What Is Active Rehabilitation?

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What Is Active Rehabilitation?

Active Rehabilitation allows you to take over a large part of your own rehabilitation process following chronic pain, injury or trauma. This means saying farewell, at least in part, to a program often based almost totally on outside intervention and assistance.

Increasingly forming part of both chiropractic and physiotherapy programs as well as other modalities, active rehabilitation plays an important role modern therapy, ensuring that rehabilitation work done with assistance can continue to be of benefit once you are left to do it alone.

That initial, usually therapist-driven rehabilitation, is aimed at reducing pain, and getting you back on your feet. Once the pain subsides, the goal changes, becoming one intended to get you back in action, and, finally, back to normal life. Activity is said to be responsible for the final 20% of recovery – it’s the part that’s believed to ensure that injuries and pain don’t return to haunt you after you thought you were finally over it.

Taking back your power

For many, the process may seem scary at first, particularly when injury, illness or a period of immobility has been severe or long term. You may be feeling physically weak, as well as separated and isolated from normal life. It can even leave you feeling a little dependent on those professionals who have been treating you, and with little confidence in your ability to recover full mobility.

Proponents of active rehabilitation believe there are ways to turn that around, enabling patients to take their power back – provided they do that actively. And, while you will be taking on a large share of the process from here on out, you will certainly not be going it completely alone.

Active rehabilitation is a further and vital step in the longer term rehabilitation program. Your therapist will develop a program of exercises that is specially designed to meet your needs, and assist you with learning and implementing them and any allied tools and instruments to the best of your ability.

Reasons for active rehabilitation

active rehabilitation with chiropractor

Studies have indicated that once the initial pain has subsided, active therapies can speed up the healing process by focusing on restoring fitness, flexibility, muscle strength and balance as well as endurance and power. It can also help restore self-confidence, and lessen the chances of your developing modified behaviors.

Modified behaviors are actions people develop to compensate for injuries, and which they continue to use long after the injury has healed. These include limps after a foot injury and “shoulder hiking” which happens after a neck injury.

One of the benefits of activity in the healing process is in its ability to stimulate circulation, ensuring that enough oxygen and nutrients reach the injured area. This in turn promotes healing.

Active rehabilitation is not only restricted to recovery from injury but also to post-operative recuperation, particularly in the aged who have gone through back surgery.

What form does active rehabilitation take?

While some active rehabilitation programs are restricted to the development of a self-help program of do-at-home exercises, others are run alongside of passive therapy. This involves a continuation of manual manipulation, or assisted manipulation involving instruments and tools. For at least part of the process, it will be done under the supervision of your physiotherapist or chiropractor.

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