What is Prehab?
In the world of healthcare, the terms ‘prehabilitation’ and ‘prehab’ are becoming more prominent.
What do they mean, and why are they important? Well, Prehabilitation or prehab refers to
proactive approach to preparing the body for an upcoming event, medical procedure and/or just
general well-being and injury prevention. It involves the identification of any altered biomechanics,
imbalances and weaknesses. Prehab comprises a holistic approach whereby an individual’s fitness,
daily routines, nutrition, psychological factors, as well as an individual’s specific goals are also
evaluated to optimise overall strength, health and well-being.
Why is Prehab important?
- Enhanced Postoperative Recovery:
Research has shown that an effective prehab programme implemented 3-4 weeks prior to
surgery can significantly improve postoperative outcomes. Prehab has shown to increase the
body’s ability to recover by improving muscle strength and cardiovascular health as well as
reducing the risk of surgical complications.
- Improved Fitness
Prehab helps to build a healthy foundation of physical strength and fitness to reduce the risk
- Empowerment and Confidence
You can feel more in control of your fitness and health, taking the proactive steps to ensure
you are putting your best foot forward, doing your best to prevent injury and illness and
promote general health and well-being
- Saving the NHS and health costs
The NHS refers to prehabilitation as ‘upstream thinking’. Proactively adopting methods to
prevent illness and injury may ultimately lead to saving costs and more effective allocation
of healthcare resources.
Who can benefit from Prehab?
There are three groups of people who should be undertaking a Prehab programme:
Those who have been injured before
Those who have sustained a previous injury, have returned to their activity but want to minimise
their chances of having another injury.
The sporty people
Those people who undertake regular sports and activity that makes them vulnerable to injuries
associated with overuse and misuse of their body. This includes people training for endurance
activities or people who play 1 sport more than 2 – 3 times a week as a hobby while undertaking a
desk-based job the rest of the week. The people we commonly see are training for playing rugby,
football, tennis and running.
Those waiting for surgery
Those who are considering surgery and want to give themselves the best chance of a successful
outcome. Anyone considering a hip or knee replacement, anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) surgery, a hip or knee arthroscopy or shoulder surgery for a cuff repair should undertake a Prehab programme to maximise their muscle strength and control. The stronger muscles are prior to surgery, the quicker the recovery afterwards, and, in some cases, the effect of the programme eliminates the need for the surgery!
At Tops:health we are happy to support you in your rehab journey. Here are the steps in the process
of designing and implementing your Prehab programme:
- We want to identify your specific sport, activity and goals. This is to ensure we can understand the injury risks, the requirements from your body and
what is key to performing at your best.
- We will want to carry out an individual assessment of your training programme and assess
your functional abilities. Flexibility, balance, movement control, strength and endurance. As
well as discuss your general health touching on areas such as sleep, nutrition and general
well-being. This is to highlights area of vulnerability in your body and allows us to construct a
programme to address these areas.
- Programme implementation. We will take you through each step of your programme, explaining the rationale for every exercise so you understand why it is important, where you should feel your body working
and how to do the exercise correctly. Good technique is essential which is why we spend
time teaching the exercises and reviewing the programme. We want you to feel 100%
involved and included in the program implementation to make you feel you are getting the
most out of it and ultimately improving the effectiveness of its results.
- Programme review. Prehab is a dynamic and ongoing process. To ensure your level of performance improves and
your programme adjusts to changing demands, all Prehab programmes will be reviewed on a
regular basic and we will always be happy to here and incorporate your thoughts
Prehabilitation is a valuable approach to take control of your health and well-being, whether you’re
preparing for surgery or simply aiming for a healthier future. By investing in your physical and
mental fitness, you empower yourself to face health-related challenges with greater confidence and
resilience. It’s never too early or too late to start your prehabilitation journey and reap the rewards