Rehab Select Blog

7 Types of Rehabilitation Therapy

Posted by Bobby Stephenson

Jan 10, 2018 7:00:00 AM

rehab therapyThere are many types of rehabilitation therapy, each designed to address specific ranges of issues. What they all have in common is their primary goals: To help individuals recover from illness, injury, surgery, stroke, cardiac events or other medical issues and regain functional abilities and independence lost to these events. Here we'll outline 7 types of rehabilitation therapy commonly used in treatment plans designed to meet those goals.

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  • Physical Therapy – This type of rehabilitation therapy works to improve movement dysfunction. Therapists work with patients to restore movement, strength, stability and/or functional ability and reduce pain via targeted exercise and a range of other treatment methods.

  • Occupational Therapy – This form of therapy focuses on restoring an individual's ability to perform necessary daily activities. This may mean working to improve fine motor skills, restore balance, or assist patients in learning how to increase their functional ability via use of adaptive equipment, among other potential treatment options.

  • Speech Therapy – This type of rehabilitation therapy is used to address difficulties with speech, communication and/or swallowing.

  • Respiratory Therapy – Used to aid patients who have breathing disorders or difficulties, this form of rehabilitation therapy works to help them decrease respiratory distress, maintain open airways and, when necessary, learn how to use inhalers and supplemental oxygen properly

  • Cognitive Rehabilitation – Also commonly called cognitive-behavior rehabilitation, this type of therapy works with patients to improve memory, thinking and reasoning skills.

  • Vocational Rehabilitation – This form of therapy is geared towards preparing individuals to return to work after an injury, illness, or medical event.

Each type of rehabilitation therapy can be accessed in various healthcare settings. These include inpatient rehabilitation facilities, outpatient rehabilitation clinics and home-based rehabilitation services.

Inpatient rehabilitation centers typically offer all of these common types of therapy and others, along with medical/nursing care, provided by a multidisciplinary team of rehabilitation professionals in a hospital-type setting. Outpatient clinics vary in the types of therapy they offer, and those services are offered by appointment, with patients traveling to their offices for therapy sessions. Home-based rehabilitation programs typically offer a few basic services – usually physical, occupational, and speech therapies – in a patient's home, with therapists visiting by appointment.

When multiple types of therapy are needed to aid an individual in recovery and rehabilitation or close medical supervision is necessary, seeking services in an inpatient facility is generally recommended as the safest and most efficient means of treatment. Outpatient or home-based services may be most appropriate for patients who need fewer services or less intensive medical/rehabilitative care.

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Topics: Inpatient Rehab