Reducing Anxiety and Stress Before Surgery: How Prehab Can Help

Are you scheduled for surgery and feeling overwhelmed with anxiety and stress? Did you know that there’s something you can do before your surgery to help reduce those feelings?

Surgery can be a stressful event, not just physically but also mentally. Many patients experience anxiety and fear before surgery, affecting their overall well-being and recovery. While feeling nervous before a surgical procedure is normal, there are ways to help manage those emotions.

Prehabilitation, also known as pre-surgical rehabilitation, is a program that prepares patients for surgery through exercise, nutrition, and mental health support. By participating in prehab, patients can reduce their anxiety and stress levels, and improve their physical and mental health before going under the knife. In this article, we’ll explore how prehabilitation can help reduce anxiety and stress before surgery.

Prehabilitation Increases Strength

Exercise is an important component of prehab, as it helps to improve strength, flexibility, balance, and overall fitness. Exercises such as stretching and strengthening the muscles can help to prepare the body for the physical demands of surgery and can reduce postoperative pain. Additionally, exercise has been shown to reduce stress levels by releasing endorphins, which are hormones that make us feel happier.

Prehab Promotes Good Health

Prehabilitation also focuses on nutrition and hydration, which are essential for good health before and after surgery. Eating a well-balanced diet, including plenty of fruits and vegetables, can help optimize the body’s healing process and reduce stress levels. Drinking plenty of water is also important to keep the body hydrated and to help flush out toxins and waste products.

Prehabilitation Fosters Mental Well-Being

In order to reduce preoperative anxiety and stress, it’s important to focus on mental health as well. Prehab programs can provide patients with access to counseling services and relaxation techniques for managing feelings of worry and fear before surgery. In addition, patients may be given breathing exercises and guided imagery to help them focus on positive thoughts rather than their worries.

Minimize Post-Surgical Pain

By participating in prehabilitation before surgery, patients can reduce their anxiety and stress levels and minimize their postoperative pain. Exercises such as stretching and strengthening the muscles can help to reduce pain after surgery and improve recovery time. Additionally, eating a healthy diet and staying well hydrated can provide the body with the nutrients needed for healing.

Prehabilitation Reduces Risk of Complications

Prehabilitation has been shown to reduce the risk of complications associated with surgery. By increasing strength and improving overall health before surgery, patients can reduce their risk of postoperative infection and delayed healing. Additionally, prehab programs can provide guidance on how to best prepare for the physical and mental demands of surgery, which can help decrease the chance of complications.

Reduce Recovery Time

Prehabilitation can also help to reduce recovery time after surgery. Exercising before the procedure increases strength and stamina, which can make it easier for patients to recover afterward. Eating a healthy diet and staying hydrated help ensure that the body has all of the necessary nutrients to heal quickly and efficiently. Additionally, participating in guided imagery or relaxation techniques can help to reduce postoperative pain and discomfort, speeding up the recovery process.

How Do I Find a Physical Therapist?

Finding a qualified physical therapist to provide prehabilitation services is the first step in preparing for surgery. It’s important to find an experienced and knowledgeable therapist who can assess your individual needs and create a customized plan of action. You can look for physical therapists online or ask your doctor or surgeon for recommendations. Once you have found a few potential therapists, it’s important to ask questions and make sure they are the right fit for you.

When Should You Start Prehabilitation?

Ideally, prehab should start several weeks before the surgery, as this will give patients enough time to build strength and prepare their bodies for the procedure. During this time, patients may be asked to participate in physical therapy or other exercises to improve their muscle strength and flexibility. Additionally, they may be encouraged to make dietary changes and practice relaxation techniques to reduce anxiety and stress before surgery.

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