Physical Therapy and Rehabilitation
Physical rehabilitation refers to the use of procedures and techniques used to increase a patient physical capacity or potential. The patient response to a course of physical rehabilitation is commonly monitored by a physician experienced in the diagnosis and care of neuromuscular and orthopedic disorders. Some physicians in these fields will have additional expert skills in manipulation. The attending health care specialist will determine when spinal care must shift from a more passive approach such as physiotherapy to active care with progressive physical rehabilitation.
The implementation of a physical rehabilitation approach is preceded by a functional assessment to determine physical limitations. This serves as a baseline of human performance for which to design the rehabilitative program. It also serves as a baseline measurement to measure therapeutic outcome. The goals of physical rehabilitation include improving strength, endurance, balance, coordination and reaction time. Emphasis is placed upon spinal and non-spinal joint integrity and stability. Physical rehabilitation may be used in conjunction with functional restoration techniques such as mobilization or manipulation of joints and massage of soft tissues. Adjustive techniques often promote joint mobility during the healing process.