If you are recovering from an injury or surgery, you may need to undergo physical therapy in order to ensure a proper and quick recovery. This physical rehabilitation can be performed via inpatient rehab or outpatient rehab.
In some cases inpatient rehab, which requires you to stay within a facility in order to undergo physical therapy treatment, will be necessary to properly treat patients recovering from more serious injuries. However, some patients may have the option of undergoing physical therapy outside of such a facility – outpatient rehab.
Inpatient Rehab vs. Outpatient Rehab
- Inpatient rehab
Patients who have experienced serious injuries or extensive surgeries often require intensive physical therapy treatment. This process can have major effects on the rest of their lives, which is why many patients will choose to undergo their physical therapy in an inpatient rehab center, where they will be able to focus 100 percent on their physical therapy without distractions.
Patients who choose inpatient rehab will have to stay, including overnights, at an inpatient rehab center for an extended period of time. Inpatient rehab centers are typically designed to provide a relaxing and healing environment and often provide patients with amenities like indoor rehabilitation pools or spa services.
Patients who decide to stay at inpatient rehab centers will have much more one-on-one time with their physical therapists, which means their progress will be more consistently closely monitored than if they were to attend an outpatient rehab center. Inpatient rehab is best suited for patients that have suffered severe injuries, such as back or head injuries or multi-trauma injuries in which they have to re-learn how to walk.
- Outpatient rehab
Outpatient rehab centers employ the same type of highly trained staff as inpatient rehab centers. One of the main benefits of choosing outpatient rehab is that patients can return to the comfort of their own homes where they can continue doing their exercises on their own. Some patients simply don't feel comfortable being away from home for extended periods of time, as it typically means that they could be away from work and their family for awhile. If this is the case, an outpatient rehab center may be the better option for you.
Patients who undergo physical therapy at an outpatient rehab center are responsible for their own progress, which means that they can progress as quickly as they wish, depending on how much work they put in at home.
Patients who don't require intensive physical therapy due to more minor injuries, such as some sports-related injuries (i.e. broken bones in the hands and arms, muscle injuries in the arms and legs) or arthritis, may want to consider outpatient rehab.
Making the Right Choice
These are just some of the benefits, as well as drawbacks, of inpatient rehab compared to outpatient rehab. Choosing between the two depends largely on the severity of the injury or affliction that the patient has experienced as well as the amount and intensity of the physical therapy that is required.