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Rehabilitation (Exercise Therapy)

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Rehabilitation Physiotherapy

The aims of rehabilitation physiotherapy are to optimise patients’ functions and well-being helping them to integrate back into their chosen lifestyle activities whether at home, work, or for leisure.

Rehabilitation physiotherapy usually aims to detect functional disabilities and lifestyle restrictions based on the patient’s own goals for their functional improvement. Rehabilitation physiotherapy is often used to support the recovery from an injury or a disease, or for the management of long-term conditions like Parkinson’s and multiple sclerosis. When used to support recovery, rehabilitation usually starts as soon as possible after the injury or surgery to speed up the recovery. 

Rehabilitation physiotherapy programs usually combine many different exercise components to achieve the following:

      • Improved mobility and activity levels
      • Shorter length of stay in hospital
      • Significantly improved quality of life

People with the following conditions may require rehabilitation:

  1. Musculoskeletal disorders like:
      • Carpal tunnel syndrome
      • Tendinitis
      • Rotator cuff injuries (affects the shoulder)
      • Epicondylitis (affects the elbow)
      • Trigger finger
      • Muscle strains and low back injuries
  2. Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) including chronic bronchitis and emphysema
  3. People with recurrent falls or increased risks of falls
  4. Musculoskeletal disorders like:
      • Carpal tunnel syndrome
      • Tendinitis
      • Rotator cuff injuries (affects the shoulder)
      • Epicondylitis (affects the elbow)
      • Trigger finger
      • Muscle strains and low back injuries
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    •  

Patients are traditionally referred to physiotherapy within 3-14 days after their procedure. During this time, patients can be in pain, under heavy influence of pain medication, and scared that physiotherapy will hurt them. When patients start rehabilitation physiotherapy before their surgery, they can establish a rapport with their physiotherapist who can answer any questions the patients may have including the use of braces, walking devices or other equipment that might be required after surgery. This will help the patients to know what to expect and will increase their confidence in achieving a full recovery.

The primary focus is to establish an exercise routine prior to surgery, as this will make recovery easier. According to Vonda Wright, Associate Professor of Orthopaedic Surgery at the University of Pittsburgh’s Center for Sports Medicine, only 50% of the outcome of a surgery is determined by the surgeon, whereas 50% is determined by the patient’s commitment to recovery.

Studies have also shown the positive effects of rehabilitation before surgery in patients undergoing artificial hip and knee replacements. Those patients who complete strength, aerobic, and flexibility exercises prior to surgery are less likely to need inpatient rehabilitation, get discharged faster and typically recover faster (Hongvilai, Sarit & Narkbunnam, Rapeepat & Mow, Christopher, 2016).

Rehabilitation before surgery is an opportunity for patients to become proactive in their recovery, even before their surgery takes place, and our therapists can help with this.

It all depends on the type of surgery you have had. Typically, rehabilitation physiotherapy follows a treatment plan including different phases where each phase contains specific targeted exercises to help your recovery step by step without causing any damage. Our therapists can create a personalised plan for your rehabilitation with phases targeted to your type of surgery and needs. This will ultimately help you recover and get back to doing the things you love.

We often get asked about stroke rehabilitation physiotherapy and occupational therapy and if we can assist with this. The answer is yes. There are many stroke rehabilitation physiotherapy and occupational therapy treatment techniques that can support recovery after a stroke. Our therapists can assist with the relearning of skills that patients require in their everyday life (e.g. walking, standing) but also with the improvement of coordination and the regain of strength.

If you or someone you know requires rehabilitation physiotherapy, feel free to contact us and we can discuss a personalised approach to help.

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