Pre-hab: Getting Fit Before You Have Surgery

November 15, 2017

A few weeks ago, my Mom had back surgery. Afterwards, getting her up out of bed and moving was a challenge, because she was in significant pain, which is to be expected. What wasn’t expected is that she had more difficulty because she simply didn’t have the arm strength necessary to leverage her body and support her upper body well when using the walker for the first time.  She even pulled a muscle in her side trying to turn herself while getting out of bed! This made her recovery more difficult and painful because it just wasn’t the surgery she was recovering from, but also the overuse of muscles in her arms and shoulders to help her sit up, move, and more.

More and more people are considering getting physical therapy before they have surgery. This is often called Pre-hab, helping you to build up strength and stamina before surgery to make sure your recovery is as smooth and easy as possible afterwards. With a little bit of advanced planning, you can build up necessary strength to help make sure your recovery is smooth- with or without physical therapy afterwards.

If you’ve ever had to use crutches, you can really appreciate this. After I had knee surgery a number of years ago, after about a day or so, any knee pain was minor compared to the soreness in my arms, shoulders, neck and more- just from using crutches! What would happen if you knew you were going to have surgery in advance- you could spend a week or two working on your arm strength, even practicing using the crutches in advance- so you were ready to go right after surgery. You might want physical therapy after surgery to get your mobility back in the knee- but you wouldn’t have to struggle with other aches and pains at the same time!

We have been helping members of our community get in shape before and after surgery for over 25 years now, and we’re glad more and more people are exploring pre-hab to help make their “re-hab” a better process – and get them back in the game sooner!  We wrote an e-book on Pre-hab you can download for free by clicking here.   We hope it can answer any questions you might have about Pre-hab and how we can help you get into shape before your surgery!