When most athletes think of the work that physical therapy clinics do, they often think of postoperative physical therapy, or rehab—that is, as the name implies, a therapy that helps the body to heal after an operation or injury. However, while postoperative physical therapy works scientific wonders on ailing muscles and joints, taking care of your body only after it’s hurt is no way to maintain your long-term health!
Hence the rise in popularity of preoperative physical therapy (pre-op physical therapy or prehab for short): physical therapy that happens before an injury or accident occurs. Minneapolis Health and Wellness, a Northeast DMR Clinic, explains the ins and outs of this newer form of physical therapy below.
Before your operation, your body will probably be moving in such a way to compensate for the injured soft tissue or joint. Consciously or subconsciously, you’ll most likely be asking different muscle groups to work harder so that your ailing appendage isn’t met with pain or inflammation-inducing movement. Depending on how long you’ve been waiting for your operation, your body could have become quite used to moving this way.
When you have your operation, your body’s biomechanics (way of moving) are thrown entirely out of whack. Suddenly, your injured area might be able to take more or less weight, there’s more or less inflammation in that part of the body, and your soft tissues, such as tendons and ligaments, around the area could have become damaged as a result of the operation itself. When you add all of these factors together, an unprepared body plus a drastic operation can mean a slow healing process and, possibly, a great deal of unnecessary pain.
Prehab, however, acts to prepare your joints and soft tissues for the new way your body will need to move after its operation. The procedure works, in part, by strengthening the muscles around the operation site and promoting blood flow to the area. As a direct result of this, your body is better prepared to move in a new, healthier way post-operation. Your healing time can be reduced, and necessary postoperative physical therapy often will be far less painful.
Our talented physical therapy team works in tandem with chiropractic care and an allied group of medical professionals; our collaborative approach will get you back on your feet in no time. Contact our Northeast Minneapolis office today at 612-750-7168 to begin your healing journey.