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Rehabilitation and recovery can be a daunting phrase, stirring up feelings of anxiety –– especially for patients who are still recuperating from an injury, illness, or surgery. Knowing what to expect when you go through rehabilitation, however, can help make the process less scary.

Is physical or occupational therapy in your future? Here are some of the more common experiences and processes you may encounter while participating in a rehabilitation and recovery environment.

1. Physical And Occupational Therapy

Physical and occupational therapy play an important role in your health, especially as you get older. As you age, the chances of you developing chronic health conditions or experiencing a dangerous injury increase – and your need for therapy along with them.

Most often, injury, illness, or surgery will dictate a need for physical and occupational therapy. If you understand what that therapy may look like, it can help improve your recovery and lower your risk of hospital readmission.

Depending on the severity of the injury or illness, or the nature of the surgery performed, physical and occupational therapy can begin immediately, or within days. Physical therapy is a motion-based treatment program that aims to ease pain and help you recover from a surgery, injury, or illness more quickly. Some more common physical therapy exercises might include:

  • Flexibility exercises to improve your range of motion
  • Strength-building exercises to rebuild muscles
  • Posture, balance, and coordination training
  • Gait analysis and training
  • Specific exercises prescribed by physicians
  • A review of precautions you may have to take in order to avoid re-injury

Occupational therapists help patients recover coordination, strength, and accomplish daily living skills by helping them return to their independent lives. Examples of occupational therapy may include:

  • Learning the best techniques for getting in and out of bed
  • Learning how to climb stairs and avoid injury
  • Learning how to walk with an assistive device
  • Learning how to get into a car without re-injuring yourself
  • Using the bathroom when range of motion is inhibited

2. A Protein-Rich Diet

Nutrition, particularly protein-rich diets, can play a key role in the body’s ability to heal. When protein is eaten and broken down, it creates amino acids. These acids then make new proteins that help with muscle growth and development and tissue repair. Strong muscles and faster healing can aid in a successful rehabilitation process.

3. Bedrest And Nurse Assistance

Bedrest can be necessary after invasive procedures, but prolonged inactivity due to bedrest can result in lost muscle tone and lost body and muscle mass. Nurse assistance may be necessary for even the smallest tasks until your muscles begin to recover enough to manage on your own.

4. Check-Ups And Prescriptions

Once you’ve completed your rehabilitation and are discharged, don’t let all that hard work go to waste. In order to minimize the chance of re-injury or readmission, patients should plan on adhering to their schedule of subsequent check-ups and continuing medications and pain management as prescribed by therapists and doctors.

Recovering from an injury, illness, or surgery is hard enough without the added worry of the unknown. A lot of attention is paid to the diagnosis and treatment of an injury, illness, or surgical necessity, leaving the recovery process shrouded and indistinct. Understanding what to expect during recovery brings the healing process full circle.

At The Arbors, we understand how overwhelming finding a comfortable, welcoming rehabilitation center can be – especially after you’ve recently undergone surgery or are recovering from a traumatic injury or illness. Our therapy services are focused on our patients’ comfort and healing. We provide an environment that helps you successfully navigate rehabilitation, so you can return home safely.

Take a tour of our facility, and see how our highly skilled staff and thoughtful services can help you heal.