Rehabilitation is one of the most widely discussed concepts exists in the world. It is a process of helping individuals get back or improve skills that they need in daily life. As a matter of fact, over a billion people live with some form of disability, which accounts for over 15% of the world’s population. Furthermore, about 2.41 billion individuals worldwide suffer from causes that impact their daily functioning and require rehabilitation services. For example, if you have been seriously injured, undergone surgery, brain illness, substance use disorder, experienced a stroke, or undergoing addiction therapy, your doctor may recommend going to the rehabilitation centre to help you recover.
Now, the mode of therapy depends on the ailment of the patient. But, they all have similar primary goals, which are to help patients recover and regain functional abilities and independence. And each rehabilitation therapy addresses a specific range of issues. To understand different rehabilitation therapies for addiction and how they are commonly used in treatment programs, continue reading this article.
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As the name suggests, Physical therapy is provided to those who are experiencing any pain or difficulty in normal functioning, moving, or living life. It involves strengthening and conditioning any physical weakness and is used to relieve pain, assist in recovery after giving birth, sports-related injuries, improve movement, provide rehabilitation after a stroke, etc. In physical therapy, therapists also teach individuals to use canes and walkers.
If your doctor recommends physical therapy, various health factors will be assessed by your therapist, such as heartbeat, balance, mobility, and how well you can climb, walk, or maintain a posture. Common therapies include:
- Strengthening of the cardiovascular system
- Managing pain
- Balance and gait retraining
- Use of massage, heat or cold therapy to ease pain during movement and muscle spasms
- Use of an artificial limb through exercises or rehab participation
- Casting, splinting, burn care
- Use of walkers, wheelchairs, canes, and crutches to maintain balance and improve movement
- Special exercises and stretches for regaining strength and relieving pain
Occupational therapy (OT) provides specialized assistance or restores an individual’s ability to perform necessary daily activities, which may include work, school, household, social activities, and hobbies. And occupations don’t refer just to the work or job you have, but also self-care practices and recreational activities. The goal of occupational therapy is to help individuals live independent and satisfying lifestyles.
Occupation therapists change the way in which any task is done or help people develop the skills necessary to complete certain tasks. Also, this therapy can be provided to anyone from children to seniors. Some ways in which occupational therapy can help individuals include:
- Therapists help children with physical disabilities develop coordination skills in order to do tasks such as using a computer, eating food, or improving their handwriting.
- They help individuals with spinal cord injuries avoid movements or behaviours that may worsen their injuries.
- Therapists modify the ways in which senior citizens with physical limitations can participate in the activities they love.
- Individuals with traumatic brain injury or cognitive function loss can take help of the occupational therapists for applying to jobs or submitting college applications.
- Corporate professionals undergo occupational therapy to create an optimal work/life balance. The therapies reduce their stress and modify the working environment, based on ergonomic principles.
Speech therapy is another form of rehabilitation therapy that provides treatments to individuals with speech problems. When a patient has a weakness in their mouth or throat and it affects their ability to speak or swallow, they take the help of a speech therapist. Also known as speech-language pathologists, speech therapists treat a wide variety of issues including communication, voice, fluency, etc. Speech therapy is suitable for all ages, whether a patient is a new born or a senior citizen.
Speech therapists provide help to:
- New-borns with issues like cerebral palsy and Down syndrome which causes difficulties in swallowing, drinking, and communication.
- Children with stammering problems or a lisp undergo communication exercises.
- Adults who struggle with learning or face other issues such as Parkinson’s disease or dementia.
Speech therapy help patients communicate in more useful and functional ways by combining speech mechanisms with the use of language. Some of the common tactics that speech therapists use in their sessions include articulation therapy, feeding and swallowing therapy, and language intervention skills.
Other conditions or illnesses that may require speech therapy assistance are:
- Dysphagia – swallowing problems
- Articulation problems – clear speaking and making errors in sounds
- Fluency – disturbed flow of speech
- Dyslexia – reading difficulties
- Oral feeding problems – drooling, swallowing, and eating
- Voice problems – troubled voice pitch, volume, and quality
- Dyspraxia – difficulty in coordination and speech
- Down syndrome
- Cleft palate
- Multiple sclerosis
- Huntington’s disease
- Head, neck, and throat cancer
Respiratory therapy helps patients with breathing disorders, such as asthma, cystic fibrosis, bronchitis, acute respiratory distress, and sleep apnoea. In this form of rehabilitation therapy, respiratory therapists perform breathing assessments, progress monitoring, and exercise recommendations in order to find out where the actual problem lies. Also, respiratory therapy decreases respiratory distress, maintains open airways, and teaches patients how to use inhalers and supplementary oxygen properly.
