Many people emphasize the importance of “Rehabilitation” after surgery, but you do not typically hear much about “Prehab”. We now know that getting the best outcome for your procedure requires as much hard work and preparation before the surgery as after.
From the time your surgeon sets your surgery date to the day it actually occurs, you have time to prepare for surgery in several ways. This proper, prior planning is referred to as “prehab.” In sports medicine in Arkansas, there is a big focus on rehab during your recovery. But, there are also many benefits to prehab—namely, preparing for your surgery so that you can achieve your best possible recovery.
- Physically, you can begin an exercise routine that is similar to what you will do during the rehab part of your recovery. You get that area of the body ready for the procedure through strengthening the muscles, promoting good blood flow and enhancing your mobility.
- Mentally, you can take this time to work on reducing any pre-surgical anxiety you might feel. It is normal to be nervous before a major procedure, and having a few weeks for prehab can get you used to the idea.
- Lifestyle changes may also be a part of prehab. For example, if you eat an unhealthy diet or you smoke, you can begin the process of putting better habits in place.
Finally, you get the opportunity to create an environment that is beneficial for your post-surgical healing process. This process may involve reorganizing your furniture, so it is easier to get around, cooking and freezing meals, or setting up a bedroom on the first floor.
How Does Prehab Improve Surgical Outcomes?
Prehab often results in a safer and speedier path to recovery. Arthritis.org reports that people going through prehab before their knee and hip replacement surgeries were 73 percent less likely to need to have inpatient rehab after their surgery.
Your body, mind and home are better prepared to work through everything that will be required from rehab. You do not have to worry about the post-surgical details because you have already planned for them.
Also, the exercises that you do in the prehab period help you during rehab, as your body is already accustomed to making these movements.
Prehab is still relatively new and not as well-known as rehab, but it is a great way to prepare for the best post-surgical outcome possible.