Prehab: Why You Need Physical Therapy Before Surgery - Peak Performance Physical Therapy

Prehab: Why You Need Physical Therapy Before Surgery

Apr23rd 2020

Are you facing a major surgery or a long period of enforced bed rest? Do you need to undergo post-operative physical rehabilitation, but worry that your body isn’t going to be up to the challenge?


If so, you may be a prime candidate for a specialized form of physical therapy called prehab. Our physical therapists at Peak Performance PT can help you prepare your body for that upcoming hurdle so that you can recover more quickly and easily.


Call Peak Performance today to get the details and find out whether prehab makes sense for you!

What Is Prehab?

To put it simply, prehab is preventative rehab. Many people go through physical rehabilitation to help them regain strength, balance, range of motion and overall wellness following a major health challenge. By contrast prehab is a form of training that occurs in anticipation of such a challenge.


It generally includes physical therapy exercises aimed at optimizing your functional capabilities. Once you’ve completed that grueling athletic competition or surgical procedure, your pre-improved body will find it that much easier to respond to any necessary rehabilitation efforts, helping you get back on your feet and back to your daily life in record time.

Why Is Prehab So Important?

If you’ve never even heard of prehab before, you may be wondering why this form of physical therapy is considered so valuable. After all, you’d still have to recuperate from a surgery anyway, right? But think about how long that recuperation period might last. Following a major surgery, for instance, you might be bedridden, or at least non-ambulatory, for weeks. During that time, muscles lose their tone, while connective tissues grow shorter and tighter. You might even be prone to developing adhesions (scar tissue that grows across adjacent tissues) or chronic stiffness problems such as “frozen shoulder” (adhesive capsulitis). As a result, your rehabilitation could become a grueling, extended ordeal.


Prehab can differently make a difference in your ability to bounce back from major surgical procedures. Research has indicated that hip/knee surgery patients who undergo prehab are 73 percent less likely to need inpatient rehabilitation. In another study, patients who had prehab before undergoing ACL surgery returned to their chosen sports more quickly that those who didn’t receive prehab.

Prehab is also critically important for athletes or other workers gearing up for a high-intensity job or event.


By pre-conditioning your body before you even begin your serious pre-event preparations, you can avoid the training injuries that put participants on the bench instead of in the game. Building the necessary flexibility, strength and balance beforehand can allow you train — and perform — at 100 percent. Best of all, you have a better chance or avoiding avoid injuries such as ACL ruptures which might otherwise put you on the operating table.


Get Your Prehab From Peak Performance

Our physical therapist can design a customized prehab plan that addresses your specific needs and concerns. For instance, if you’re planning to have hip or knee surgery, we may prescribe whatever exercises these joints can comfortably bear, including water walking, aerobics, and flexibility exercises.

We will also work on correcting any musculoskeletal imbalances that might complicate your rehabilitation. If cancer has already weakened you before a much-needed surgery to remove the tumor, we can help you build your strength, stamina and endurance. Prehab can even help patients prepare for heart surgery.


When you think of physical therapy, don’t just think “rehab” — think “prehab.” Contact Peak Performance today to learn more about how we can help make your next surgery easier!