I’m often asked by friends and relatives what the best exercises are for upcoming operations. It’s not an easy question to answer over the phone or via email. Without being able to see a person’s posture, observe their muscle strength/range of motion or have a complete picture of their medical history and status, it’s hard to say which exercises will best prepare them for surgery.
For example, if someone has an old rotator cuff tear on the opposite shoulder to the knee which will be replaced, this can make using a walker very difficult after surgery. Prehab would actively focus on stabilizing the scapulae of both shoulders, strengthening the triceps, and improving the patient’s overall core strength and balance (as well as the obvious: strengthening both legs.) Someone preparing for an upcoming total hip replacement will receive very specific prehab exercises if they recently had the same surgery on the opposite side.
The foundation of prehab is not just to prepare the patient for surgery by strengthening the body part to be operated upon, but to prepare the entire person: physically and mentally — not to mention setting up the home properly! Many folks expect to receive a prehab cookbook that they can follow and then pass to friends to prepare for their operations. While this can certainly be helpful, the exercises a patient receives are very specific to his/her particular needs, and may not be appropriate for another patient.
If your physician has suggested that you have orthopedic surgery, be sure to get started early to prepare your body for the rigors of recovery. Muscle hypertrophies (grows in size) only after 8-10 weeks, so the most gains are seen with several months of preparation. Even if you only have a few weeks, however, neuromuscular control (brain to muscle) can be improved upon immediately beginning an exercise program. Contact Victory Prehab today to get started with your customized prehab exercise program!