Would you like to reduce your risk of injury? Or recover more quickly after surgery? Then prehabilitation could be just what you need.
It’s part of a preventive approach to health that recognises that it’s better to stay healthy than to treat and recover from illness or injury.
We know that modifying your lifestyle by eating well, staying fit, cutting out cigarettes and reducing alcohol intake can lower your risk of many common health problems.
Prehabilitation is similar: strengthening your body in specific ways can help to reduce your risk of common injuries.
What Is Prehabilitation?
The aim of prehabilitation is to improve your body’s ability to withstand stressors, for example, upcoming surgery or a certain type of physical activity.
‘Prehab’ takes many forms, including exercise, nutrition, medical approaches or psychological therapy.
Here at Neurospace, we focus on the physical therapy aspect of prehabilitation, led by our Physiotherapists and Exercise Physiologists.
Prehabilitation to Prevent Injury
As Physiotherapists and Exercise Physiologists, we understand how your body should work and can see where it’s not working quite as well as it should. We can see those parts that are tight, loose, weak or misaligned in some way that might make you more prone to certain types of injuries.
Prehabilitation takes a proactive approach by bolstering those parts of your body that are most at risk of injury. It can be highly effective and may help strengthen your body to reduce the risk of injury.
Perhaps you need to reduce your risk of falling. That could be because a previous fall has made another one more likely, because you’re experiencing other movement difficulties, or because you struggle with balance issues. A tailored exercise program can help to strengthen your body, improve your coordination and stabilise your balance so that you’re steady on your feet.
Prehabilitation Before Surgery or Treatment
Prehabilitation has been used for some time to help patients get in shape for surgery or gruelling treatment. The basic idea is that the stronger you are going in, the stronger you’ll be coming out.
The Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre in Melbourne offers its patients a thorough prehabilitation program before their cancer treatment starts, recognising that treatment is more successful when patients are as fit and strong as possible before their therapy starts.
Prehabilitation is also used before cardiac surgery, often using the same techniques traditionally used in post-surgery rehabilitation programs. Prehab interventions before cardiac surgery aim to help people improve their nutrition, fitness and mental health before the op, which may help them make a better recovery.
Would I Benefit From Prehab?
We can’t fully answer that question without examining you but prehab is likely to be helpful if you:
- Enjoy sports that repeatedly rely on certain parts of your body, such as running or swimming
- Have underlying biomechanical issues that make you more prone to strains or injuries
- Have had a previous injury or condition that’s introduced a weakness in that area
- Are awaiting surgery and want to be in the best shape for it.
What Happens at a Prehab Appointment?
We begin by assessing your biomechanics, posture, joint alignment, stability, muscle control and other factors then we start talking about your lifestyle, activity levels and any underlying medical conditions. That’s because prehabilitation techniques vary depending on the likely stress your body will experience.
Based on the findings of that risk assessment, we’ll develop a prehab program for you that will help to correct any imbalances and improve your strength and endurance, helping to reduce the risk of injury.
If you think you might benefit from prehab, then please come and see us at Neurospace. Our physios will assess you and recommend exercises that may improve your strength, flexibility or agility to help you prepare for surgery or reduce the risk of injury.