"A combination of interventions aiming to optimise performance and reduce handicap in people with health issues in contact with their immediate environment" is the definition of rehabilitation therapy management as per WHO (World Health Organisation). It is feasible for both adults and children, or the person’s handicap prevalence.
In layman’s language, rehabilitation allows a child, adult, or older adult to become almost entirely self-reliant for completing daily tasks, participating in training, job, recreational activities and fulfilling life responsibilities such as fulfilling family responsibilities. It is often that such individuals feel under confident due to their handicap.
The Australian Government has spent approximately 1.5 billion USD on rehabilitation and mental health recovery services, which makes 54 AUD spent per Australian citizen. - AIHW (Australian Institute of Health and Welfare), 2020
Rehabilitation helps achieve this by treating the primary disorders (including pain) and improving individual performance in daily life activities. The patient is assisted in conquering such issues with understanding, perceiving, listening, expressing, eating, and movement. There are also different rehabilitation methods effective for various purposes.
Let’s learn more about them, shall we?
Dr Howard Rusk is known as the father of rehabilitation. He is the founder of rehabilitation medicine; he writes in one of his books, "...once an individual surpasses a handicap by his valour, perseverance, and effort, they have an intensity of life force”. Rehabilitation medicine is a branch of medicine where the patient sets their physical limits than the doctor.
Such rehabilitation treatments assist people needing specialised assistance to partake in daily tasks or "forms of employment." Occupations can relate to self-care routines, basic activities, leisure hobbies, and employment. Occupational therapy's purpose is to assist people in doing the activities they need and must do to thrive in an independent and rewarding life.
It is the most common form of Rehabilitation Therapy Management, especially useful for pain reduction in patients. Individuals who have suffered an injury or are recovering from surgery are advised to complete physical rehabilitation. Also, women recovering from birthing, sports-related injuries, and defence personnel are the ones who undergo physical therapy.
Supportive tools like cranes, wheelchairs, and walkers are provided to help with movement. Also, physiotherapy is used to help the patient recover their complete movement and manage chronic illness.
Children who suffer from speech issues are usually the ones who go through speech therapy. The purpose of speech therapy is to integrate the biomechanics of speaking through the use of language. As an outcome, the client will be able to converse more helpfully and productively.
Linguistic training (speaking drills to practise communication skills), enunciation therapy (displaying tongue movement for different sounds), and swallowing and feeding motions are a few strategies the speech therapists use.
Such issues may seem minuscule to a few, but a person in need of rehabilitation knows the troubles concerning their shortcomings. The chances of completely recovering are low, but the individual’s zeal and practice define their limit. Dyslexic children often face prejudice due to their inability to grasp and implement faster, but rehabilitation is the saving grace for such and many. Individuals are understood and aided to recover and develop at a normal rate. Hence, rehabilitation is very important.
More than 2 million people suffer from health issues that can be resolved with rehabilitation. - WHO (World Health Organisation)
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The rehabilitation process is time-consuming, but it depends on the intensity of the injury or the handicap. Various types of rehabilitation therapy management entail different stages and methods of recovery. Still, the fundamentals of the complete rehabilitation process depend on four stages, which are:
The first stage of treatment and rehabilitation is the recovery stage. It is a critical part of the therapy procedure and is also the longest, based on the intensity of your wounds. This stage's purpose is straightforward: to recover and help your mind begin the mending procedure. It's critical to get plenty of rest and avoid worsening the injury as much as feasible. This may entail removing pressure or tension off the wounded area or using plaster or sling to shield the injury. Treatment of swelling and infection with ice/heat and pain relievers is done throughout this phase.
The first stage of the recovery process is the repair stage; the next phase is to begin regaining motion and mobility. The Repair Stage's major purpose is to carefully put your muscles back to early range-of-motion (ROM) limits or as near to them as feasible. To avoid overextending or to aggravate the pain, you should begin with smooth and mild range-of-motion activities. Dynamic stretches can also help avoid the long-term consequences of reduced flexion and extension or performance. Minimal weights could be utilised if safe during activities, but more rigorous muscle strength is not recommended.
After the partial/complete restoration of the patient’s movements, the next step in Rehabilitation Therapy Management is strength restoration. Bedrest during recovery can stiffen the muscles and cause atrophy which lowers the endurance. This stage minimises the movement losses and recovers completely without affecting the injury. The patient is advised to exercise on weight machines and exercises to increase muscle and cardiovascular strength. The risks are calculated to prevent injuries from worsening or developing new ones.
The last stage of rehabilitation is to work to restore body functions completely. Complete recovery to the pre-injury state includes determining the deficiencies. After defining all the areas that still require rehabilitation, various methods are introduced to help the patient recover their full movement and completely heal from injuries. The healthcare professional providing rehabilitation focuses on agility, coordination, balance, and direction/force precision.
The need for rehabilitation is huge, but in low-middle income countries, only 50% of the people needing rehabilitation can access such services. - WHO (World Health Organisation)
The various stages focus on different areas of rehabilitation. From minor movement to full recovery requires the best coordination between the healthcare professionals and the patient. Experts design the rehabilitation exercises to minimise affecting the injury. Although rehabilitation focuses on minor exercises (or intense training), the recovery process is lengthy.
The rehabilitation process has various benefits - physical, psychological and lifestyle - that helps an individual get control of their life and daily routine. The rehabilitation process is lengthy, but it helps individuals develop a new lookout in life and even when completing their daily tasks. Some of the benefits are:
The average time it takes to recover ranges from 12-90 days, depending on the intensity of the injuries - Centre for Medicare Advocacy
Rehabilitation therapy management entails several benefits at individual and societal levels. Often there’s no guarantee of full recovery, so patients lose motivation to move forward with the rehabilitation process. Still, it is necessary to complete rehabilitation as the entire process consists of helping people reorganise their life to their injury. Developing different ways to function with a handicap and conquering their injury/handicap mentally is the main prospect of a rehabilitation process.
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