If you’ve ever found yourself in need of rehabilitative care, you’re not alone. According to one estimate, about 2.4 billion people worldwide need these services.
What Is Rehabilitative Care?
You may need rehabilitation services if you have lost function due to an injury, surgery, a stroke or heart attack, or a disorder that gets progressively more severe. The World Health Organization says rehabilitation is “a set of interventions designed to optimize functioning and reduce disability.”
Rehabilitation as a field of practice was born in the 1930s. When veterans returned from World War II with a host of physical problems, rehabilitation workers used their knowledge to help them resume productive lives. In 1947 the American Board of Medical Specialties recognized Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation as a medical specialty. Millions of people have since benefited from rehabilitation services.
People with a wide range of needs can benefit from rehabilitative care. The conditions that can be improved are practically limitless. Here are some individuals a rehabilitation team might see during a typical day:
- Client A is recovering from knee replacement and needs to regain use of the joint.
- Client B has multiple sclerosis and is working on gait problems caused by muscle spasms.
- Client C is suffering from tennis elbow and wants to get back to playing.
- Client D is a teenager with cerebral palsy who is working on posture and mobility.
- Client E is an artist who is being treated for carpal tunnel syndrome so she can paint again.
- Client F is an older person aiming to retain strength and mobility so he can continue to live alone.
Goals of Rehabilitative Care
Rehabilitation care is goal-driven. Working with the client, the rehabilitation team or therapist sets both short-term and long-term goals. A short-term goal might be to move a body part without pain. A longer-term goal might be to regain range of motion, and an ultimate goal might be to play a sport again. Sometimes the ultimate goal is to be able to resume the activities of daily life.
Rehabilitation specialists can help clients reach a variety of goals, including:
- Improving mobility
- Reducing pain and need for pain medications
- Avoiding surgery
- Recovering from injury
- Recovering from stroke, heart attack, or cancer treatment
- Improving balance and reducing falls
Path to Goals
Rehabilitation specialists use a variety of strategies to help clients achieve their goals. They may use traditional exercise equipment such as machines and free weights. Balance balls and resistance bands are common tools. Today some rehab facilities also offer newer therapies such as foam rolling and vibration plates.
Rehabilitation specialists continually monitor their clients’ progress. They discard or modify treatments that aren’t working, try new strategies, and revise goals as needed. Another important part of their job is to inform clients and sometimes family members about what to expect during the course of treatment.
A rehab specialist must be a master motivator. Their clients’ success depends not only on what they do during therapy but on what they do at home. It can be hard to motivate someone even when you are face to face with them. Rehab specialists have to motivate clients even when they are miles apart!
Rehabilitative Care at Spring Mountain Medical
Spring Mountain Medical is a fully integrated family practice committed to serving the Pahrump community. Our rehabilitative care team can tailor a plan just for you. We offer:
- Vibration Therapy
- Stretching and Strengthening
- Foam rolling
- Sports bracing and wrapping
- Instrument and manual muscle mobilization
We are eager to help you meet your goals. “Today it hurts, but tomorrow it works.”