Physical Therapy Rehabilitation

October 13th, 2012

Physical therapy rehabilitation is commonly used to restore and improve bodily movement that has been impaired or injured.  It also seeks to help in reducing pain and maintain function to affected areas.  The rehabilitation process should always be administered by a certified physical therapist with a doctor’s recommendation.

Physical therapy rehabilitation is a process that involves a series of treatment or interventions to alleviate a patient’s symptoms and to restore the normal functions of the musculoskeletal system after surgery or injury.

There are a various types of physical therapy rehabilitation according to its goals but the common goal is to ensure that the patient returns to normal bodily function.

Controlling pain and inflammation is the initial goal of physical therapy rehabilitation.  Injuries and surgeries normally come with pain and inflammation.   The affected area has to be protected to prevent any further damage.  Ice should also be applied.  Compressing the injured part and elevating it should help in minimizing the swelling and inflammation.  This will help with the healing process.

The second goal for physical therapy rehabilitation is to restore range of motion.  Any injury to the musculoskeletal system is likely to affect the patient’s range of motion.  Stretching and strengthening exercises can be slowly introduced and performed on a daily basis for this problem.  These exercises should be done carefully to prevent aggravating the injury.

Another goal for physical therapy rehabilitation is to restore muscular strength.  It is common for muscles to lose strength after injury or surgery.  Performing resistance training aimed to restore strength should be an essential part of the rehabilitation program.  The resistance exercises should be done progressively to avoid causing damage to the muscles.

Another important component of a physical therapy rehabilitation is to support cardiorespiratory fitness.  Keeping the patient’s heart and lungs in good condition can be difficult especially for severe injuries that leave the patient unable to walk or run.  If the patient is unable to handle weight bearing activities, swimming or cycling can be done instead.

The final goal of any physical therapy rehabilitation is to help the patient return to his or her normal daily activities.  Although the treatment seeks to restore normal bodily function as soon as possible, exercises should be introduced progressively and conservatively.  The risk of recurring problems can be minimized if the rehabilitation is not done too fast or too slow.  A timeline should be established as a guide and should be followed and changed according the response of the patient’s body.

Safe physical therapy rehabilitation should always start and end with a medical professional’s recommendation and clearance.