Prehabilitation (prehab) is a form of physical therapy performed in preparation for elective surgery. It is also used as a prevention-rehab to lessen the chance of sports, work, or life-related injuries.
Just about anyone can benefit from prehabilitation.
However, it should be performed a minimum of eight weeks prior to most elective surgeries or in advance of major sporting events as this is the common timeline for muscle growth. Eight weeks is the amount of time generally required to achieve adequate strength, mobility, and stability in the targeted areas.
Prehab is most often recommended for patients awaiting ACL reconstruction, surgery, meniscus, and joint replacement surgeries. However, patients awaiting most other elective surgeries will yield positive results after participating in physical therapy prior to surgery.
The aim of prehab is to get into the best shape possible before surgery. While awaiting surgery, it is common to experience a loss of mobility and muscle strength in the impacted area. Coordination and balance may also be affected. Prehab helps to address these deficits by enhancing muscle activity and strength, increasing the range of motion in joints, and improving stability and balance. It can also help to modulate any pain that you may experience. This all helps to improve your outcomes after surgery because the stronger you are going into surgery, the stronger you will be coming out of surgery.
Similar to the benefits of prehab pre-operatively, participating in prehab for injury prevention helps to improve muscle strength, joint range of motion, and stability. As a result, this can minimize the risk of injury from common day-to-day activities, strenuous jobs, or sports activities. By taking a preventative approach, you will save yourself time, money, pain, and disability on potential future rehabiliation, injections, medications, or surgery.
Are you injured and awaiting surgery? Talk with your surgeon and see if prehab is right for you. We have years of experience working with patients in preparation for their upcoming surgeries and getting them into the best shape possible. Our team will be there throughout the whole journey, pre-and post-surgery, to help you get back to doing what you love.
Whether you are awaiting surgery or looking to improve your physical strength to reduce your risk of injury, Maven’s Doctors of Physical Therapy will create a plan that is right for you. Our physical therapy plans are designed to be performed with our physical therapists or at home with the help of MedBridge, our home exercise program app.