What’s the Difference Between Rehab and Prehab?

Workcover Physiotherapy

You may have heard the terms prehab and rehab used in the context of injury recovery and prevention, but do you actually know the difference between the two? In this blog, we’ll explore these two terms, dive into their differences, and explain when it is best to use them in your recovery.


To put it simply, prehab, or prehabilitation, is when you begin the rehabilitation process prior to an injury in order to prevent any injury from occurring. Or, it can also be used prior to surgeries to optimise surgical outcomes.

Prehab covers a number of elements including strength training, stretching, and sport-specific drills in order to prepare your body for the demand of your sport. A prehab program should be individually tailored, as every individual is different, as is the demand of every sport.


Rehab is the term used after an injury occurs, or as a postoperative recovery step. The overall aim of rehab is to allow an athlete to return to their sport with full function in the shortest time possible.

Rehab can aim to improve motion, balance and strength.

  • Improving Motion – This entails getting your range of motion back in the affected joint/area as quickly and comfortably as possible.
  • Improving Balance – Balance exercises are often used as a part of rehab to try to prevent re-injury.
  • Improving Strength – Gaining your strength back is an important part of rehab. This may begin with a focus on a specific muscle or muscle group, but can then progress into more complex movement patterns.

Both rehab and prehab programs should be designed with the assistance of a professional, such as a physiotherapist, in order to achieve the best possible results. Book Now with our experienced team of physiotherapists today if you would like help with a rehab or prehab program.

Read more….

To learn more about why it’s important to do preventative rehab, read our blog HERE
To learn more about returning to exercise after injury, read our blog HERE
To learn more about how physio can help with bursitis, read our blog HERE

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