Prehab Exercises to Perform at Home
Preparing for surgery is critical for successful outcomes after your operation. The Ivy Rehab Network offers a comprehensive prehab training plan that helps individuals recover faster after surgery, improve outcomes, and reduce post-op concerns.
Prehab Exercises to Perform at Home
The Ivy Prehab Strength & Conditioning Plan is an investment in your post operative recovery, allowing you to receive concierge care, from your surgeon to the physical therapist. You’ll receive a detailed and structured prehab program comprised of daily exercises to prepare you for surgery and help you achieve your goals. We have a few different prehab exercises for common injuries or surgeries, that you can add to your routine and perform while stuck at home!
Why Physical Therapy Before Surgery?
Prehabilitation can be just as important as rehabilitation itself. It’s been proven to help:
- minimize the pain of recovery
- streamline the post operative plan of scheduling
- improve functional mobility & strength
- get a head start on post operative exercises prior to surgery
- patients become familiar with their post operative physical therapist
More than ever, surgeries are getting pushed back due to the coronavirus. This gives us more time to prepare for the surgery and build up strength at home, helping to prevent further injuries. Whether you’re any sort of athlete, such as a runner, basketball player, football player, dancer, or even just someone who’s on your feet all day, it’s important to do everything possible to prevent injuries from escalating.
What are mobility exercises?
Mobility exercises are any sort of movement that can help to improve your flexibility and function. These include stretching and balance exercises. They can potentially help to strengthen muscles needed for joint support, as well as possibly help to improve blood circulation.
Pro tip: one of the best pieces of equipment for stretching is a foam roller. You can check out our article Benefits of Foam Rolling to learn more about why foam rollers are helpful during prehab.
Prehab Joint Exercises for Knee Pain:
There are a variety of mobility exercises and flexibility exercises for you to perform, which can help with injury prevention. We recommend speaking with your physician or a physical therapist before performing these. Therapists can help make sure you’re doing them with proper form and select the exercises that are best for your unique needs.
- Squats: For this movement, hold onto something if you need help with balance. While keeping your feet parallel and about hip-length apart, bend your knees and lower your torso. Try to keep your back straight and squeeze your glutes when you get back to the starting position.
- Heel Slides: With heel slides, start by lying on your back. Slowly and with control, straighten your legs out fully. Then with one leg, bend your knee by slowly sliding your heel towards the buttocks. Alternate sides.
- Quad Sets: Sit or lie down, with your legs straight out in front of you. Then, tighten your quadriceps. Think of the back of the knee as pressing down to the floor. Tighten that muscle on top of your thigh and hold for 5-10 seconds
- Short Arc Quads: Prop your leg up, with either a foam roller or towel placed under your knee. Slowly straighten the knee you intend to have surgery on by lifting your foot up. Still continue to keep your thigh/knee on the rolled towel. Lift, tighten, then bring back.
- Clamshells: Lie on your side, with your heels together, and the surgical knee pointing towards the ceiling. Keeping the heels together, open and close your legs like a clamshell. Complete 5-15 repetitions, for up to 3 sets.
We’re available to help through Telehealth!
Not able to make it to a clinic or prefer virtual visits? Telehealth options are available at all Ivy Rehab Network clinics! Feel free to book your telehealth appointment by clicking here.
Article by: Holly Lookabaugh-Deur, PT, DSc, GCS, CEEAA
Holly is a practicing physical therapist, partner and Director of Clinical Services at Ivy Rehab Network with more than 40 years of experience in sports management with young athletes, and is board certified as a geriatric clinical specialist and certified exercise expert for aging adults. Deuer is certified as an aquatic and oncology rehabilitation specialist and serves as adjunct faculty at Central Michigan University and Grand Valley State University.