The Benefits of Prehabilitation.
People often seek physical therapy services after a surgery to recover and return to their normal function. However, did you also know that you can come to physical therapy prior to surgery. Prehabilitation offers a unique opportunity to address a variety of factors relating to functional limitations and pain. If your surgery has been recently delayed or canceled due to reasons related to the current healthcare climate with COVID-19, prehabilitation may be a great option.
Prehabilitation can address both physical and psychosocial aspects of pain prior to surgery. At OMPT Specialists, we have found that prehabilitation can improve a patient’s readiness for surgery. Patients often do not know what to expect and I have witnessed the worry and fear about the surgery improve with patients when they receive education on what to expect in their post-op rehab recovery.
Poor physical fitness may also impact recovery after a surgery. A physical therapist can help patients develop safe and effective exercises based on their individual needs and functional goals. Physical therapists are highly skilled and trained in movement analysis and know how to make clinical decisions based on your pain and the pathology. When your overall level of strength is lower prior to surgery and you have a lower base level to start from, it could take longer to get back to your desired strength gains post-surgery. Many people do not know where to start when trying to initiate an exercise program safely. In addition to providing a good exercise program to perform prior to surgery, a physical therapist can also provide you with safe exercises to perform immediately post op when the time comes.
This has been a stressful time for everyone, and a delayed surgery does not have to be completely limiting. Physical therapy is considered a conservative treatment option to address physical aspects of your pain and provide education that can teach you how to manage your symptoms in daily functional tasks.
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By Katie Moy, DPT, OMPT