Do you have an upcoming surgery? When you were told you’d need surgery, was one of the first questions you asked your doctor something along the lines of “How long before I can get back to my regular routine?” We bet it was. It’s one of the top things patients facing surgery want to know.
Why Should I Do Prehab?
There are many factors that can either prolong or shorten your recovery period after surgery. So many of these things are outside your immediate control, such as the type of surgery you’re having, the surgical techniques or approaches that will be used, the severity of the condition being treated, and any co-existing medical issues you may have.
What is within your realm of control is your current health and wellness. Simply put, the healthier and stronger you are going into surgery – the easier and faster your recovery after surgery will be.
This is where physical rehabilitation comes in. Physical therapy, or PT, isn’t just for post-op rehab. When performed prior to an operation, it can help ensure you’re in tip-top condition, especially in and around the areas to be operated on, so that you can bounce back with gusto after surgery.
Benefits of Prehab Before Surgery
More and more, savvy surgeons are recommending that patients do physical rehabilitation prior to surgery, as well as afterward. Why? Successful surgery with excellent results benefits patients and doctors alike.
Benefits of prehabilitation include:
- Ensuring you’re as healthy as possible for your surgery
- Increasing your strength and stamina
- Promoting healing and muscle growth
- Speeding up your post-op recovery
- Improving current symptoms
- Reducing swelling and stiffness
- Helping you feel more confident and less anxious
- Decreasing the risk of complications or hospital readmission following surgery
- Reducing your long-term healthcare costs
Even without a doctor’s referral, there are physical rehabilitation centers, like H2 Health, that provide prehab services. So, if you’re concerned about how long you’ll be out of commission after your surgery, why not take charge of your own health and engage in customized prehab to ensure you enjoy the best possible post-op results? Chances are, your insurance plan will cover prehab, as well as post-op PT.
Prehabilitation: What to Expect
Physical rehabilitation conducted prior to surgery can address multiple bodily systems. Prehab tends to focus on exercises to strengthen muscles, increase flexibility and balance, and maximize your range of motion. However, prehab may also address nutrition and other health concerns. Remember, the point is to make sure your entire body is as healthy as possible for the surgery to come.
Let’s say you’re scheduled for orthopedic surgery – a knee replacement, for example. Undergoing prehabilitation can help identify areas of vulnerability and then help you strengthen those areas. For patients currently experiencing pain, such as in the knee replacement scenario, your doctor should be able to provide a nerve block or other type of anesthetic injection to keep your current pain at bay, so you’re your prehabilitation is more pleasant and productive.
At H2 Health, we offer free screenings to identify if and how you could benefit from prehab.
When should you begin prehab? A good rule of thumb is to start at least 4-6 weeks prior to your surgery date. Just like rehab after surgery, you’ll want to attend prehab therapy on a regular basis, at least 2 or 3 times a week. Also just like post-op PT, in addition to attending prehab sessions at a clinic, you’ll want to perform the recommended daily exercises at home, as needed.
Improving your muscle strength, flexibility, and joint function prior to surgery, enables you to regain strength after surgery much faster.
Pre-Op Physical Rehabilitation at H2 Health in FL, GA, TX, and More
Any type of surgery is trauma to the body. To make sure your body is up to the challenge, consider prehab. At H2 Health, we have more than 135 outpatient facilities in Florida, Georgia, Texas, and more. Contact us today to ask about our complimentary prehab screenings by calling (800) 699-9395. You can also find the H2 Health location nearest you and request an appointment now.