Wednesday, January 26, 2011
Prehabilitation - Exercise in the lead up to surgery
It is never too late to start exercising.
I spend a lot of time educating people about the benefits of exercise. Increased strength and function, decreased pain and the potential slowing of the disease process are all good reasons to do a knee exercise program.
Physical therapists have long noted that those with good quadriceps muscles on average recover quicker following knee replacement surgery. Those who have decided to go ahead with a joint replacement should not cease normal activities or feel they have nothing to gain from the lead up to their surgery.
A recent study in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research looked at the effects of 'Prehabilitation' - an exercise program done in the period before surgery.
Although the exercises were only done for between 4 and 8 weeks prior to surgery, the exercise group outperformed the control group in both leg strength and ability to perform functional tasks.
It really is never too late to start and anyone on a waiting list for surgery or who feels that the time for them to consider it is close should be looking to exercise.
Exercise has consistently shown to offer benefits from diagnosis through to post-operative rehabilitation.
It does take will power and persistence but offers good results. Despite this, thousands of people ignore exercise and spend a fortune on unproven remedies.
Sometimes you need to do the work to get ahead. If you have been unable to get started with an exercise program due to pain in your knee, seek the help of a physical therapist and see what you can achieve.
For more on the 'Prehabilitation' article, click here.