According to one report, over 1 million Americans undergo joint replacement surgery every year hoping to relieve pain caused by arthritis, past injury, or years of wear and tear. Knee and hip replacements are the most common, but shoulders, ankles, elbows, wrists, and even joints in the fingers can also be replaced.
If you or someone you love are preparing for this type of surgery, it may have been a long process. Perhaps, hoping to avoid the issues involved with recovery from surgery, you’ve tried other treatments, only to find that they brought you little or no relief. Once it became obvious that replacing the joint would be the best solution, you probably learned as much as you could about the procedure itself and about what would be involved in your recovery process.
Needless to say, you want your recovery to be as speedy and complete as possible so that you can move on with your life. With that goal in mind, you may want to consider pre-surgery conditioning.
What is Pre-surgery Conditioning?
As the name implies, pre-surgery conditioning (also known as prehabilitation or pre-hab) is done before your surgery in order to prepare your body to make a quicker recovery. It is commonly recommended for people anticipating joint replacement, but it can be beneficial for other types of surgeries as well. An effective program would take your individual needs into consideration and might target areas such as range of motion, balance, strength, or cardiovascular fitness.
Ideally, you would want to begin a prehabilitation program at least six weeks prior to your scheduled surgery, but you can still reap the benefits of preparing your body for surgery even if you only have time for a few sessions.
Benefits of Pre-surgery Conditioning
It goes without saying that the stronger you are going into a surgery, the easier and faster your recovery process will be. Pre-surgery conditioning can help you prepare to undergo surgery in the best possible shape. Here are a few specific benefits associated with prehabilitation.
1. It strengthens your muscles. Improving the strength of the muscles immediately surrounding the surgical site will support it better as it heals. Increased strength will also benefit your entire body as it works to compensate for the temporary weakness caused by the surgery.
2. It increases overall fitness. Pre-surgery improvements in your stamina and your cardiovascular health can help your body to recover more quickly after surgery. This can translate into shorter hospital stays or less time in post-operative physical therapy programs.
3. It increases mobility. After surgery, many people need help to relearn basic skills such as walking, climbing stairs, or getting in and out of bed. Pre-surgery conditioning can increase awareness of what is involved in these movements, making them much less painful to master later on. It can also help you to reach your post-surgery mobility goals faster, meaning a faster release from the hospital.
4. It can help you keep a positive attitude. As with many things in life, your attitude can play an important role in your successful recovery from surgery. A program of pre-surgery conditioning will give you the confidence of knowing that you’ve done everything you can to ensure the best possible outcome for yourself. It can also help you to keep your motivation high during the rehabilitation process, especially when it feels the most demanding.
If you or a loved one are preparing for surgery in the near future, why not check with your doctor to see if you might benefit from pre-surgery conditioning? You won’t regret making the effort to strengthen your body in order to increase your chances for a speedy and successful recovery.
The Davis Community Offers Rehabilitation at Its Finest
The Davis Community has a state-of-the-art rehabilitation center where our residents can exercise and/or recover from their surgeries using modern equipment designed especially for seniors. We take pride in offering the best rehabilitation in Wilmington NC. We also offer pre-surgery conditioning to help guests prepare their bodies for successful surgery. If you or an aging parent need physical rehabilitation or pre-surgery conditioning, then visit our Facebook page to learn more about the fitness center at Davis Community. Or, for more information about our retirement community, nursing homes, or skilled nursing services, just give us a call today at 910-566-1200.