Outpatient Rehab Center: Benefits of Outpatient Rehab

Being released from the hospital or skilled nursing facility after an illness or injury is not the completion of treatment in many cases. Complete recovery periods vary depending on the nature of the injury as well as the fitness of the patient. Whether they have suffered from physical or emotional events, many patients benefit from ongoing outpatient rehabilitation services.

Regaining strength is one important benefit that can be achieved through outpatient rehabilitation. Aquatic therapy can be of particular benefit to those who have sustained physical injuries. Water has long been known to provide a cushion for joints when exercise is prescribed. Buoyancy is the secret, and the water is usually maintained at a therapeutic temperature that not only feels wonderful but adds to the healing properties of the rehabilitation by keeping muscles loose and supple. Overtime, aquatic therapy through an outpatient facility can add to a patient’s overall fitness level, too. In some cases, patients come through their therapy healthier than ever before.

Athletic training is another outpatient service that can strengthen injured limbs or other areas of the body. With certified staff members to guide the patient through specific exercises, a person will learn the right way to perform movements. In that way, the possibility of re-injury is lowered. At the same time, qualified athletic rehabilitation staff members can assess the patient’s abilities and recovery progress, lending encouragement as needed.

Where pain is concerned, the ultimate goal of any rehabilitation routine is to decrease that pain. Heat or ice packs, massage and stretching, low-impact aerobics…there are a variety of programs that can be designed for the patient.

Over time, the patient will discover that pain may decrease or that he or she is able to manage that pain better. Of course, becoming pain free is what any patient desires, and outpatient rehabilitation is a sensible way in which to work toward that goal.

Patients who require speech therapy can benefit from outpatient rehabilitation by working with experts in voice assessment and treatment. Whether they need therapy for aphasia, dysarthria or traumatic brain injury, people will discover encouragement along with the special training that they require. Taking their therapy on an outpatient basis allows them time to rest between sessions as well as free time to practice therapies on their own. While monitored therapy is essential, free time can help a patient to gain confidence in his or her abilities. And confidence is one of the keys to success.

The primary goal of most patients who have suffered from strokes is to regain as normal a life as they can as quickly as possible. To that end, outpatient rehabilitation offers many benefits. Because the therapists are trained in speech, balance, memory, vision and other aspects of stroke therapy, they are able to provide patients with guidance, specific exercises and encouragement. Strength is another area of importance, and routine exercises can help a stroke patient to recover his or her ability to stand, walk, and perform routine tasks with fingers, hands and legs. Because outpatient therapists typically work closely with a patient’s physician, all-around success is a greater possibility.

One of the key benefits of any type of rehabilitation is individualized therapy in a professional and caring environment. Each patient has his or her own specific needs, and so it is important that doctors, therapists, case managers and others involved in the rehabilitation process treat those patients as individuals. Because of those individual needs, outpatient rehabilitation usually involves the assignment of a case manager and specific therapists to each patient. Such dedicated and experienced staff members quickly get to know their patients as someone more than their next appointment. This personal care can be the difference between failure and success for a patient, so it is important that such relationships are nurtured from both sides.

Of course, while individual programs are of utmost importance, group activities can add to the beneficial aspects of outpatient therapy by enabling patients to share their experiences and encourage each other. In fact, whether for physical or mental needs, group therapy in an outpatient setting often results in new friendships that last well beyond recovery periods. After all, similar circumstances are one of the magnets that draw people together, and those circumstances can become the glue that keeps them together. It is not unusual for lifelong attachments to form between group therapy members.

Emotional needs are met through outpatient therapy, too. Because the patient has a specific place to which he or she returns on a daily, weekly or other scheduled basis, they rediscover that they have a reason to get up each day. Because the rehab center is staffed by encouraging and friendly staff, patients often look forward to their scheduled therapy sessions. They don’t feel alone in their recovery journey because they aren’t.

These are just a few of the benefits that can be attained through outpatient rehab. Each patient will discover his or her own particular benefits as the process progresses, with well-being and a normal lifestyle as the ultimate goal.

The information provided in this article is for informational purposes only. It is not a substitute for medical advice. All medical information presented should be discussed with your healthcare professional. Remember, the failure to seek timely medical advice can have serious ramifications. We urge you to discuss any current health related problems you are experiencing with a healthcare professional immediately.

Erin Harding is a freelance writer who writes about a variety of health topics including outpatient rehab



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