is most likely to occur. Military personnel, for example, are more likely to suffer foot, knee, hip, and back problems as a result of the rigors of training and combat.

Many of these injuries can be avoided with pre-hab, which teaches proper lifting techniques, posture, and core strengthening exercises to keep service personnel strong and healthy. Construction workers, firefighters, manufacturing workers, and other people in physically demanding jobs are all at risk.

Even professional and amateur athletes are discovering that seeing a physical therapist pays off long before an injury occurs. A physical therapist examines your most injury-prone areas and helps you repair any problems before you get hurt, focusing on the areas that are pressured by everyday movement and bad habits.

You’re probably slumped over your computer for the majority of the day. Working with a physical therapist can help you maintain your strength and health by strengthening your core and correcting your posture.

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.

Contact us today to get started

If you are considering surgery or if you need to fine-tune your everyday life, physical therapy is the ideal place to start. Contact us now for a consultation.


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