Understanding the Different Types of Rehabilitation

Rehabilitation is a concept that is widely discussed worldwide. This is by no means unexpected, since more than 1 billion people live with some form of disability, accounting for more than 15% of the world's population. In addition, according to a recent report, 2.41 billion people worldwide live with conditions that affect their roles in daily life and would benefit from rehabilitation services, equivalent to 1 in 3 people who require rehabilitation services during the course of their illness or injury. Whether you are a healthcare professional who is directly involved in rehabilitation, who regularly cares for patients who often need to undergo rehabilitation, or you are new to the medical field, it is important to know the different types of rehabilitation available and when they are best used. The three main types of rehabilitation therapy are occupational, physical, and speech therapy.

Each form of rehabilitation has a unique purpose of helping a person achieve full recovery, but all share the ultimate goal of helping the patient return to a healthy and active lifestyle. Each type of rehabilitation therapy can be accessed in several healthcare settings. These include inpatient rehabilitation facilities, outpatient rehabilitation clinics, and home rehabilitation services. Physical therapy is a broad category of therapy that involves strengthening and conditioning any physical weakness after surgery or treatment. Therapists who specialize in physical therapy areas work with patients to increase their strength and flexibility in their muscles and joints.

For example, if a patient writes on the computer to work and has weakened fingers, the occupational therapist will work with the patient to exercise and strengthen the fingers and adapt to any limitations. Occupational therapy is both a combination of reconstructing these deficits and finding solutions to these life skills. Balance therapy, also known as vestibular rehabilitation therapy, helps treat problems with the inner ear and the sense of balance that controls the inner ear. Just as physical therapy strengthens and recovers a certain part of a patient's body, visual therapy helps repair and strengthen the patient's eyes so that they are fully reused. Supportive rehabilitation increases a person's self-care capacity and mobility through methods such as providing self-help devices and teaching people compensatory strategies or alternative ways of doing things.

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