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Rehabilitation, or rehab, therapy refers to the therapeutic, healing treatment a patient receives after an illness or injury. The illness or injury could be cancer, a stroke or an automobile or skiing accident. Drug rehabilitation therapy is treatment that drug addicts receive to help them learn to live without a dependence on drugs to be at their physical, emotional and mental best. All forms of rehabilitation therapy strive to help people recover from challenges or problems and function at their best ability.
Physical therapy focuses on strengthening muscles and relieving pain. Physical rehabilitation treatments often include massage and exercise. If a patient is too weak to exercise on his or her own, a qualified physical therapist may gently move the patient's arms or legs to help build strength. Patients with more physical strength may lift weights to build muscle, while others hurt in an accident may need a cane or other device to help them walk. Patients in wheelchairs are often taught to do exercises made to do in a wheelchair in physical therapy.
Speech rehabilitation therapy helps stroke patients and others with speaking difficulties relearn to communicate. Speech rehab also helps those who have experienced damage to their language skills such as some brain injury patients. Patients who experienced memory loss may have difficulty with the reasoning skills needed for forming coherent language. A qualified speech therapist may be able to help patients with memory loss and other conditions improve their ability to speak clearly with the aid of reading comprehension materials and other learning devices.
Drug rehabilitation therapy may include several components, such as counseling and medication. Inpatient drug rehab programs may be short term or long term. Drug treatment centers typically offer residential drug rehabilitation therapy for at least a month and up to a year. Outpatient drug rehab usually follows a residential stay in a treatment center and continues to try and help people cope with life and avoid substance abuse. A weekly counseling session that may be individual or in a group setting is often a large part of outpatient drug rehabilitation.
One person may require different kinds of rehabilitation therapy. For example, a person with a substance abuse problem who is involved in a motorcycle accident could need both drug rehabilitation and physical therapy. A stroke patient who is paralyzed in his or her face and other areas of the body may need physical as well as speech therapy. Rehab therapists may work together on a patient's case in order to coordinate an effective therapy program.