“We”, in the physiotherapy field speak often about pre-habilitation. However we still see people after the procedures they have had, not necessarily while they wait for them.
With people waiting longer to see specialists it is not as commonly known as it should be that Physiotherapists are “direct access”. This means you can be assessed and treated by a Physio without a Doctor’s referral. It means that it is within a physiotherapists scope of practice to diagnose musculoskeletal issues (think knee sprains, ankle sprains, muscle pulls, tennis elbow etc).
It also means that even though you were not referred to a Physiotherapist by your orthopaedic surgeon or obstetrician, that it will not be helpful to prepare you for your recovery.
You are waiting for a knee replacement surgery. It is scheduled in 6(+) months time. Your knee has been sore, you are walking “funny”, you aren’t moving as much because your knee hurts. You stop doing activities of enjoyment…the muscles around your knee are getting more weak. They are atrophying. Your knee joint is getting more stiff. Your heart, lungs, brain, bones and body systems are declining because you haven’t been moving or exercising.
You see where this is going….
Then, you have the knee replacement surgery, or the hip replacement surgery, or even an ACL reconstruction, and the recovery seems HARD. It’s hard to get up and down from the couch and bed. It’s hard to move around it bed. You’re VERY tired from the exercises.
Recovery and rehabilitation from these major surgeries can be challenging at the best of times.
What if they can go more smoothly?
A Physiotherapist can help prepare you for these surgeries within your capabilities. It doesn’t have to be all or none. Your knee, or hip, or shoulder etc are part of a larger body system that doesn’t stop while you’re waiting to be seen by the Ontario medical system.
Choose Your Own Adventure:
Seeing a Physio for pre-hab doesn’t necessarily mean you will be seeing them multiple times a week leading up to your surgery or procedure. What it means it there will be an assessment and a discussion of goals.
If you are safe and independent you and your physio may choose to set up a home program that gets revisited, modified and made more challenging as needed every few weeks.
If you appreciate the help a physio can provide and know that you will not do a home program by yourself you may choose to attend an active physiotherapy program more frequently (think 1, 2 or 3 times a week).
As your surgery gets closer your physio may suggest some modifications you can make in your home during the early stages of recovery.
Remember, you do not have to decline while you are waiting for surgeries. Physiotherapists are educated and trained to help prepare you for these surgeries and to help with your recovery afterwards.
Why just “get by” when you can thrive!?
Our Physiotherapists and Massage Therapists are available to help you with your pre-habilitation and rehabilitation. We are able to treat people virtually all over Ontario and in person in our North Oakville clinic.
Contact us to book in with one of our awesome Physios or if you have any questions in how we can help you!