Physical therapists stress prehab, not rehab, is ideal when it comes to joint surgery



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CINCINNATI (WKRC) – For those headed for surgery soon, they may want to start preparing now. It could help speed up recovery.


For those who have been putting off a procedure or have an upcoming joint surgery this fall, the team at OrthoCincy reminds everyone not to think about rehabbing it afterward to get back to good health. They say to think about prehabbing it now.


Physical therapists, including Jordan Barker, say they can develop an entire plan to strengthen muscles around the area where a surgical procedure may be needed – from the head and neck to the back and knees.


No less than six weeks is considered ideal to set up a person for success, but longer may be even better. Prehab often specifically focuses on improving flexibility, enhancing functional capabilities, and giving a person the best possible range of motion and stamina.


“I think that some of the thought process in our line of work is the stronger you go in, the stronger, more mobile you go in, the stronger, more mobile you come out. So, I think any kind of work that you can do to just work on that baseline level of mobility and strength is always going to benefit you after surgery or something like that,” said Barker, an OrthoCincy physical therapist.


One other note – prehab also often provides education about what to do and what not to do before and after a surgical procedure, which can be critical in speeding up recovery.


For anyone who has a surgical procedure planned for later this year, now is a good time to start setting this up. A person can even start a program on his or her own to improve strength and endurance.