What is Rehab Therapy?
National Rehabilitation Awareness Week is September 19-25. So, what is rehabilitation? Rehabilitation helps an individual whether it’s a child, adult, or an older adult to be as independent as possible in their everyday activities and participate fully in their responsibilities and duties. Providers that work in rehabilitation help individuals reduce the pain they are experiencing and improve their functioning in their everyday lives. The main providers that work in this area of medicine are physical therapists, occupational therapists, and speech therapists. Rehab providers work in a wide variety of areas including outpatient clinics, hospitals, skilled nursing facilities, long-term care, and in your own home. Each profession has its scope of practice where they are educated, trained, and licensed to provide care to their patients. However, these areas of practice can overlap which can be confusing for patients. Therefore, it can be helpful to compare the expertise of each professional who may be on your rehabilitation team.
Physical therapists are movement experts. They can diagnose and treat anything that affects your ability to move and function in your everyday life. These movement dysfunctions include but are not limited to back and neck pain, vertigo, headaches, limited range of motion, etc. Physical therapists can enhance your quality of life by improving the way you move, reducing the pain you experience, re-establishing your previous level of functioning, and preventing future dysfunction. Physical therapists produce these outcomes through prescribed exercises, hands-on treatment, and patient education. Click here to learn more about the physical therapy services offered by Live Your Life.
Occupational therapists help people fully participate in their desired occupations which include making meals, dressing, managing medications, driving, playing, participating in school or work, and taking care of others. They help you achieve your goals for these desired occupations through the therapeutic use of everyday activities. Occupational therapists look at the patient, activity, and environment to make recommendations for adaptions and compensatory techniques to improve participation in the patient’s valued activity. They can rehab an injured worker to perform their job, help a child go back to school, and assist an older person with the cognitive changes they may be experiencing. Click here to learn more about what occupational therapy can provide you or your loved one.
Speech therapists can also be called speech-language pathologists. They can help adults and children who have speech disorders and communication problems due to developmental delays, injury, or illness. In addition to helping those with communication disorders, speech therapists can also help with hearing problems and people who have difficulty swallowing. Speech therapists can help with many conditions including aphasia, apraxia, and dysarthria to just name a few. Click here to learn more about speech therapy and what difficulties it can help you conquer.
As you can see each profession has its own distinct area of practice, but a patient goal can involve multiple practice areas. All these providers play important parts in each patient’s rehab journey but often they will work collaboratively to create a plan of care. Live Your Life offers interdisciplinary rehab services that include physical, occupational, and speech therapy. If you think you could benefit from any of the therapies described above, contact Live Your Life for a free consultation.