Why do we need physical rehabilitation?
Over time, injured muscles shorten, go into spasm, become scarred and tender, and put stress on joints and irritating nerves, which results in additional pain. The injured muscles also progressively decrease their function, relying on other muscles to take over functions in the affected areas.
The right exercise program should focus on restoring normal function to injured muscles by gently stretching them to relieve spasm, breaking down scar tissue, and then rebuilding their strength.
Essentially, rehabilitation works to optimize your functionality, both physical and emotional, so you can perform usual tasks and activities without constant and nagging discomfort.
Active rehabilitation involves exercise therapy combined with postural and biomechanical education and correction. Exercises strengthen muscles, increase range of motion, and help maintain correct posture. They also improve your cardiovascular (heart) fitness, boost energy levels, decrease mental stress, and improve your sense of well-being and self-esteem.
Physical rehabilitation: What is it?
A physical rehabilitation program typically consists of:
- assessing your current capabilities and setting common goals
- joint mobilization and stretching exercises to increase range of motion of all joints and improve flexibility of soft tissue
- soft tissue mobilization, myofascial release, and craniosacral techniques
- rebuilding strength in muscles with active and resisted exercises, and core stabilization exercises to improve posture, balance, and coordination
- improving cardiovascular fitness through exercise to enhance the function of the heart, lungs and circulatory system
- learning correct breathing techniques essential to overall health of the body, which depends on an adequate supply of oxygen
- education (e.g., breathing, exercising, pain and stress management)
Who is on the physical rehabilitation team?
For pain management, a physical rehabilitation team typically consists of the following health care professionals:
- physical therapist
- occupational therapist
- massage therapist
Other health care professionals may also be included depending on your needs. This team works together in constant communication to enhance your comfort and to provide quality care in the process towards physical rehabilitation.