November 12, 2019 – A lot of people refer to physical therapy as rehab. When the word rehab is spoken, we can also think of an athlete returning from an injury or a long-term care facility specializing in helping patients recover from more serious injuries. But what about “prehab”?
Prehab is becoming more and more prevalent in the research. As physical therapists we are seeing more and more people for prehab. So, what is it? Prehab refers to a physical therapy program that helps to prepare you for an upcoming life changing event, usually surgery. It is becoming more and more important to help speed recovery especially in the initial states of rehab after surgery.
Prehab is used to increase your range of motion before a shoulder surgery, improve your quad and hip strength before a knee procedure, decrease your back pain caused by injury or abnormal movements, and for many other deficits.
It is important that if you are planning a surgery with your physician to ask about prehab. Coming in to see a physical therapist can help better prepare you for that procedure. We can work on activity modifications that you may need due to having to use crutches, a walker, or a sling. We can give you some exercises to help with improving range of motion and strength. We can work with you on some pain relief strategies for both before and after surgery. Often a few visits of physical therapy before surgery can make the whole surgical process much more comfortable.
Your Witte Physical Therapy Team