Building strength before surgery may ease recovery

Prehabilitation aims to increase your strength and health before, not after, a medical procedure.

Published: June, 2020

Rehabilitation can help get you up on your feet again after surgery or a physical setback. But some surgeons are increasingly turning to an innovative approach called prehabilitation in hopes of easing that recovery in the first place.

Prehabilitation, commonly called prehab, is an individualized medical program designed to help people — often those who are older or frail — better withstand and bounce back from an anticipated physically stressful event, such as surgery, says Dr. Julie K. Silver, an associate professor and associate chair of the Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation at Harvard Medical School.

To continue reading this article, you must log in.
  • Research health conditions
  • Check your symptoms
  • Prepare for a doctor's visit or test
  • Find the best treatments and procedures for you
  • Explore options for better nutrition and exercise
Learn more about the many benefits and features of joining Harvard Health Online »