Your Re­hab May De­pend on Your Pre­hab

Moose Jaw - - News - By Dr. Steven Hei­dinger, Moose Jaw Chi­ro­prac­tor

Ex­pect the un­ex­pected.

Hope for the best but pre­pare for the worst. By fail­ing to pre­pare, you are pre­par­ing to fail.

Bet­ter to be proac­tive than re­ac­tive.

For those who have had any sort of surgery, even ones that are con­sid­ered to be mild, you know the dif­fi­cul­ties as­so­ci­ated with re­cov­ery. Most fac­ing up­com­ing surg­eries seem to be con­sumed with the un­knowns with re­gards to what hap­pens af­ter their pro­ce­dure. What kind of pain am I go­ing to ex­pe­ri­ence? When can I get back to ac­tiv­i­ties of daily liv­ing? When can I go back to work. Of course, there are so many fac­tors de­ter­min­ing the an­swers to th­ese and a slew of other ques­tions. While a per­son’s re­hab can play a large role in get­ting life back to nor­mal, what is of­ten dis­missed or not em­pha­sized enough is the state of your health prior to surgery. As re­hab refers to the re­cov­ery process af­ter­wards, the prepa­ra­tion for surgery is of­ten called “PRE-hab”. Re­search shows that even with­out sur­gi­cal com­pli­ca­tions, there can be up to a 40 per­cent re­duc­tion in phys­i­cal func­tion fol­low­ing ma­jor surgery. As the body deals with the trauma of the surgery, there is a cer­tain amount of catabolism (the break­ing down of the body’s tis­sues, cells and mol­e­cules) along with the as­so­ci­ated heal­ing. Both of th­ese pro­cesses re­quire a cer­tain de­gree of oxy­gen. Oxy­gen is im­por­tant for heal­ing. The more oxy­gen cir­cu­lat­ing through­out the blood, the bet­ter the heal­ing. Guess what? The more ex­er­cise one does, the more oxy­gen there will likely be to sup­port the heal­ing process. This is why pre­hab may be just as im­por­tant, if not more im­por­tant, than the re­hab. Ide­ally, we should all be in tip-top shape at all times; how­ever, this is not al­ways the case. Not ev­ery­one ex­er­cises and con­tin­u­ously re­mains in great shape. For those not used to ex­er­cis­ing and who have up­com­ing surgery, plan­ning months in ad­vance will pay off af­ter surgery when you need as much en­ergy and strength as pos­si­ble.

Other than the ben­e­fits of im­proved heal­ing, pre­hab also makes your stronger. Many or­tho­pe­dic surg­eries deal with ex­trem­i­ties like shoul­ders, hips and knees. Im­prov­ing up­per body and core strength will help you ma­neu­ver in bed, on and off a com­mode or bet­ter man­age a walker. Hav­ing stronger legs will get you mo­bile quicker fol­low­ing surgery which may re­duce the chance of blood clots form­ing. Ex­er­cise also has many ben­e­fits men­tally, as well. Pre­hab may help re­duce anx­i­ety prior to surgery and may also lessen the chance of post-op­er­a­tive de­pres­sion. Th­ese days, most sur­geons will of­fer presur­gi­cal prepa­ra­tion ad­vice (The bet­ter you do post-sur­gi­cally, the bet­ter the sur­geon looks!). If you are mo­ti­vated to do more than what is of­fered and sug­gested, it may be in your best in­ter­ests to seek the ad­vice of a phys­i­cal ther­a­pist, months be­fore any sur­gi­cal pro­ce­dure.

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