Beyond Exercise: What Else Does Rehabilitation Therapy Involve?

Suffering an injury, facing recovery after major surgery, or living with a chronic pain condition can make moving through your daily life difficult. Rehabilitation therapy is a specialized area of medicine designed to help you heal.

The goal of rehabilitation therapy is restoring strength and giving you the mobility you need in everyday life. Exercise might be the first thing that comes to mind when you think of rehabilitation, but it’s a comprehensive program that includes a lot more than exercise.

Our team at Bryn Medical believes in the importance of rehabilitation therapy, whether you’re recovering from an injury or surgery, or you have a chronic condition like arthritis or back pain

Exercise is an important component of rehab, but we integrate other elements, from soft tissue stimulation to pain management methods.

When you come to Bryn Medical in Chattanooga, Tennessee, your rehabilitation therapy plan is tailored to your body. Although every patient’s needs are different, most rehabilitation plans include a combination of the following.

Passive exercises
Most people who start rehabilitation therapy are experiencing pain, whether they’re recovering from surgery, an injury, or both. Passive or static exercises are common in rehab, and they’re a great first step when you have a lot of pain.

Passive exercises don’t require you to engage muscles in the target area. You relax while your therapist gently performs stretches or exercises for you. Passive exercises allow you to improve flexibility and stimulate healing without straining the area.

Strengthening exercises
As your body begins to heal, your therapist introduces more advanced exercises to your rehabilitation sessions. Exercises that you perform on your own build strength and continue to improve your flexibility. 

Don’t rush through your exercises. Instead, move intentionally and focus on proper form to reduce your risk of strain or injury. Both passive and strengthening exercises are key to successful rehabilitation and play a role in occupational therapy as well.

Soft tissue stimulation
The natural healing process often triggers inflammation and pain within your body. Your rehab sessions may include different types of soft tissue stimulation to improve your recovery. We offer a range of soft tissue therapies as part of rehabilitation therapy, including:

•  Electrical stimulation
•  Hot or cold packs
•  Massage
•  Ultrasound

These methods help encourage blood flow and reduce inflammation to minimize your pain as you progress through recovery.

Pain management techniques
At your rehab sessions, don’t be afraid to speak up if you’re bothered by pain or you’re facing challenges at home or at work during recovery. Part of rehabilitation is making adaptations in daily life so you don’t re-injure the affected area.

Your therapist can offer techniques for making your life more comfortable, whether it’s making adjustments to the way you work or finding ways to reduce pain and inflammation throughout the day.  

Your rehabilitation program is customized for your needs. Depending on your condition, we generally recommend most people begin with two to three rehab sessions every week for about a month. 

You may continue coming several times a week or just once a week for as long as it takes your body to heal.

Rehabilitation can help you live better. If you’ve recently had orthopedic surgery or you’re living with pain, contact Bryn Medical at 423-301-9662 or schedule your free consultation online today.

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