What's the difference between rehabilitation and physical therapy?
There are many different types of rehabilitation services available to patients, but what exactly is the difference between rehabilitation and physical therapy? Rehabilitation is a process that helps patients recover from an injury or illness and regain their strength and mobility. On the other hand, physical therapy is a more hands-on approach that uses exercises and other treatments to improve a patient's strength, flexibility, and range of motion. Both rehabilitation and physical therapy can be important tools in recovery, but they are not interchangeable.
If you're not sure what the difference is between rehabilitation and physical therapy, read on for a brief explanation.
Physical therapy and rehabilitation are two terms that are often used interchangeably, but they actually mean two different things.
The term "rehabilitation" refers to specific treatments for stroke victims, brain injuries and other severe conditions.
Programs can be highly structured and intensive, meaning patients typically spend a large amount of time each day working with a team of medical professionals who help them regain their independence and mobility.
Physical therapy is a more general term that describes what physical therapists do: They can help people with chronic back pain or manage neurological disorders like multiple sclerosis or Parkinson's disease.
Unlike physical therapy, rehab programs are highly structured and sometimes intensive. It's not uncommon for patients to participate in a rigorous rehab program five or seven days a week. The goal of these programs is to help patients regain independence after an injury or illness, such as a stroke or heart attack, so they can resume everyday living.
In addition to being more intense than PT sessions, rehab programs can also be done in either a hospital or at home by a trained therapist (depending on the type of injury). PTs work with their patients as long as necessary to help them regain their independence and mobility and resume everyday living activities, such as walking or sitting without difficulties or pain.
Physical Therapy is Included in Rehab
PT and rehabilitation are not mutually exclusive terms. Physical therapy may be used as part of a rehabilitation program, but it also might be used by itself to treat injuries and chronic pain. Therapists often use other interventions such as exercise and massage to help patients heal from injuries or recover from surgery.
In some cases, PTs will put together a treatment plan that includes both traditional therapy techniques (for example, heat/ice application or soft tissue mobilization) as well as additional interventions like exercise or massage therapy.
Rehabilitation is Flexible
Rehabilitation programs are typically flexible. They can be performed on an outpatient basis while the patient lives at home. These programs generally involve PT and occupational therapy, as well as other types of specialist care such as speech therapy or social work.
The goal is to help a person with a severe condition regain independence and mobility so that he or she can resume daily living activities at home without assistance.
PTs work with patients as long as necessary to help them regain their independence and mobility, but most rehabilitation programs end when the patient can manage on his own.
Rehabilitation is a process of restoring function and improving the quality of life after an injury or illness. It's important to remember that it’s is not just physical—it involves both psychological and emotional aspects as well.
When Do We Use Them
Since rehabilitation is a process of healing, learning new skills, and improving physical health it involves a team of medical professionals working together to help you recover from an injury or illness. Typically, rehab is used when there's been some kind of surgery or intervention that can't be reversed. For example, if your knee was replaced due to arthritis, you might need rehab to learn how to walk again with your new knee. Rehab can also be used as part of a larger treatment plan for conditions like heart disease or cancer that require ongoing evaluation and assessment by doctors.
Physical therapists work with patients as long as necessary to help them regain their independence and mobility and resume everyday living. They may also work with patients to help them get back to work, or prepare for surgery or a recovery period after an injury (such as a knee or shoulder injury).
You will use manual techniques such as massage and joint manipulation to get the muscles and other soft tissues back into shape. They may also prescribe specific exercises—such as stretching, strength training or yoga—to help you regain mobility. Physical therapists may also use special equipment like treadmills and resistance bands to help with recovery.
Physical therapy is a general term that covers a variety of treatments including physiotherapy (a more specific form of treatment). A physio can do anything from helping someone recover from an injury to managing chronic pain conditions like arthritis or fibromyalgia. It's for this reason that some prefer not to use the word 'therapy' at all when describing their work because it can often be misleading; physiotherapy is simply one type of therapy within the larger field of PT.
Rehabilitation and physical therapy are similar in many ways, but they have important differences. It’s a more specific treatment for people who have experienced extreme health problems like stroke or brain injury, whereas physical therapy is a more general term that describes what a PT does.
PTs work with patients to help them regain movement and/or mobility after an accident or injury.
They also treat people with chronic conditions like arthritis or Parkinson’s disease. They use exercise, stretching, massage and other techniques in their treatments.
Its a great way to treat injuries and chronic pain, but if you want to recover from a stroke or brain injury, you may need a more intensive program.
The goal of rehabilitation is to help patients relearn skills or learn new ways of doing everyday tasks when those skills have been disrupted by an accident or illness.
Rehab usually follows surgery or another medical procedure, though it can also be used when there's no other medical intervention possible.
Physical therapists work with patients as long as necessary to help them regain their independence and mobility and resume everyday living.
Rehabilitation and physical therapy are both important aspects of healing, but they serve different purposes. Find out more about the differences between these two therapies.