Prehabilitation, or prehab, a form of strength training, aims to prevent injuries before the actual occurrence. Since rotator cuff and elbow injuries, among other things, are common among athletes in a wide range of sports, training the muscles surrounding these vulnerable joints can prevent injuries sustained from repeated wear and exertion.
Prehab can be applied to people awaiting orthopaedic surgery. The intention is that the fitter they are when they have surgery the quicker they will recover from surgery. Massage and strengthening exercises are tailored to the patient so that even those with end-stage arthritis (bone on bone) can safely do some form of exercise and improve their outcome. Research evidence is still poor, but suggests that it improves quadriceps strength before knee surgery and hence the support of the knee joint post-surgery.
In 2013, a pilot study of prehabilitation in colorectal surgery found that it improved postoperative functional recovery, measured in terms of the walking capacity at 4 weeks and 8 weeks (although the time in hospital and post-operative complications were similar), is also being considered for use in some cardiovascular interventions, and may also be of some benefit for preventing lung complications, such as pulmonary atelactasis, in general surgery.
- Saleh KJ, Lee LW, Gandhi R, et al. (2010). "Quadriceps strength in relation to total knee arthroplasty outcomes". Instructional Course Lectures. 59: 119–30. PMID 20415375.
- Li C, Carli F, Lee L, et al. (April 2013). "Impact of a trimodal prehabilitation program on functional recovery after colorectal cancer surgery: a pilot study". Surgical Endoscopy. 27 (4): 1072–82. doi:10.1007/s00464-012-2560-5. PMID 23052535.
- Alkarmi A, Thijssen DH, Albouaini K, et al. (June 2010). "Arterial prehabilitation: can exercise induce changes in artery size and function that decrease complications of catheterization?". Sports Medicine. 40 (6): 481–92. doi:10.2165/11531950-000000000-00000. PMID 20524713.
- Jack S, West M, Grocott MP (September 2011). "Perioperative exercise training in elderly subjects". Best Practice & Research. Clinical Anaesthesiology. 25 (3): 461–72. doi:10.1016/j.bpa.2011.07.003. PMID 21925410.
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