Optimising recovery from surgery:
Regardless of what it’s for, surgery can be scary and overwhelming. It is normal to feel a sense of helplessness or feeling as if you don’t have control over the end outcome. However, it is important to understand that you play the single most important role in the outcome of your recovery and it starts long before you meet with your surgeon. Preparing your body and mind for what you are about to encounter is an important aspect of recovery and creates good habits for your post-surgery rehabilitation.
How do you do this, you ask?
We call this Prehab
Prehab is a programme designed to prevent injuries before they actually occur. This can be applied to anyone or any injury however in the context of surgery it is you taking an active approach to prepare yourself physically and mentally for what you are about to go through. It plays a massive part in giving you the power to control the success of your upcoming surgery.
Why should you do Prehab?
Numerous studies have shown that patients who participate in Prehab have significantly better outcomes than those who do not. Those who undergo prehab generally have quicker recovery times, return to sport faster, have less complications and are generally more satisfied with their end outcome.
Does this apply to me?
Prehab is highly recommended for anyone planning to undertake or has been referred for surgery. Research has shown Prehab to be effective in enhancing recovery for patients undergoing total hip and knee replacements, ACL reconstructions, shoulder surgery such as rotator cuff repairs and lower back surgery.
What does it involve and how long for?
Ideally, undergoing 6-12 weeks of Prehab prior to surgery will optimise post-surgical outcomes. In most situations this is not possible due to availability with your surgeon. This does not mean that Prehab won’t help be helpful for you. As they say, something is better than nothing and there are still many meaningful benefits to be gained with only 2 weeks of preparation.
5 reasons to Prehab:
1. Get control of your pain:
A prehab program should give you the tools to minimise pain. Reducing pain early will enable normal muscle activity and put you in a good head space leading up to surgery.
2. Get in optimal physical shape:
Through a specific exercise program, you can improve muscle strength, flexibility, balance and coordination which has shown to optimise and speed up the recovery process post-surgery. Additionally, improving general fitness and wellbeing has many added benefits such as weight loss and improving mental resilience which is extremely important to recovery.
3. Create good habits and kick the bad habits
Firstly, creating good habits beforehand will make your life so much easier once you have been discharged from hospital. Good habits start with getting in a healthy exercise regime This extends to healthy sleep, nutrition and lifestyle habits which your physiotherapist and health practitioners can guide you on.
Conversely, bad habits will have the opposite effect, so you can imagine the importance in changing these prior to surgery.
4. Manage anxiety/stress
It is completely normal to feel anxious or stressed prior to surgery. In addition to physically preparing yourself you must also get yourself in the right headspace. Prehab will help mentally prepare you by getting you in a good mindset for the upcoming rehabilitation process. It will also teach you appropriate coping strategies to deal with pain and stress associated with the injury.
5. Speed up your recovery and reduce post-operative complications
Prehab sets you up for a successful recovery leading to quicker recovery and return to sport times. It also reduces the risk of common complications associated with surgery.
Please feel free to contact our team at East Vic Park Physio on 9361 3777 if you have any questions or would like to find out if Prehab is appropriate for you.