Rehabilitation therapies aim to allow people to live independent lives, either after an illness or injury or because of a problem present since birth. Some therapies are used to treat children with developmental problems. Although some of these therapies may be started in hospital, treatment frequently continues at home.
This section describes three major types of therapy used in rehabilitation: physiotherapy, occupational therapy, and speech and language therapy. Rehabilitation may involve more than one type of therapy, and usually a programme is developed to meet an individual’s needs and circumstances, for example, cardiac rehabilitation following a heart attack or pulmonary rehabilitation for people with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.
The goal of physiotherapy is to improve mobility and maintain the normal function of the body using physical techniques, such as exercise and massage. Occupational therapy helps people who have physical or mental illnesses to cope with everyday living and to remain as independent as possible. Speech therapy may be used to help people with communication problems or who have swallowing difficulties after a stroke.
From the 2010 revision of the Complete Home Medical Guide © Dorling Kindersley Limited.
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