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Do I Really Need Pre-hab?

Do I Really Need Pre-hab?


Call 570-348-1360 to speak with us about your pre- and post-surgery needs.

Few of us relish the thought of undergoing surgery, even if we know that in the long term it will help us to live and feel better. Once we’ve finally made the decision to go ahead with surgery, selected a facility and surgeon we feel comfortable with and set a date, it can be tempting to overlook another important part of the process: pre- and post-surgery rehab. Physical therapy before and after surgery, can have a huge positive impact on the speed and extent of your recovery.

Why choose “pre-hab”?

Pre-surgical rehabilitation or “pre-hab” is designed to prepare the body for surgery. Allied Services physical therapist, Theresa Stook, warns against skipping this important step.

“Preparing for surgery is a bit like preparing for a race or competition. The stronger and more prepared we are before entering the race, the more likely we are to do well and succeed. Surgery is the same. Whether you are having a hip or knee replacement, ACL surgery, hip or knee arthroscopy or shoulder surgery, pre-surgery rehab is a must.”

Pre-hab may include muscle training, stretching and mobility training. The goal is to improve strength and functionality in the areas immediately surrounding the surgery site, and to improve overall wellness. When you stop to think about it, it makes sense. If you are preparing for knee surgery, then you are likely to have been experiencing pain and weakness in the affected knee. A course of pre-hab provides focused exercises that prepares you for the work necessary after surgery and paves the way for a smooth recovery. Pre-surgery rehabilitation can also reduce pain and inflammation, prepare you mentally for surgery and improve your range of motion.

Post-surgery rehab for a fuller recovery

Once your surgery is complete, you’ll want to schedule your post-surgery rehab to begin as soon as possible.

“The sooner you begin physical therapy, the more of a positive impact it will have on your recovery. Physical therapy after surgery will not only help decrease pain, improve range of motion and strength, but it will also teach patients the proper ways to walk, climb steps, get in and out of bed and get in and out of the car”.

The purpose of post-surgery rehab is to ensure that your body heals properly, to help you regain mobility and normal movements, and to strengthen weakened or unused muscles. Your therapist will create a personalized program of exercises that are designed to:

  • Ease post-surgery pain and discomfort
  • Help muscles regain strength and function
  • Help you regain your balance if needed
  • Ensure that you regain your flexibility and range of motion
  • Retrain the affected muscle or joint to perform tasks normally
  • Prevent the build-up of scar tissue

With a pre- and post-surgery rehab plan customized to reduce recovery time and help you regain your strength and function quickly, you are equipped to make the most of your investment in your health.

Learn more about Joint Replacement Rehab.

Learn more about Injury Rehab.

Learn more about the treatment of Orthopedic Conditions and Injuries.

Call 570-348-1360 to speak with us about your pre- and post-surgery needs.

About the Author: Theresa Stook, PT, DPT, treats patients at Allied Services Spine and Sports Medicine Center in Wilkes-Barre. Theresa is a Licensed Physical Therapist practicing for more than 20 years, specializing in orthopedics, spine and sports medicine rehabilitation. She has specialization in post surgical ACL reconstruction and ACL injury prevention programs. She has pursued continuing education to better serve her field including: McKenzie Part A & B , Vestibular Rehabilitation, The Post-Surgical Cervical and Lumbar, Kinesiotaping KT1 and KT2, The Lumbopelvic Region Systemic Approach Utilizing Manual Therapy, and Therapeutic Exercises and Muscle Energy.

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