What exactly is prehabilitation? You can think of it as training for a marathon. As you build your strength and stamina for the grueling race, patients should work to improve their physical strength, increase their mobility, and prepare mentally for the ‘race’ ahead, i.e. the operation. The goal of surgery prehabilitation or preoperative physiotherapy management at our Singapore rehabilitation center is to help to improve postoperative outcomes by better equipping your body and mind for the surgery ahead.
The importance of physiotherapy prehabilitation isn’t yet as widely practiced in Singapore, so people may be unfamiliar with the benefits of physiotherapy beyond after-surgical care. However, it can be an integral part of your preoperative assessment checklist to help you rehab smarter and reduce the recovery period following a surgical procedure.
Prehabilitation has garnered recent attention as research describe the clinical benefits to improve outcomes of total knee replacement, Achilles tendon rupture reconstruction, or total hip replacement surgery patients.
Starting physiotherapy early to better withstand the stress of surgery may be invaluable in reducing complications and will enhance a patient’s condition post-surgery. It’s important to educate yourself about the role that prehabilitation can play to help you better prepare for and facilitate your postoperative return to preoperative conditions.
How Can Prehabilitation Physiotherapy Help My Long-Term Recovery
The body takes a major toll after a devastating orthopaedic injury, which can leave a person weakened physically and drained emotionally. A prehabilitation program is introduced prior to an elective procedure to help patients strengthen their functional capacity – physical, mental and nutritional – before surgery.
Working with a physiotherapist for a preoperative assessment prior to elective surgery not only strengthens your body, but also prepares you for what to expect after surgery, reduces your anxiety about the unknown outcomes, and helps to improve post-surgical complications. Physio treatment before surgery can help to:
- Reduce inflammation and pain
- Build range of motion and normalize movement patterns
- Improve the injured joint’s muscular control
- Increase core strength and overall wellness
Many people’s lives after elective surgery may be largely sedentary causing muscle atrophy – the loss of muscle strength and mass. This is compounded with other physiological consequences associated with convalescence, such as an increase in the body’s inflammatory response exacerbating the already painful condition. It may take weeks or months following an intensive surgery for your body to recover. A prehab program enables patients to take a proactive approach to their recovery by building muscle strength, improving joint flexibility and increasing range of motion to help you get a head start with your rehabilitation.
Rehabilitation programs are complex interventions that may include specific modalities that are personalized specifically to treat the condition and reduce acute or chronic pain. At HelloPhysio, our pain management center promotes faster healing and recovery after a surgical procedure by incorporating evidence-based technology – e.g. INDIBA Radiofrequency, Shockwave Therapy and/or LightSpeed Lift – into a treatment plan.
Is Prehabilitation Covered by Insurance Providers?
Prehabilitation or preoperative treatments from HelloPhysio, a Singapore pain specialist clinic, may be eligible for claims through your health insurance provider. Different insurance providers have different processes for coverage. Some providers require a specialist’s referral for physiotherapy coverage. Others companies allow patients direct access to physiotherapy without a referral. You may also be able to use company medical or cash benefits, so check with your human resources department about your coverage. If you have any questions, do feel free to contact our clinic in Singapore to discuss your physio treatment options.
Take an Active Role in Your Own Recovery
Prehabilitation may be one of the most crucial choices you make before having invasive surgery to mitigate the risk of postoperative complications. Patient empowerment through education is one of HelloPhysio’s guiding philosophies at our Singapore rehabilitation center for pain. By educating yourself and preparing your body for the surgery ahead, you take an active role in your own recovery from the onset. This can help you regain a sense of control during a time when you may feel events are out of their control.
The success of your surgery can be determined not only by the surgery itself, but also by your pre-and post-operative rehabilitation plans. Speak with your orthopaedic surgeon about whether prehabilitation is right for you. Contact HelloPhysio today to find out more about how we can help you better prepare for your surgery.
“Prehabilitation: Benefits of Preoperative Physiotherapy” is part one in a two-part article series this month about the benefits of physiotherapy in surgical rehabilitation. Read Part 2: Benefits of Post-Surgical Rehabilitation.