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Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation – The Terms to Know!

Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation (PM&R), also known as physiatry, is a medical specialty that involves the process of restoring function for a person who has been disabled as a result of a disease, disorder, or injury.

Rehabilitation is the process of helping an individual achieve the highest level of function, independence, and quality of life possible. Rehabilitation does not reverse or undo the damage caused by disease or trauma, but rather helps restore the individual to optimal health, functioning, and well-being.

Rehabilitation medicine is designed to meet each person’s specific needs; therefore, each program is different. Some general treatment components for rehabilitation programs include the following:

· Treating the basic disease and preventing complications

· Treating the disability and improving function

· Providing adaptive tools and altering the environment

· Teaching the patient and family and helping them adapt to lifestyle changes

The success of rehabilitation depends on many variables, including the following:

· The nature and severity of the disease, disorder, or injury

· The type and degree of any resulting impairments and disabilities

· The overall health of the patient

· Family support

Understanding rehabilitation terminology

Rehabilitation is needed when a disease or injury causes an impairment. An impairment is a loss of normal function of part of the body, such as paralysis of a leg. Disability occurs when a person is not able to perform an activity in a normal way as a result of an impairment, such as not being able to walk. A handicap occurs when there are limits that prevent a person with a disability from performing a role that is normal for that person, such as not being able to work. A handicap refers to a barrier that may be imposed by society, the environment, or by one’s own attitude. Most people with disabilities are not considered handicapped. They go to school, work, perform family duties, and interact with society fully and capably.

This content was originally seen on pinnaclehealth.org



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