Prehabilitation represents an additional method of patient recovery management. When patients undergo any significant surgery, doctors prescribe a rehabilitation program during recovery to help them return to baseline strength.
Prehabilitation takes this concept further by attempting to improve overall health and well-being before the operation. While it is relatively new, it can be effective in reducing the recovery period and risk of complications. Learn more about prehabilitation so you can make the right choices regarding your health.
Why Are Prehabilitation Programs Useful?
Prehabilitation is a therapy concept that encompasses many health aspects. It becomes easier to understand by first considering the traditional model of patient recovery.
A patient’s baseline health refers to their general physical and mental condition before an operation. Even minimally invasive surgery involves some amount of trauma. That’s why such operations still temporarily reduce functionality.
One example of this is how patients who have just undergone surgery typically can’t perform their daily activities without assistance.
During recovery, you gradually regain your strength and return to baseline health or beyond. But recovery can take a long time for major surgeries. And if complications occur, it can take even longer to recover.
In the worst cases, baseline health might become unattainable if long-term complications arise from the surgery.
Improving Your Baseline
Prehabilitation addresses this issue by improving your baseline health before surgery. The theory is that a healthier body copes better with the stresses of surgical operations.
Prehab can lead to a faster recovery and reduce the risk of complications. Proper preparation allows patients to proceed faster with the main rehabilitation program and return earlier than usual.
Prehab also promotes early identification of issues that might hinder a smooth recovery. By addressing them, you can minimize your risk of complications.
What Does Prehabilitation Cover?
Prehabilitation typically covers three aspects of health: nutrition, physical activity, and mental well-being.
Proper nutrition sets you up for a quicker recovery since tissue repair can only proceed with adequate nutrient intake. Considering the importance of healthy food, a prehabilitation team typically includes a nutritionist or a dietician.
These medical professionals will analyze your diet and recommend optimizations to improve your health. They can also prepare dietary interventions should you have nutrient deficiencies.
Physical fitness correlates with better surgical outcomes for orthopedic surgery. Having a healthy cardiovascular system will allow for your body to recover with ease.
Additionally, having stronger muscles and bones allows you to progress quicker through your post-surgery rehabilitation. During prehab, you may work with physical therapists or trainers who will prescribe a suitable exercise plan.
Mental health matters, especially given the emotional strain that an operation can induce. Working on improving your mental well-being prior to your operation may translate to an improved outlook post-operation.
You will consult a psychologist during prehab to identify your mental health needs and receive the necessary intervention.
How Do Prehabilitation Programs Work?
Prehabilitation programs can have up to four phases and start weeks before your surgery. Ideally, 6-8 weeks provides enough time for interventions to improve your health.
Prehab starts with screening. Similar to how diagnostics precede treatment, screening allows health professionals to analyze your overall health and identify potential issues. Doctors will take basic measurements to assess your physical and mental health.
You’ll also receive advice on universal interventions, which are health-promoting habits generally recommended for everyone to improve their health. These include eating a well-balanced diet and exercising regularly.
The next phase of prehab, assessment, takes a deeper look into any areas of concern identified during screening. For instance, you may take endurance tests if doctors find you are not physically fit. Findings will direct the types of interventions you’ll receive.
During the intervention phase, your prehab team will prescribe targeted interventions to address the findings. For example, a nutritional deficiency might mean you’ll need extra attention on your diet.
If you have special needs, you will receive specialist interventions to be in your best health before surgery.
Physical Therapy Near You in Baltimore, Maryland
Prehabilitation combines physical therapy, nutritional guidance, and mental health counseling to improve patient health in preparation for surgery. It takes a proactive approach before the operation to reduce the risk of complications and hasten recovery. To ensure the best outcomes, work with a dedicated and multidisciplinary medical team for your prehab needs.
Are you looking for physical therapy near you? Orthopaedic Associates of Central Maryland serves patients at multiple sites. Our offices offer comprehensive diagnostic and physical therapy services, while our surgery center provides the best orthopedic services in Baltimore. You can learn more by calling our friendly staff at (443)-478-4449.
We look forward to serving you!