Table of Contents
You may often see doctors recommending their patients to take rehabilitation therapy if the patient is seriously injured or facing any health condition that affects day to day life. But what is rehabilitation therapy? Rehabilitation is a set of rules or intervention that is practiced when a person is experiencing a limitation in everyday life due to aging or health conditions. The health conditions also include chronic disorders, injuries or trauma, difficulties in thinking, communicating, seeing, and moving around. The rehabilitation therapy offers a controlled medical environment that helps the patient to gain strength and relearn lost skills. Let’s take a look at the different types of rehabilitation and benefits.
The different type of rehabilitation therapy
The ultimate goal of each type of therapy is to help the patient achieve a normal lifestyle and a healthy life. There are three main types of rehabilitation therapy which are occupational therapy, physical therapy, and speech therapy. Each of the therapy is aimed at curing an ailment that the patient faces. Physical therapy aims to cure conditions that limit the physical functioning of the body like orthopedic or musculoskeletal injuries. The goal of each therapy differs from person to person based on their needs and the strategies handled in each therapy also differ from person to person.
Physical rehabilitation therapy
Physical therapy is the treatment of patients who are suffering from difficulties in movement dysfunction due to musculoskeletal or neurological disorders. The musculoskeletal disorders might be due to injuries in muscle, bone, tendons, and ligaments. Few examples of this include osteoporosis, tendonitis, and back pain. Physical therapy also provides rehabilitation after stroke, accident, surgery, post-delivery issues, and sports-related injuries. Physiotherapy helps in increasing the physical balance of a person. It helps the patient to use walkers and manage chronic heart diseases.
A therapist starts the therapy by assessing the body balance, mobility, heartbeat, and the posture of the patient. Based on the assessment the therapist will develop a method of recovery that suits the patient’s body. Physiotherapy will commonly include the following;
- Exercises to increase movement of each muscle of the body and relieve pain. Exercise helps to improve mobility and regain strength
- Heat or cold massages release muscle spasms and pain. Ultrasound massage can also be used to do the same.
- Physiotherapy also helps the patient to use artificial limb or gadgets such as wheelchairs, walkers, canes or crutches that help in movement
- Physiotherapy also aims to improve the patient’s cardiovascular strength.
Occupational therapy is a treatment that is aimed at helping individuals who are not able to perform activities of daily living (ADLs) which in this case is called occupation. Occupational therapy aims to improve the independent living of the patient by doing their day to day activities by themselves. The occupation here doesn’t mean job instead it refers to everyday activities like eating, dressing, brushing teeth, driving, completing schoolwork, and much more. A therapist makes lifestyle changes by
- changing the way the ADL is done
- changing the environment in which the task is performed and
- Develop the skills required to perform a task.
People of all age groups undergo occupational therapy when needed. Even the newborns may undergo occupational therapy. Children with physical abilities undergo therapy to coordinate and perform functions like eating and writing. Children with poor brain development or suffering from cerebral palsy, autism, and other developmental delays take up this therapy. Adults who lost their ability to perform ADLs after an accident or injury, senior citizens who developed physical limitations due to aging also undergo rehabilitation. Working professionals take up this therapy to relieve stress and have a healthy lifestyle.
Speech therapy helps patients who have speech issues. A speech therapist helps in treating various issues involving language, communication, voice, and swallowing. Children or newborns with development issues like cerebral palsy, cleft palate, or Down syndrome adapt occupational therapy. Adults with speech difficulties or other conditions like stroke, neck and head cancer, dementia, or Parkinson’s disease benefit from speech therapy. A speech therapist helps their patients by
- Providing language drills
- They make the patient practice communication skills
- Articulation therapy
- Tongue, lip, and jaw exercise to strengthen the muscles of mouth and throat
Frequently asked question
1. What is physiotherapy?
Physiotherapy is nothing but physical therapy that focuses on the treatment of physical injuries and disorders.
2. People of what age group can take rehabilitation therapy?
People of all age groups can undergo rehab for various reasons. Anyone from newborn to senior citizen can take up therapy.
There are various other types of rehabilitation therapy like music therapy, vestibular therapy, aquatic therapy, and much more which comes under the major three types of rehabilitation. I hope this guide has helped you to know the difference between each therapy and choose the best therapy that best suits you or for your loved ones.