If you have not personally experienced a debilitating injury, you likely know someone who has. Whether sports related, job related, or simply a freak accident the key to solid healing is what happens post injury. Research shows that the best road to complete recovery is proper rehabilitation. Utilizing the right resource is vital to getting back to life without limitations.
Obviously, injuries vary from a major injury from a car accident to the more common, chronic back pain. But regardless of the injury, if it’s preventing you from experiencing a solid quality of life, it is important to find the appropriate rehabilitation process for full recovery.
One of the first steps to post injury rehabilitation is compliance by the patient. For example, if a patient has suffered a severe sports injury and daily exercises need to be implemented, the patient must comply. If a patient is non-compliant, the recovery process will not only be slow, it likely will result in subpar recovery. If the patient doesn’t follow up with the work necessary to allow healing to take place, rehabilitation becomes an effort in futility.
If the patient buys in to rehabilitation, the next step is seeking out physical rehabilitation. Though some think that physical therapy (PT) may not be necessary, retraining the body and mind on how to move through specific motions is the only way the body can heal and perform normally after an injury. PT’s are trained to work with clients that suffer with injured joints, bones, muscle imbalances and more. They have specific treatments that are conducive to a patient leaving rehabilitation stronger than before they began.
Although PT may be thought of as simply therapy for sports related accidents, that couldn’t be further from the truth. Common types of PT treatment include, orthopedic, pediatric and neurological.
Each of the therapies differs depending on injury. Following explains more about each type of therapy.
If you’ve had kids involved in sports, or you were an athlete, orthopedic treatment is likely not new to you. As one of the most common types of treatment for injury, this therapy focuses on the musculoskeletal system which is made up of joints, ligaments, bones and tendons. If you’re an avid Monday Night Football fan or sports fan in general, these types of injuries are all too common. Typical rehabilitation approaches include, ultrasound, chiropractic adjustments, flexibility exercises, electrical stimulation, whirlpools and hot/cold compresses. Athletes or anyone who has completed the therapy has found it to be the reason they were able to get back to their lifestyle safely and with confidence.
Neurological Physical Therapy
Amanda was involved in a serious car accident. Following an injury to her spinal cord, her physician referred her to a neurological therapist. This type of therapy is one of the most complex therapies as their specialty is ensuring their patients nerve cells and motor functions work effectively and efficiently.
Neurological therapists specialize in many different areas including, traumatic brain injury, Parkinson’s, sciatica, stroke and Cerebral Palsy. The goal of this type of therapy is to help the patient restore optimal performance with their body. The process can be very tedious, but the outcome is typically successful. Thanks to this type of rehabilitation, Amanda was able to make a full recovery and get back to her active lifestyle.
Kids under 18 still have plenty of bone growth going on. Although kids are more prone to injuries based on lifestyle as well as natural areas of weakness as a result of the growth process, the good news is that kids also heal more quickly. This is because children’s bones and muscles are more elastic and heal faster compared to adults. Therefore, it’s important to seek out the right therapist that works with and understands kids.
Following up with rehabilitation after an injury may be the difference between getting back to your activity of choice or watching from the sidelines. Finding the right therapist is imperative and should be based on injury and age of patient. Further, a recommendation by the physician is an ideal source as attending doctors will know what type of rehabilitation is in the patient’s best interest.
About the author: Nicki is the health and fitness columnist for Chicago Suburban Newspapers, Tribune Company/Naperville Magazine and contributor to numerous magazines and websites including, MSNBC.com, Forbes.com and FitnessMagazine.com, Real Simple, Prevention, Women’s Health and Women’s’ Running, Men’s Health and Fitness. For more information about Nicki visit, www.nickianderson.com and connect with her on Google+.