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An ounce of prehab is worth a pound of rehab

Healthy lifestyle choices can help prevent injuries and preserve mobility.


Prehab falls into two main categories: general and sport specific.
Prehab falls into two main categories: general and sport specific.
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Nobody wants to grow old. But no matter what your age, losing your mobility, even temporarily, due to an orthopedic injury can make you feel old fast. 

If you’re young and active, you feel kind of indestructible until an injury happens. That’s dangerous. 

And if you are old, you’re probably scared of losing your mobility and independence. Nobody gets up in the morning thinking: I feel like getting a nice orthopedic injury today. What can I do to help that along? But we have them anyway, even if we’re disease free. 

We overuse our bodies or use them wrong. We break hips and legs. We get strains and sprains. We get hurt at work, at home or playing sports.

Whether you’re a young person having fun, or an older one trying to stay active to avoid decrepitude, you can benefit from prehab. Once you’re injured, there’s excellent treatment, including high-tech orthopedic surgery and rehab available.

Talking with Dr. Edward J. Stolarski, a prominent orthopedic joint replacement surgeon from Kennedy White Orthopedic Center in Sarasota he said: “(Having) performed over 20,000 total joint replacements you would think my focus is on surgery, but really it’s not. My focus is on quality of life. So the focus should really be on the prehab and the exercise which is going to No. 1, perhaps prepare you for surgery and maybe more importantly prevent you to have surgery. If we get you in better shape, stronger physically and mentally, yes, you might not need surgery or you may be able to delay it. … An ounce of prehab is worth a pound of rehab.”

There is a lot you can do to prevent orthopedic injuries in the first place. If you want to stay active and mobile, consider prehab today to avoid rehab tomorrow.

There are two types of prehab: general and sport specific.


General prehab 

Every day, we run for the bus or the phone, load groceries in the car, pick up children or pets and a million other things we take for granted. These all carry a risk for injury, and I’ll bet we can all remember being injured doing them. 

Luckily for most of us, the injuries were limited to a little pull or sprain. But people do fall and break bones, dislocate limbs, have heart attacks and worse because they’re not fit enough for that activity at that moment. 

Being inactive and overweight adds to the mix. A simple fitness and weight management program may be all you need to help prevent orthopedic injuries during everyday activities.

General prehab for daily living as part of a personal wellness program looks at the body as a whole and develops it as a whole to maximize quality of life. This often includes strength training, cardio conditioning, and core training, as well as some proprioceptive exercises. 

No use doing all that prehab training if you’re going to go out and eat junk either. Prehab is a lifestyle for longevity training and it needs to include a medium-calorie diet of real food, and managing stress and sleep. Yeah, it’s that old healthy lifestyle again, and it works if you give it a chance.


Sport-specific prehab

Just playing your sport is not enough. Doing it even a little wrong can result in a permanent injury or worse.

Sport-specific prehab is designed to get you ready for the rigors of a particular sport or physical endeavor. 

Good activity-specific exercises pay special attention to the body parts most involved in that activity or sport with regard to use and form without ignoring the concept of training the body as a whole. Sport-specific training is available at many gyms and community centers. 

 

author

Mirabai Holland

Mirabai Holland is CEO of NuVue LLC, a health education and video production company. She is a certified health coach, exercise physiologist and wellness consultant for Manatee County government employees and has a private practice. Her wellness programs are implemented in hospitals, fitness facilities, resorts and corporations worldwide. She is also an artist who believes creativity enhances health. Contact her at [email protected].

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