Rehabilitation is the act of restoring something to its original state. The noun rehabilitation comes from the Latin prefix re-, meaning “again” and habitare, meaning “make fit.” When something falls into disrepair and needs to be restored to a better condition, it needs rehabilitation. People seek rehabilitation after an accident or surgery to restore their strength, or to learn to live without drugs or other addictive substances or behaviours. For example, the rehabilitation of the forest that had once been cleared for use as an amusement park. Rehabilitation is the care that can help you get back, keep or improve abilities that you need for daily life. These abilities may be physical, mental, or cognitive (thinking and learning). You may have lost them because of a disease or injury, or as a side effect from medical treatment.
Rehabilitation is for people who have lost abilities that they need for daily life. Some of the most common causes include injuries and trauma, including burns, fractures, traumatic brain injury, spinal cord injuries, and stroke. In addition, it also involves severe infections, major surgery and side effects from medical treatments, such as cancer treatments. Certain birth defects and genetic disorders, developmental disabilities, chronic pain, including back and neck pain also constitute it.
The overall goal of rehabilitation is to help you get your abilities back and regain independence. However, the specific goals are different for each person. They depend on what caused the problem, whether the cause is on-going or temporary, which abilities you lost, and how severe the problem is. For example, a person who has had a stroke may need rehabilitation to be able to dress or bathe without help or an active person who has had a heart attack may go through cardiac rehabilitation to try to return to exercising. Someone with a lung disease may get pulmonary rehabilitation to be able to breathe better and improve their quality of life.
When you get rehabilitation, you often have a team of different health care providers helping you. They will work with you to figure out your needs, goals, and treatment plan. Depending on your needs, you may have rehabilitation in the providers’ offices, a hospital, or an inpatient rehabilitation centre. In some cases, a provider may come to your home. If you get care in your home, you will need to have family members or friends. Prudence Plummer-D’Amato, an assistant professor of Physical Therapy at Northeastern University, was awarded a grant from the American Heart Association to develop a new approach for teaching stroke victims how to walk. The four-year project will require patients to complete challenging mental tasks while undergoing physical therapy.
“It’s a journey it’s a fight every day. There was a real effort to stay in the program. So far this has been a very successful rehabilitation.”