Preparing for Surgery
No matter who you are, minor and major surgeries can be daunting. We worry about the pain involved, how long the recovery will take, potential weight gain due to inactivity and whether physical life will ever resume as normal. The great part about the era we live in, however, is that many doctors are quite forward thinking and believe that training the rest of the body as well as keeping the injured area as strong as possible, promotes the successful all around healing of the person.
There are benefits to maintaining as much strength and mobility as possible prior to a surgery. On a physical level, the muscle surrounding an affected area will have less atrophy. We define atrophy as “the wasting away, typically due to the degeneration of cells of body tissue (muscle) or a gradual decline in effectiveness due to underuse or neglect.” Generally, the longer an affected area goes without use, the longer it will take for that area to recover its full capacity. By training the body in accordance with doctor’s guidelines we can maintain functionality in an injured area that will enable it to recover optimally post-surgery.
Pre-surgery training also prepares and strengthens the rest of the body that will work harder than normal as the affected area recovers. For example, after a hip-replacement, the “good” leg will be taking the bulk of a person’s body weight until the muscles, tendons, ligaments and bone recover around the new hip. This can result in challenges to basic, everyday tasks, like getting dressed, using the toilet or moving about the house.
One of the hidden benefits of pre-surgery training is the boost it gives to mental health. When a person feels prepared for what is to come and confident in their recovery, they head into surgery in a more relaxed state. When the body is more relaxed, stress hormones like cortisol and adrenaline that cause inflammation and irritation are less abundant, therefore promoting quicker healing. Furthermore, post-surgery, when the rest of a person’s body is strong enough to manage a little self-reliance it boosts mental well-being and puts less stress into the relationships with our caregivers.
If you are facing an upcoming surgery, perhaps a rotator cuff repair or a knee arthroscopy, the staff at New You are here to help you feel confident headed into your operation and position you for optimal recovery and maintain your ideal body composition throughout the entire process.