Patients who are recovering from a serious illness, injury or surgery will require physical therapy rehabilitation to regain their strength, for skills re-education or to find new ways to do normal things and activities.
Rehabilitation is a process of using physical therapy to help in regaining fitness, mobility and strength. In some cases, occupational therapy and speech-language therapy can also be applied depending on the injury or illness. Physical therapy rehabilitation can also be used to reduce and relieve pain.
There are many aspects of physical therapy rehabilitation that needs to be considered to provide over-all treatment to a patient. To achieve the planned rehabilitation outcome, goals must be set. Goals can be individualized depending on the needs of the patient. The success of any goal is directly related to the positive attitude and the hard work put into it. If step goals are not accomplished at a certain point, there might be a need for reassessment of physical therapy rehabilitation goals and the treatment plan.
This first part of any physical therapy rehabilitation is the post-operative recovery program. Due to decrease usage of the affected area, weakness and stiffness will usually follow. Early rehabilitation will prevent this from happening. Various modalities and exercises can be included in the rehabilitation plan.
After an injury or illness, physical therapy rehabilitation can start as soon as the patient is cleared by a qualified physician. Simple exercises to help with the pain are a good start. If there is too much pain, passive modalities can be introduced until the pain is manageable.
Stretching and strengthening exercises form a big part of any physical therapy rehabilitation program. Stretching the tight muscles affected by the injury or illness is an important strategy. Starting the day with a morning stretch exercise is perfect for getting the muscles ready for a day of activity. This loosens the body and increases the blood flow. These can be neck, back and hamstring stretches.
Strengthening exercises is also important for physical therapy rehabilitation. These help in building stronger muscles for joint stability. This can be done in many ways and the physical therapist can assist in selecting the best suited exercises.
The road to recovery after a serious physical injury is not always easy. Grueling and at times, punishing hard work is required to get the muscles and the body to its former strength and agility.