Andy Howse

Having surgery in the future?

Thought about strengthening up beforehand?

At Bristol Physio we believe there is huge scope to increase general fitness prior to any surgery that will then increase your ability to increase stamina and speed up recovery after you get out of hospital.

It has been found that patients about to have bowel operations are more likely to have a speeder recovery if they are able to perform some prehab prior to surgery.

In the musculoskeletal world (joints and muscles), we would always encourage patients to perform a course of prehab prior to any elective surgery. Operations to replace knees and hips, surgery for shoulder injuries and back surgery would all benefit from specialist strengthening prior to ‘going under the knife’.

The principles of prehabilitation are to strengthen and improve the current ability of the patient within the confines of the limbs or body part that requires the surgery in order to gain general fitness or muscle mass. MacMillan Cancer Support also highlight a trend in some hospitals that perform versions of prehab known as Enhanced Recovery Programmes, just to speed up getting back to normal life after surgery.

Benefits can include quicker tissue healing rates, fast return to normal walking or daily activities, reduced blood pressure and improved health overall. If you happen to need crutches after the operation, some upper body strengthening will greatly improve your speed in getting around and reduce the ache on the limbs supporting the body.

Feel free to discuss with any of our therapists at Bristol Physio if you are keen for more information or a prehabilitation programme to help you prior to your surgery.  If coming into see us if tricky, have a look on our Exercise page to see our YouTube Channel for exercise ideas.