What rehabilitation means
Generally rehabilitation is treatment aimed at helping the body to recover from illness, injury or disease. Often the body’s tissues will recover some degree of physical health and function after a time, but without a programme of rehabilitation full strength, function and range of movement of damaged tissues may be delayed or not happen, or incomplete healing with scar tissue may occur with a risk of re-injury.
More specifically rehabilitation aims to restore not only the patient’s physical abilities that may have been lost or diminshed but also sensory and mental capabilities. There are common examples that we are all familiar with: after a broken leg or ankle, for instance, people often find that although the bones physically mend they still experience a loss of confidence in crossing the road. This is because the brain still ‘guards’ the formerly damaged limb so that the patient lacks full confidence in use.
As osteopaths we are skilled in treating injury or dysfunction We assess your muscular abilities, coordination and proprioception. We design an exercise regime specifically to strengthen, challenge and balance your body’s capabilities and to rebuild your health and confidence.
Confidence and the neuro-muscular approach
After a detailed examination and case history we combine traditional stretching, exercise and Pilates-style core strengthening work along with more dynamic forms of movement including functional and neuro-muscular work.
Although injury causes local tissue damage, the brain and central nervous system have a large part to play in recovery and rehabilitation. Injury also causes cognitive change and differences in pain reflexes and the control of posture and movement.
There are a number of aspects of neuromuscular rehabilitation – including cognition, being active, feedback, repetition and similarity. In order to learn a new task, modify our behaviour or help our system recover its range of movement we need to be aware of what we are doing (cognition) and we have to actively perform the action that we aim to recover (being active). In order to correct our movement we rely on internal information from our senses or depend on guidance by someone (feedback) and we have to practise the action many times (repetition). In addition the action must be functional, or one that is closely related to the movement or ability that has been lost (task-specific).
Case study: what patients say
“I was in the early stages of a frozen shoulder when I first went to be treated at Devonshire Osteopaths and was in much pain and with limited mobility. Most important of all I was assured that my shoulder would improve. This was very reassuring as I was in a lot of pain and could not unaided do many things including taking off or putting on on a shirt or jacket. Also driving was hard including changing gear. Whilst giving me reassurance my expectations for speed of recovery were managed. I was given a wide variety of treatments within an overall treatment strategy. Treatmen included, massage, stretching, needles, air-punching and air-swimming! And even carrying a tray at head height with a glass of water on it! I had a varied range of exercises to follow between treatments and did a little more each week.
My shoulder now has no pain and I do not feel any constraint in mobility. I am delighted with the outcome of treatment and the high standard of care provided at Devonshire Osteopaths. Thank you!!!”
(Mr S.,aged 63, Project consultant, Bristol)