What is Rehabilitation?
Rehabilitation is restoration to good health. It care that can help you get back, keep, or improve abilities needed for daily life that you may have lost because of a disease, injury, or as a side effect of other medical treatment. These abilities may be physical, mental, and/or cognitive (thinking and learning). Rehabilitation can improve your daily life and functioning.
The process helps a child, young person, an adult or older person to become as independent as possible in everyday activities and enables participation in education, work, recreation and meaningful life roles such as taking care of family. It does so by treating underlying conditions (such as pain) and improving the way an individual functions in everyday life, supporting them to overcome difficulties with thinking, seeing, hearing, communicating, eating or moving around.
Examples of Rehabilitation
Some examples of rehabilitation include:
- Exercises to improve a person’s speech, language and communication after a brain injury.
- Modifying an older person’s home environment to improve their safety and independence at home and to reduce their risk of falls.
- Exercise training and education on healthy living for a person with a heart disease.
- Making, fitting and educating an individual to use a prosthesis after a leg amputation.
- Positioning and splinting techniques to assist with skin healing, reduce swelling, and to regain movement after burn surgery.
- Prescribing medicine to reduce muscle stiffness for a child with cerebral palsy.
- Psychological support for a person with depression.
- Training in the use of a white cane, for a person with vision loss.
Rehabilitation is highly centers on individual persons- meaning that the interventions and approach selected for each individual depends on their goals and preferences. Rehabilitation can be provided in many different settings, from inpatient or outpatient hospital settings, to private clinics, or community settings such as an individual’s home.
A team of medical professionals work together to form the rehabilitation workforce and they including but not limited to physiotherapists, occupational therapists, speech and language therapists and audiologists, orthotists and prosthetists, clinical psychologists, physical medicine and rehabilitation doctors, and rehabilitation nurses.
Who needs rehabilitation?
Anybody may need rehabilitation at some point in their lives, when they have lost abilities that they need for daily life following an injury, surgery, disease or illness, or because their functioning has declined with age.
Conditions In Need of Rehabilitation
All adverse health conditions call for rehabilitation. We outline here some of the most common cases that require restoration to medical normalcy. They include:
- Injuries and trauma, including burns, fractures (broken bones), traumatic brain injury, and spinal cord injuries
- Severe infections
- Major surgery
- Side effects from medical treatments, such as from cancer treatments or use of drugs
- Certain birth defects and genetic disorders
- Developmental disabilities
- Chronic pain, including back and neck pain
- Someone with a lung disease may get pulmonary rehabilitation to be able to breathe better and improve their quality of life.
Stages In Rehabilitation
The length of time needed to rehabilitate an injury depends on how severe the injury is – a mild sprain or strain may only take a week while a complete ligament tear can take months to fully recover. Compliance in rehabilitation is also a huge factor.
Other factors that can determine recovery time include pain tolerance, amount of swelling, and how in shape you were prior to your injury. In any case, the phases involved as well as goals for each stage are as follows:
- 1 – Control Pain and Swelling
- 2 – Improve Range of Motion and/or Flexibility
- 3 – Improve Strength & Begin Proprioception/Balance Training
- 4 – Proprioception/Balance Training & Sport-Specific Training
- 5 – Gradual Return to Full Activity
Phase 1 of the rehabilitative process focuses on controlling pain and swelling (if present). The general rule in this phase is Rest, Ice, Compression and Elevation (RICE). Other modalities, such as electrical stimulation or ultrasound used by licensed medical professionals (such as athletic trainers or physical therapists) to assist with this process. If necessary, physicians may choose to prescribe medication.
Phase 2 concentrates on increasing range of motion of a joint or flexibility of a muscle. Athletes receives specific stretching exercises to do on their own or may be manually stretched by an athletic trainer or physiotherapist. In this phase, stretches should ideally be held up to 30 seconds.
The 3rd phase of rehabilitation aims to increase strength. Isometrics (pushing against an immovable object) can be used followed by the use of elastic bands of varying resistances, free weights, cuff weights, or weight equipment.
Phase 4 focuses on proprioception, balance, and sport-specific training. Proprioception is the body’s ability to know its position in space at all times. Simply put, it is balance. When an athlete sustains an injury, the ability to balance becomes weak. Improving one’s proprioception is a great way to help prevent an injury from reoccurring.
This leads to Phase 5 of the rehabilitation process, which gradually returns the patient to full activity. At this point, the trainer or physical therapist carefully progresses the injured athlete from basic exercises to those requiring higher skill level as they heal and have the muscle control to tolerate them without risking further injury.
Even when you are back to normalcy, it is important to continue your rehabilitation to help prevent another injury. While an injury may be painful, it will pass, especially if treatment starts early and followed intently.
The Benefits of Rehabilitation
- Rehabilitation can reduce the impact of a broad range of health conditions, including diseases (acute or chronic), illnesses or injuries. It can also complement other health interventions, such as medical and surgical interventions, helping to achieve the best outcome possible. For example, rehabilitation can help to reduce, manage or prevent complications associated with many health conditions, such as spinal cord injury, stroke, or a fracture.
- Rehabilitation helps to minimize or slow down the disabling effects of chronic health conditions, such as cardiovascular disease, cancer and diabetes by equipping people with self-management strategies and the assistive products they require, or by addressing pain or other complications.
- Rehabilitation is an investment, with cost benefits for both the individuals and society. It can help to avoid costly hospitalization, reduce hospital length of stay, and prevent re-admissions. Rehabilitation also enables individuals to participate in education and gainful employment, remain independent at home, and minimize the need for a financial or caregiver support.
- Rehabilitation is an important part of universal health coverage and is a key strategy for achieving Sustainable Development Goal 3 – to “Ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages”.
Without having to depend on pain medication, injections or surgery and with no Doctor’s referral needed, we help people of all ages keep active, fit and independent by diagnosing and treating physical conditions including pains, paediatric, orthopedic, neurological cases and sports-related injuries. Body Servicing Therapy is a specialized service we offer that also manages stress and quickens convalescence.
Our physiotherapists can help you. Get Personal Treatment @ Effective Physiotherapy & Fitness Clinic, at No. 2, Ajumgobia, D Close, Adjacent to Conoill Filling Station, Kado Estate, Abuja.
You can also book an appointment, call +234 811 885 6060 or +234 909 860 4470 or request an appointment online.