Benefits of Rehabilitation

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Original Editors - Neha Duhan

Top Contributors - Kim Jackson 

Introduction[edit | edit source]


Rehabilitation is defined as ‘a set of interventions designed to optimize functioning and reduce disability in individuals with health conditions in interaction with their environment’ Rehabilitation helps a child, adult or older person to be as independent as possible in daily life activities and allows them to participate in work, recreation and life roles.[1] It enables them to do so by addressing underlying conditions and improving their way of performing everyday activities, supporting them to overcome difficulties with thinking, communicating or walking around. Any person may need rehabilitation at some point in their lives such as due to injury, surgery, any disease or decrease in mobility due to age factor.

The rehabilitation process involves six major areas of focus:

  1. preventing, recognizing, and managing comorbid illness and medical complication
  2. training for maximum independence
  3. facilitating maximum psychosocial coping and adaptation by patient and family
  4. preventing secondary disability by promoting community reintegration, including resumption of home, family, recreational, and vocational activities
  5. enhancing quality of life in view of residual disability
  6. preventing recurrent conditions.

Physical Benefits[edit | edit source]

  • Increased physical capacity [2]
  • Lessens pain so patient can become more active and enjoy life without suffering from discomfort.
  • Strengthens  muscles to lessen risk of falls or accidents
  • Improves coordination for better mobility and easier movement.
  • Improves flexibility – physical therapy for injury can help in achieving a full range of motion in the joints and muscles.
  • Reduces swelling in the affected joints and muscles.
  • Helps improve your balance.[3]
  • Prevents deformities and limb problems.[4]
  • Corrects your gait and posture problems.[3]

Psychological Benefits [edit | edit source]

  • Enhances your self-confidence and your ability to deal psychologically with your illness or injury.
  • Provides you with greater independence – returns you to your pre-injury state of mental wellbeing.

Lifestyle Benefits[edit | edit source]

  • Allows you to get back to work more quickly so you can begin to earn again and lessen your financial concerns.[4]
  • Helps you return to sport or exercise so your health and your sense of wellbeing can benefit – you also improve your general health when you can exercise or play sport to your original capacities.

Types[edit | edit source]

Orthopedic and Musculoskeletal Rehabilitation[edit | edit source]

Knee pain

It  is a therapeutic approach to recovery, the purpose of which is to correct musculoskeletal limitations and alleviate pain from trauma, illness, or surgery. The Musculoskeletal system includes muscles, bones, joints, ligaments, tendons, cartilage so that orthopedic rehab can address any of those structures. Conditions which require rehabilitation the most are:

Physiotherapist creates a personalized treatment program according to condition, goals and abilities of patient. Physical therapists uses a variety of techniques to help muscles and joints work to improving, maintaining or restoring physical strength, cognition and mobility with maximized results.[4] Many of the reviews concluded that both aerobic and strengthening exercise, as well as individual and group exercise, are effective in patients with knee osteoarthritis.[5]

Neurological Rehabilitation[edit | edit source]

Some of the common conditions like Stroke, Multiple Sclerosis, Parkinsonism may present with varying degrees of spasticity, muscle weakness, impaired coordination and balance, difficult in speech and swallowing. Neurological patients show great potential for recovery in both the early and late stages following injury. Enhancement of the recovery process could be achieved with new rehabilitation approaches alone or in combination with pharmacological intervention.[6] Rehabilitation of movement after stroke requires repeated practice and involves learning and brain changes. Brain stimulation plays a crucial role in treating stroke patients.[7]

If an individual is having difficulties with activities of daily living, rehabilitation can support them in developing strategies to accomplish the same tasks in different and safer way. Physical therapist can help patients improve their activities of daily living as well as their mobility. Practical techniques and assistive devices ease the burdens of dressing, bathing, eating, household chores, and daily care Vestibular rehabilitation attempts to help patients adapt to balance problems. Some equipment has been designed to improve stability. Assistive devices, hand rails, and safety training can reduce the risk of falling.[3] Overall, exercise can improve fitness and function for those with mild MS and helps to maintain function for those with moderate to severe disability.[8]

Cardiopulmonary Rehabilitation[edit | edit source]

Heart Attack

Cardiopulmonary rehabilitation is a complex intervention offered to patients with a wide range of cardiopulmonary diseases including heart disease, heart attack, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, which includes components of health education, advice on cardiovascular risk reduction, physical activity and stress management. These programs are designed to limit the physiological and psychological effects of cardiac illness, reduce the risk for sudden death or re-infarction, control cardiac symptoms, stabilize or reverse the atherosclerotic process, and enhance the psychosocial and vocational status of patients. cardiac rehabilitation reduces mortality, morbidity, unplanned hospital admissions in addition to improvements in exercise capacity, quality of life and psychological well-being is increasing. .[9]  In addition to these benefits, Upper extremity exercises and instruction on breathing technique are included in most rehabilitation programs and reduce dyspnea. Increased functional exercise capacity, and enhanced quality of life of patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) are established benefits of pulmonary rehabilitation.[10]

Resources[edit | edit source]

WHO's work on rehabilitation

References [edit | edit source]

  2. Smith TP, Kennedy SL, Smith M, Orent S, Fleshner M. Physiological improvements and health benefits during an exercise-based comprehensive rehabilitation program in medically complex patients. Exerc Immunol Rev. 2006 Jan 1;12:86-96.
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 Burks JS, Bigley GK, Hill HH. Rehabilitation challenges in multiple sclerosis. Annals of Indian Academy of Neurology. 2009 Oct;12(4):296.
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 Ghasemi N, Razavi S, Nikzad E. Multiple sclerosis: pathogenesis, symptoms, diagnoses and cell-based therapy. Cell Journal (Yakhteh). 2017 Apr;19(1):1.
  5. Jamtvedt G, Dahm KT, Christie A, Moe RH, Haavardsholm E, Holm I, Hagen KB. Physical therapy interventions for patients with osteoarthritis of the knee: an overview of systematic reviews. Physical therapy. 2008 Jan 1;88(1):123-36.
  6. Barbeau H, Fung J. The role of rehabilitation in the recovery of walking in the neurological population. Current opinion in neurology. 2001 Dec 1;14(6):735-40.
  7. Allman C, Amadi U, Winkler AM, Wilkins L, Filippini N, Kischka U, Stagg CJ, Johansen-Berg H. Ipsilesional anodal tDCS enhances the functional benefits of rehabilitation in patients after stroke. Science translational medicine. 2016 Mar 16;8(330):330re1-.
  8. Brown TR, Kraft GH. Exercise and rehabilitation for individuals with multiple sclerosis. Physical medicine and rehabilitation clinics of North America. 2005 May 1;16(2):513-55.
  9. Dalal HM, Doherty P, Taylor RS. Cardiac rehabilitation. Bmj. 2015 Sep 29;351.
  10. McCarthy B, Casey D, Devane D, Murphy K, Murphy E, Lacasse Y. Pulmonary rehabilitation for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. Cochrane database of systematic reviews. 2015(2).