Pre-hab: What It Is and Why You Should Do It

October 20th, 2019
Preventative Rehabilitation

Do you have a surgery coming up? Do the demands of your sport or job put you at risk of sustaining an injury? Have you noticed that your joints and muscles have become frailer and weaker? If so, preventative rehabilitation (also known as “pre-hab”) can greatly benefit you.

Pre-hab is a special physical therapy service that contains several benefits. It can help the body heal quicker after surgery, decrease recovery time, and even help you avoid sustaining an injury in the future. There are two different categories of pre-hab: 1) pre-hab for surgical recovery and 2) pre-hab for injury prevention.

When dealing with surgical recovery, pre-hab prepares the body for surgery by strengthening areas in need before the surgical procedure occurs. This helps make the recovery time and the surgery itself much easier. When dealing with injury prevention, pre-hab works to strengthen any problem areas of the body in order to address issues at their root and protect against physical damage.

To learn more about pre-hab and how it can benefit you, contact Focus Physical Therapy today!

How can pre-hab help me recover faster from my surgery?

Many people fear the harsh recoveries that follow surgical procedures. This is especially true for anyone who has had a total joint replacement. Faced with the knowledge of time spent in a rehabilitation hospital, many people delay joint replacement surgery out of fear for the long, difficult recovery ahead.

Fortunately, pre-hab can help significantly reduce recovery time. Did you know that by partaking in preventative rehabilitation, you can reduce your odds of needing inpatient rehabilitation by 73 percent? If you are stronger before surgery, you will meet your physical milestones much quicker after surgery, decreasing your recovery time by days or even weeks.

For example, patients who undergo total knee replacement surgery are typically expected to walk 500-1,000 feet 24 hours after their procedure. This may sound like a difficult task; however, those who participate in pre-hab before their surgery are much more likely to meet this demand than those who do not. Pre-hab provides patients with the stretches, strengthening exercises, and pain relieving techniques they need for a smooth and speedy recovery.

How can pre-hab help me avoid injuries?

Pre-hab is a great resource for those prone to injuries, or for those at risk of developing injuries. To figure out where your problem areas are, you will complete a thorough evaluation with your physical therapist to determine what your treatment plan will consist of. These typically include a combination of exercises, stretches, and pain relieving techniques that target areas where injuries are likely to occur.

For example, 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 proper posture, effective core strengthening exercises, and correct lifting techniques that keep service members strong and healthy. The same can be said for firefighters, factory workers, and other employees in highly physical occupations.

Both pro and amateur athletes can also benefit from pre-hab treatments. Their treatment will focus on targeting poor technique and doing conditioning exercises to correct it. Their physical therapists will also focus more on the areas of their body that are repeatedly stressed and overused by their sport, determining their likelihood of injury and creating a plan to reverse that likelihood.

Physical therapy treatments typically aim at mobility improvement and pain relief through strength and balance training. Pre-hab can help you improve your physical abilities in your sport or occupation, while simultaneously reducing your risk of injury.

Get started with pre-hab treatments today!

Are you ready to get started on a preventative rehabilitation plan? If so, contact us today to schedule your consultation! We will discuss the best course of action for your needs and help you reach your recovery and/or injury prevention goals. Contact our Newhall, CA office today to get started on the first steps of your pre-hab plan!

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