Rehabilitation Therapy – Benefits and Basic Overview
Rehabilitation therapy is care performed by licensed therapists to help people after a medical setback. The therapists evaluate each patient’s ability to function. They then help the patient set goals. Together, therapist and patient develop a treatment plan to reach those goals. The overall goal is to help the patient live a full and fulfilled life that includes normal activities of daily living plus whatever is important to the individual patient.
Where Does Rehabilitation Therapy Happen?
Rehabilitation therapy can be performed at a rehabilitation center or at the patient’s home, or even with occasional appointments at an outpatient facility. Some children receive rehabilitation therapy in school settings. People who live in residential facilities because of lifelong disability can receive rehabilitation therapy where they live or work. Rehabilitation therapy is used even in hospices. Rehabilitation can be useful from the very beginning to the very end of life.
Rehabilitation Therapy Strategies
The most common types of rehabilitation therapy:
- Speech therapy: Speech therapists help patients who have difficulty speaking or eating. Speech therapy focuses on the control of the mouth and tongue, both of which are vital to speech and to eating safely.
- Physical therapy: Physical therapists help patients regain muscle strength and flexibility, usually after a stroke or accident. Physical therapy aims to restore the patient’s muscles and skeleton to the function they had before the setback.
- Occupational therapy: Occupational therapists help patients determine which life activities they want to participate in and then help them figure out ways those activities can be accomplished. Occupational therapists work on the patient’s body but also on the mind and may use adaptive devices to help accomplish goals.
- Hand therapy: Hand therapy is a special kind of rehabilitation that focuses on injuries to the hand, arm, and shoulder. Hand therapists have the ultimate goal of helping the patient regain full use of all parts of the hand, including hand muscle strength and coordination, so he or she can participate fully in whatever activities are important to that patient. Most hand therapists are rehabilitation therapists who first trained in physical therapy or occupational therapy, and then developed hand therapy as a specialty. Hand therapists may use splints, massage therapy, weight training, hot and cold therapy, adaptive devices, and other methods to restore function to the patient’s hands.
What Does Rehabilitation Therapy Involve?
Rehabilitation therapy is geared to the patient’s specific needs. Physical therapy may involve stretching muscles and practicing basic skills like standing and walking. Occupational therapy focuses more on the functions of daily living, such as the patient’s ability to eat, bathe, and use the toilet. Speech therapy helps people learn to use their mouths more effectively to speak and to swallow. The rehabilitation therapies overlap, and often therapists work together to help patients achieve their goals.
The information on this site it intended for general inquiry and informational purposes only and should not be considered a substitute for medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. If you think you, or those under your care, are ill or in need of health care, please seek immediate medical attention. Always consult a doctor or other competent licensed clinician for specific advice about medical treatments for yourself or those under your care. Any use of, or reliance in any way upon, the information contained in the AlternativZ site and/or accessed through this site is solely at your own risk.
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