Respiratory therapists treat people who cannot breathe independently and are on ventilators. They also help people with tracheostomy tubes, which allow them to breathe without using their nose or mouth. While respiratory therapy may involve monitoring premature babies for breathing disorders for new born, adults with chronic respiratory diseases are treated with the help of physical activities. A few types of respiratory therapy include:
- Critical Care – treating patients in emergency
- Polysomnography – treatment and management of sleep disorders like sleep apnoea
- Pulmonary rehabilitation – treat chronic lung diseases, such as pulmonary fibrosis, chronic bronchitis, and emphysema
- Long-term care – middle-aged and older people with chronic lung disorders
- Neonatal-paediatrics – treat premature babies with breathing problems
Cognitive Rehabilitation Therapy
If a person is affected by medical problems such as dementia, stroke, traumatic brain injuries, or even cancer, he is more likely to lose the power of concentration, thinking, and processing information. In cognitive rehabilitation therapy, these individuals are treated using a group of therapies that aim to restore cognitive functions, such as processing speed, memory, attention, multitasking, self-awareness, reasoning, organization, planning, understanding, and problem-solving.
Cognitive rehabilitation therapy is not directed to a single approach. Instead, various exercises and tasks are tailored according to your needs. Everyone in the rehab including psychiatrists, therapists, and doctors set up different methods, techniques and tools to improve cognitive abilities. This rehabilitation therapy has two different types, restorative treatment and compensatory treatment. While in restorative treatment, patient practices skills to improve them, the compensatory treatment allows individuals to work around their deficits or injuries. Compensatory treatment includes the use of smartphones, memory tools, devices, calendars, and setting alarms to help compensate for reduced cognitive function.
By improving cognitive function or abilities, one can perform and manage everyday activities with ease. It also helps you to maintain:
- Social relationships
- Perform better at work
- Make decisions
- Enhance communication ability
- Live more independently
Also, cognitive rehabs can help treat many conditions associated with brain injuries or diseases, such as:
- Alzheimer’s disease
- Parkinson’s disease
- Bipolar disorder
- Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD)
- Executive dysfunction
- Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)
Vocational Rehabilitation Therapy
Vocational Therapy or Vocational Addiction Counselling is often used alongside occupational and physical therapy that helps in preparing individuals to return to work after an injury, illness or medical event. The goal of vocational rehabilitation is to help individuals with disabilities (including neuropsychological) achieve their career goals. People suffering from traumatic brain injuries, stroke, amputations, cognitive disabilities, and physical deformities tend to have the best experience with vocational rehabilitation therapy.
In order to treat these patients, a vocational therapist performs a vocational assessment to determine an individual’s abilities, aptitudes, and skills. This assessment helps therapists to evaluate their needs, strengths, and career potentials in order to select the best approach. For example, if an individual has skills but is not medically stable, the therapist will ensure that the vocational training is provided to him ASAP. Also, a vocational therapist focuses more on what you can do instead of holding you back.
Vision Rehabilitation Therapy
Vision rehabilitation therapy treats patients with low vision problems. In this form of rehabilitation, the therapists provide expert solutions to help individuals who are blind or dealing with vision impairments. Vision rehabilitation therapists help them lead independent and successful lives by providing specialized treatments or techniques for communication and coping with everyday living needs.
These specialized techniques include a broad use of handwriting practices, listening and recording technology, Braille, computers, low-vision technology, keyboarding, and mathematical calculation. The expertise in these techniques helps visually-impaired patients to perform daily living skills, such as home mechanics, home management, leisure and recreation activities, food preparation and cooking, and personal management. While you can get the help of vision rehabilitation therapists individually, they also work with rehabilitation centres.
Every patient deserves the best when it comes to the care they need to live an independent and successful life. These seven types of rehabilitation therapies are the most commonly practised therapies in rehabilitation centres, hospitals, or in homes. While the rehabilitation process can be intimidating at first, it can do wonders for people struggling with speech, behavioural, cognitive, respiratory, and other disorders. You can connect to your nearest rehabilitation centre or addiction treatment centres to help yourself or your loved ones. Take that first step today!