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What is Rehabilitation?

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When most people hear they need “rehabilitation” it is common tendency to think “physical therapy” but in reality it is much more. Rehabilitation is a wide variety of medical, psychological and physiological services to help one restore good health, function, strength, mobility and cognitive ability and usefulness in society.

Rehabilitation services are typically ordered by a doctor to help a patient recover from an illness or injury. Nurses, physical, occupational, and speech therapists, social workers or case managers, and other health care professionals provide these services.

Rehabilitation is critical to the healing process and often serves as an extension of a greater health care plan. For patients well enough to be discharged from the hospital, but are not yet ready to return home, inpatient rehabilitative care offers a safe and supportive transition.

Your rehabilitation team is comprised of experts that work together to devise, implement and monitor therapy plans tailored to the specific needs of each patient. This multidisciplinary approach fosters active participation and helps ensure the highest level of physical, emotional and psychological support so patients can successfully advance through the rehab process.

Another important part of the team and rehabilitation process is having a strong support network. Most healthcare professionals agree this is crucial to maintaining results achieved through a formal rehabilitation program. As such, your family and caregivers will likely be invited to join the rehab team. The support and assistance they can provide during the rehab process and after discharge from the rehabilitation facility can help ensure long-term success.

Common Rehabilitation Therapies

  • Audiology assessments providing a comprehensive evaluation of hearing disorders. Clinical audiologists use state-of-the-art medical equipment to assess outer, middle and inner ear problems. Hearing aid selection and fitting services are provided with an emphasis on maximum improvement of communication skills.
  • Hand Therapy is a comprehensive rehabilitation program designed to restore and/or maximize hand function in patients who suffer from such conditions as arthritis, carpal tunnel syndrome, crush injuries, fractures and dislocations, sprains, tendon repairs, peripheral nerve injuries, reflex sympathetic dystrophy and more.
  • Cardiac Rehab helps patients who have suffered a cardiac episode or are dealing with a chronic cardiovascular condition to return to a productive, active and healthy lifestyle through education, exercise and conditioning.
  • Occupational Therapy improve a patient’s functional daily living skills including dressing, grooming and eating, as well as to improve motor, cognitive and social skills. Occupational therapists also specialize in increasing strength and movement of the hands and upper extremities. They help patients relearn functional tasks in different ways and instruct them in the use of adaptive equipment that may make daily tasks easier.
  • Orthopedic Rehab uses a team of physical therapists, occupational therapists and certified athletic trainers specializing in orthopedic and sports injuries. Treatments may include therapeutic exercise programs to improve strength, flexibility, balance and coordination, mobility and gait training, and modalities for pain reduction and improved function. Orthopedic and sports rehab works to restore patients to their highest quality of life as quickly and safely as possible.
  • Physical Therapy helps patients improve strength, flexibility and functional movement such as bed mobility, walking and balance. Physical therapists provide mobility evaluation and training, and also can instruct patients on the use of assistive devices, prosthetics and wheelchairs.
  • Recreation Therapy helps patients develop self-sufficiency and independent living skills through individual therapy, exercise, nature excursions, leisure education and participation in social programs and group outings. Families are encouraged to participate in all recreation therapy planned activities.
  • Speech Therapy, also referred to as speech/language pathology, uses special techniques to help patients improve their verbal and non-verbal communication skills, problem-solving abilities, concentration, memory and voice quality. Certified speech therapists/pathologists also can help improve patients’ ability to safely eat and drink.
  • Vestibular Rehabilitation addresses issues and challenges related to dizziness and poor balance. Though some diagnoses for dizziness and balance problems require medical and/or surgical treatment, many conditions may be improved with specialized physical therapy that uses exercise to reduce the severity of the condition while helping patients learn to adjust or compensate for the disorder.

In addition to healthcare therapies, rehabilitation can also include recreational therapy, pet therapy, and support groups, depending on the condition of the patient.

Before beginning a rehabilitation program it is important for patients and their caregivers to know what performance outcomes to expect and to establish realistic goals, according to a study published in Annals of Long-term Care. These questions might include:

  • How much of my prior abilities will I get back?
  • What steps do I need to take to make this happen?
  • How long will it take?
  • Where can I go to recover? Will my stay be covered under my existing benefits?
  • What resources and adaptations will it take to restore function?
  • What is the anticipated time frame for me to regain function?
  • Are my family and friends expected to provide assistance? If so, how much assistance will be required, and for how long?

It is important for patients to know change doesn’t happen overnight. Setting realistic goals helps patients—and their caregivers—to expect slow, steady progress and to better understand the steps, skills and support needed in reaching their goals.

