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Knoxville, TN 37920
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What is Prehabilitation and is it right for YOU?

May 10, 2017

What is prehabPrehabilitation is defined as physical and/or lifestyle preparation designed to improve recovery time following surgery.

The goal of prehabilitation is to ultimately increase functional capacity by ramping up physical activity prior to a procedure. By doing this, the body becomes pre-conditioned to endure the stress of inactivity during the initial recovery process. It’s easiest to think of it almost as a jumpstart for the post-procedure healing process.

While rehabilitation is crucial, adopting a Prehabilitation program can be the difference in post-surgery pain level and recovery time.

In fact, in a study of 60 patients undergoing spine surgery, the group given an integrated Prehabilitation program with early rehabilitation improved their outcome and shortened their hospital stay. In some cases, prehab can even decrease the amount of rehab following a procedure. According to Arthritis Today, pre-surgery exercises for a knee procedure can speed recovery time and reduce the need for post-surgery inpatient rehab by up to 73 percent.

Orthopedic patients can particularly benefit from Prehabilitation, as it is a very effective way to strengthen the ligaments, muscles and soft tissues surrounding common sites of orthopedic procedures.

According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH),

“By improving an individual’s functional capacity through increased physical activity before an anticipated orthopedic procedure, it seems reasonable to assume that the individual will maintain a higher level of functional ability and rebound more rapidly in the rehabilitation process. Prehabilitation is the process of enhancing functional capacity of the individual to enable him or her to withstand the stressor of inactivity associated with an orthopedic procedure. A generic Prehabilitation program incorporates the components of warm-up, a cardiovascular component, resistance training, flexibility training, and practicing functional tasks.” 

Here is a breakdown of those components:

  • Warmup
  • Cardiovascular
  • Resistance training
  • Flexibility training
  • Functional tasks


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If you feel you would benefit from a Prehabilitation program prior to your upcoming surgery call to set up an appointment with one of our Doctors of Physical Therapy at 865-573-6458 and they will help you get the correct prehabilitation program for your needs! You do not need an MD order for prehabilitation in the State of TN unless you have Medicare Health Insurance.  Our goal is to improve your recovery time and your overall quality of life!

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