Pilates is an amazing way to strengthen and tone your body without excessive stress on your joints. If you’re looking to maxim
Physical therapy is a common component of the recovery period after certain surgical procedures, but it is just as important to include it in your pre-surgery plans.
Why Do Prehab?
If you are preparing for a joint replacement, for example, you want to get your body as strong as possible in advance of the procedure – during “prehab” – according to Dr. Karyn Staples, PT, PhD, of ProHealth Physical Therapy and Pilates Studio in Peachtree City. It’s natural for muscles to weaken as a result of surgery, so the better shape a patient is in beforehand, the better the chance for a positive outcome afterward.
The focus in prehab is not the joint itself. If the object of surgery is a knee or hip, the entire leg as well as the core of the body, or the trunk area, should be strengthened as much as possible while also working to improve movement mechanics. It is all about creating a foundation upon which the body can rely during the post-surgery rehab process.
Statistics show that patients can see a 25-40 percent improvement in recovery time and a lower likelihood of postoperative infection, as well as better pain management, when preoperative care of this kind is a priority. Of course, this depends upon the effort put in by the patient and the consistency with which the therapy schedule is addressed. A patient who is going in for prehab 2-3 times a week may have an at-home regimen to be followed just as often. The same is true for rehab.
How to prepare for Prehab or Rehab
The staff at ProHealth advises its clients to come in for sessions wearing athletic clothes that allow freedom of movement and stay hydrated. A light snack an hour ahead of time is a good idea as well; don’t go all day without eating and don’t come in ten minutes after a full meal.
While you might work up a sweat, the emphasis is not so much on vigorous exercise as working to improve movement patterns that have been affected by the injured body part. Having those patterns addressed by a physical therapist is a vital step in avoiding long-term movement issues after surgery.
What’s the timing for Prehab or Rehab?
An ideal timetable would have a patient starting prehab six weeks prior to the procedure.
Depending on the outcome of the surgery and what specifically was addressed, rehab can take two to four months. Any orthopedic surgery patient can expect a year of total recovery time for everything to get back to where it should be, although most people feel better around the six-month mark. Again, it depends on how much effort you put in.
As for the home exercise portion of the process, the staff is cognizant of how much time a patient should be devoting to it and assigns enough work to make a difference, but not to overwhelm their schedule.
A Prehab/Rehab Case Study
A recent ProHealth client came in for prehab before shoulder surgery. While continuing his Pilates classes and some other activities as usual, he utilized physical therapy sessions to reach certain benchmarks with regard to strength and range of motion while taking care to avoid making the current injury worse (although, in many cases, when it’s time for surgery it can’t get any worse).
He was cleared for rehab a few weeks after surgery, and the ProHealth team picked right back up where it left off, building on the foundation that was established beforehand. In this case as in any post-surgery regimen, attention was given to the timeframe needed for proper tissue healing and not overworking any part of the body before it was ready.
Consider insurance in the Prehab and Rehab Plan
Some patients might be concerned with the effect a schedule of frequent rehab sessions could have on their budget. It is typical for insurance to cover these sessions, but a patient is wise to double-check his or her plan and see what limits might be in place on how often therapy can take place in a given time period. ProHealth verifies insurance with all of its patients and assists them in making sure they know what they need to know.
The professionals at ProHealth strive to be true partners in the patient’s quest to feel better and get back to a high quality of life. If you are within driving distance of Peachtree City, GA and have an upcoming surgery or procedure, we’d love for you to experience prehab and rehab with ProHealth Physical Therapy and Pilates Studio. Please call us at 770-487-1931 to get started.