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  • Writer's pictureHannah Foster-Middleton

Pre-hab & Re-hab

In the world of Physiotherapy, we tend to view surgery as the last resort but accept that sometimes it is necessary and life-saving. Surgery can be painful and traumatic for the body and different procedures and the patient’s reaction and ability to heal, vary immensely. Having said that, we also believe that there are options available both pre and post-surgery to obtain the best possible result for the patient. It is far better to be prepared with a strong mental and physical attitude before undergoing surgery of any kind. With a stronger body you are insuring yourself against complications or, should they occur, effective rehabilitation will equip you to deal with them.


“Pre-hab” is short for Pre-habilitation and is intended to prepare your body for surgery with the aid of a Physiotherapist. Pre-hab can help you the patient, to prepare yourself mentally as it decreases some of the normal anxious anticipation before undergoing surgery and strengthens the body. It can decrease inflammation and discomfort and makes for a quicker and easier recovery as well as potentially making the surgeon’s job easier. Pre-hab will ensure the best possible result and the least amount of trauma to your body.


Post-surgery Rehab or “Re-habilitation”, helps with getting you literally on your feet and

is essential for resuming a normal and pain-free lifestyle as quickly as possible. Even when surgery is successful it is normal to feel discomfort or pain as the body heals itself. Understanding this and the limits you should observe while healing is important and whilst we encourage you to be mobile it is also necessary to observe some restrictions until your body is ready. Movement is essential to the human body being able to remain functional in normal times but especially important after surgery. It is also important that it is the right kind of movement and a Physiotherapist can ensure that you are doing the correct movements for your condition and not those which may aggravate or damage you.


With the best will in the world and a good surgical result, sometimes our bodies react to the trauma of surgery by forming adhesions and inflammation. An adhesion is a band of scar tissue that binds two parts of your tissue that are not normally joined together. Adhesions may look like thin sheets of tissue similar to plastic wrap or as thick fibrous bands and cause pain or discomfort. The adhesion develops when the body's repair mechanisms respond to a tissue disturbance, such as surgery, infection, trauma, or radiation, resulting in inflammation. Although adhesions can occur anywhere, the most common locations are within the abdominal cavity, the pelvis, and the heart. But this condition can be greatly reduced with the help of Physiotherapy and Rehabilitation is an essential and effective tool to combat this fairly common post-surgery occurrence.


While Pre-habilitation may not be as familiar a word or therapy as Re-habilitation, we encourage you to make use of it, as it can make a significant difference to your recovery and to resume your everyday activities as quickly as possible.

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