The ARDS Foundation has offers a list of questions on their website patients or caregivers should ask in choosing a rehabilitation facility. http://www.ardsusa.org/inpatientrehab.htm


The Glossary of Managed Care & Health Terminology, accessed online at http://www.pohly.com/terms_r.html

National Center for Rehabilitation Research (NCMRR). Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health & Human Development website, part of the National Institutes of Health. Accessed at http://www.nichd.nih.gov/about/org/ncmrr/

National Institutes of Health Clinical Center website, accessed at http://clinicalcenter.nih.gov/rmd/

National Rehabilitation Hospital Field Guide. Choosing A High Quality Medical Rehabilitation Program. Available online at: http://www.naric.com/public/choosingquality.pdf

Patient and Caregiver Rehabilitation Questions. Eric M. Coleman MD, MPH, and Peter D. Fox, PhD on behalf of the HMO Care Management Workgroup, Published in the Annals of Long-term Care, Vol. 12, No. 10, Oct. 2004. Accessed online at: http://www.annalsoflongtermcare.com/article/3409?page=0,3

Add a Comment4 Comments

EmpowHER Guest

When many individuals hear they require "rehab" it is common possibility to believe "physical therapy" but in actuality it is even more. Rehabilitation is a broad assortment of health, mental and physiological services to help one restore health, feature, toughness, mobility and intellectual capability and usefulness in society.

Recovery services are usually purchased by a physician to assist a customer recuperate from a health problem or accident. Nurses, bodily, occupational, and speech psychotherapists, social employees or case managers, and other healthcare specialists offer these services.

September 27, 2012 - 6:43am

In the general sense, rehabilitation refers to the retrieval of a specific item or an issue that severely damaged. But medical, rehabilitation can also be used to initiate isolation of an individual case that the treatment of the public need for the possibility of spreading the condition to be encouraged to avoid mean. Rehabilitation is a course of treatment, often to infectious diseases as well as isolated cases that require attention. The main goal of rehabilitation is for patients to their original normal or healthy state of repair before they hit their state.

There are actually different types of rehabilitation. First, there is the so-called physical rehabilitation. It is often recommended for severe trauma patients, followed by a major surgery undergone. Rehabilitation is a means of eliminating factors that may cause more complications to the patient. For example, if you're in a car accident and broke your legs, you would naturally expect orthopedic surgery to undergo. After treatment, you will be proposed to undergo therapy, which is a form of rehabilitation itself, the function of your legs without external factors that can aggravate his condition.

There is also the emotional rehabilitation. Often it is a form of rehabilitation that usually comes after a severe physical trauma. It has the goal to the patient of an emotional need that physical trauma caused to light. An example is a psychological therapy that you are when you have an emotional crash experienced. This will allow you to talk about what happened as much as your feelings and emotions so that your therapist can help you get back to your normal self.

Finally, and probably the most common form of rehabilitation is the one used against addiction. Recently this form of rehabilitation a somewhat different light or reputation. This is because most of the patients suggested placed under rehabilitation are those who have succumbed to the addiction of various substances such as drugs and alcohol. But it involves much damage to your social reputation, rehabilitation as a good way to relieve you of this addiction.

April 18, 2012 - 9:53pm
EmpowHER Guest

The term "rehabilitation" refers to the act or process of facilitating the treatment of certain injuries, diseases and conditions that need thorough attention. Over time, gained a notorious rehabilitation statute as it is often considered together with the act of isolating condition. People tend to think that it is under rehabilitation is to be isolated from the stimuli-filled environment, while being treated to withdraw from their addiction. Accordingly, rehabilitation is strongly associated with specific addictions such as drugs and alcohol. This will help avoid the situation becomes a threat to public health and welfare of society.

However, as a rehabilitation treatment also applies to cases of juvenile delinquency and psychological conditions. The term may have on the environment and legal connotations as in the country and political rehabilitation.

Rehabilitation can be used to treat diseases Neurocognitive that may be related to physical injury and may compromise the body's functions. Often consists of healing and re-introduction of special incentives, so that patients would be met from their own knowledge.

In the field of medicine, rehabilitation is the restoration of all pre-existing conditions prior to the incident of injury or illness. Patients with diseases Neurocognitive are rehabilitated to allow them to re-perform all bodily functions are lost before their condition.

As a treatment, of course, rehabilitation is recommended for conditions such as strokes, cerebral and spinal injury, amputation or surgical removal of body, speech defects, cancers and cardiovascular disease and orthopedic conditions. Treatment can be performed in well-managed centers where patients can access the best equipment and medical orientation. Therapists conduct and facilitate treatment, because they have extensive knowledge of how to treat the aforementioned violations.

Being under rehabilitation is considered as an effective way to help patients regain not only to use their mind and body. It also helps them to get rid of negative feelings related to illness or injury. With the return of their ability to speak, walk and act as if they are used, patients will be sure to do the tasks. In the future they will cease to be distracted by feelings of fear back pain from injuries and illnesses they had.

March 23, 2012 - 4:19am

Rehabilitation, also known as rehabilitation is the treatment for a person suffering from an illness. You can find three basic types of rehabilitation, which are classified according to the type of disease.

• Psychiatric rehabilitation Psychiatric rehabilitation or psychosocial rehabilitation is the process of restoring a person who is diagnosed with a psychiatric disability or mental disorder, for your welfare and working properly with the community.
• Penology criminal rehabilitation center rehabilitation and rehabilitation is called criminology. In this treatment process, the following basic assumption is that not all criminal offenders are permanently, and it is possible to restore the social community as a useful contribution and citizens.
• Neuropsychological Rehabilitation, Conversion of neuronal pathways to improve the thought process that has been weakened by disease or traumatic injury.

Best Regards

June 28, 2012 - 11:47pm
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