We all know about rehabilitation, but what on earth is ‘pre-habilitation’?
Pre-habilitation, or ‘prehab’, is a proactive approach to avoiding pain and injury. It’s about improving your body’s ability to withstand extra stress – like an upcoming surgery, that overnight hike you’ve planned for the next holiday, or the next season of footy. It’s getting yourself in the best shape you can be – so you perform and recover better.
No matter the treatment – whether it’s heart surgery, joint replacement or cancer treatment – you’re more likely to have a better and quicker recovery if your strength, fitness, and mental health are as good as they can be pre-treatment.
Let’s take John* for example…
John is 65 years old, he’s been having pain in his left knee for over 10 years now and the surgeon has recently recommended a knee replacement. Now, because John has this knee pain he’s stopped playing bowls, his wife is now going for the morning walk solo, he’s barely doing any gardening anymore, and is struggling to push a half-full wheelbarrow up to the house. It’s not doubt he’s lost some strength and fitness, but the ‘new knee’ will fix all of that. Right?!?
But if John is starting his rehab journey with his strength and fitness where it is now, there’s a big climb back up the hill ahead of him. If we can get John’s knee moving as freely as possible, increase the strength of the rest of his leg muscles, find some ways for him to improve his fitness, and make a plan for his rehabilitation all before he goes in for his surgery – his recovery is going to be looking a whole lot easier.
The concept of pre-habilitation doesn’t just apply to individuals having surgery. It goes for anyone who wants to reduce their risk of injury. We know there’s some sports that are strongly linked to certain types of injury (think ‘runner’s knee’ or ‘golfer’s elbow’), as well as those athletes who are at high risk of ACL injuries.
If we’re relying heavily on a certain joint or body part to complete a task, but we’re not giving it the extra love and support it deserves, chances are we’ll end up with an injuries throughout our sporting careers.
Do you have an old injury holding you back or a surgery pending? Have a think about starting your pre-habilitation journey today, for more information or bookings phone 02 5926 3806.