What is Prehab?
With the current issues surrounding COVID-19 there have been extensive cancellations of elective surgeries. As many people are self-isolating and unable to attend their local physio, prehab and physio at home has become the best option!
Preventative Rehabilitation, more commonly known as “Prehab,” is a concept used within the physiotherapy world. It addresses the prevention of injury as well as preparation for a musculoskeletal surgery. Prehab is more specifically defined as a proactive approach to lowering your risk of injury. It does so by addressing areas of weakness, reduced flexibility and poor postural habits. When adhered to, a proper prehab program helps to identify and target vulnerable areas or joints in your body, decreasing the potential risk for injury!
What are the Different Types of Prehab?
Prehab can be used in many different scenarios, however it is typically geared towards either injury prevention, or when preparing for an orthopaedic surgery.
If using prehab to lower your underlying risk of injury, a complete and thorough assessment performed by a qualified physiotherapist is essential. This will assess “problem” areas or joints in your body that are at risk of developing injuries. A comprehensive prehab assessment will cover many areas including but not limited to:
- Spinal range of motion
- Shoulder, elbow, hand mobility and movement
- Hip, knee, ankle mobility and movement
- Core strength testing
- Arm and leg strength testing
- Flexibility screening for your arms, legs and spine
- Joint mobility assessment
- Posture assessment, both standing and sitting
- Functional movement analysis (for example squatting form!)
Another common use for prehab is when you are preparing for an orthopaedic surgery. Many times before a total knee, hip, or shoulder replacement, your surgeon will recommend a course of prehab. This allows a physiotherapist to assess your body or joint before a surgery is performed. They will create an individualised exercise program for you to perform prior to surgery. This ensures that you are able to become stronger before surgery, therefore typically making the rehab (post surgery) process easier. It also allows you to connect with a physiotherapist prior to a surgery and discuss any concerns you have about the rehab process. We have put many minds at ease!
What happens after the assessment?
Following a comprehensive assessment your physiotherapist will be able to identify:
- Areas of weakness and lack of flexibility
- Poor movement mechanics
- Poor postural habits that need to be addressed.
An individualised program will be created that is targeted at your specific areas of need! This program can be used as a supplement to your regular daily or weekly exercise routine. Think of it as physio at home! When performed over time it will help to lower the risk of developing injuries. Regular “check ins” with your physiotherapist are recommended. This will allow you to progress your exercises or routine in order to continue to strengthen and prevent injury.
Why should you choose prehab and physio at home?
There are many reasons that you may choose to obtain a prehab program! Firstly to prevent injury if taking up a new sport or fitness regime. Secondly if you are awaiting surgery its essential to get yourself in the best possible condition. This way you’re giving yourself the best opportunity for a speedy recovery. At the moment with gyms and many physio practices closed, start your prehab program and physio at home!