Basics of Rehabilitation/Physical Therapy services

Posted by Health Entrepreneur 10/28/2015

With the rising population affected by chronic diseases, the number of physically-challenged people is also increasing. So, rehabilitation services are required to provide functional independence, prevent further loss of function, and improve the quality of life of patients with physical illnesses or other chronic disease conditions.


Why the Business of Rehabilitation and Physical Therapy Looks Promising?

A large number of people around the globe are either physically, mentally, emotionally, or developmentally impaired. Nearly 15% of the world’s population has some form of disability. With the rise in the population affected by chronic diseases, the number of physically-challenged people is also increasing. Moreover, age is also a contributor to this impairment. Disability hampers the reach of the population to health care facilities, thereby resulting in the severity of the suffering.

Rehabilitation services aim to provide functional independence, prevent further loss of function, and improve the quality of life of patients with physical illnesses or other chronic disease conditions. Rehabilitation therapy emphasizes on –

  • Physical therapy that helps improve strength, mobility, and fitness

  • Occupational therapy that aids in daily activities

  • Speech-language therapy  that helps with speaking, understanding, reading, writing and swallowing

  • Treatment of pain


Types of rehabilitation therapies

The type of rehabilitation therapy depends on the patient’s suffering.

Medicine and physical health – This can be categorized into:

1. “Physical medicine and rehabilitation” (PM&R), also known as physiatry, is a branch of medicine that intends to improve and restore the functional ability and quality of life of the patient’s having physical impairment.

2. “Physical therapy”, also known as physical rehabilitation or physiotherapy, deals with the treatment options and exercises required for alleviating physical disability by promoting mobility, which results in enhanced functional ability and improved quality of life.

3. “Aquatic therapy” uses water during the treatment and also during exercises. This type of therapy is used for relaxation, fitness, physical rehabilitation, and other therapeutic benefits.

4. “Medical nutrition therapy” (MNT) involves restricting the patient to a specific diet program to achieve the desired outcomes.

5. “Physical activity” aims to enhance or maintain physical conditioning and boosts the overall health and wellness of the individual.

6. “Sports medicine” focuses on physical fitness, treatment, and prevention of injuries related to sports and exercise.

7. Athletic training, exercises and regimes to uplift the performance and ability of the individual to participate in athletic activities.

8. “Vision rehabilitation” is a form of rehabilitation service to the visually impaired, aiming to impart facilities that assist in restoring functional ability and improving the quality of life and independence.

Mental health


Rehabilitation services for the mentally challenged include -


1. Drug Rehabilitation/Medical/Psycho-therapeutic treatment: This form of rehabilitation service is offered to an individual who is dependent on alcohol, prescription drugs, and street drugs.


2. Rehabilitation for an individual with charges of a criminal offence (Penology).


3. Rehabilitation services for individuals with alterations in neurocognitive function caused due to a disease or an injury (Neuropsychology).


4.  Psychiatric rehabilitation intends to restore mental health in individuals with mental illness.


*Rehabilitation facilities use robots to enhance rehabilitation. Another revolution in this segment is the introduction of “telerehabilitation”, which uses telecommunication or/and internet to render rehabilitation services.


Classification of Rehabilitation Services


1. Inpatient Rehabilitation Services: These services refer to those that are offered to an individual during his/her stay in the hospital or a rehabilitation center. The inpatient rehabilitation may last for weeks to months. Once the patient is out of the inpatient rehabilitation, he/she is discharged from the hospital with adequate training on self-management for the present as well as in the future.  


2. Outpatient Rehabilitation Services: This type of rehabilitation service is associated with performing all the daily activities by staying at home and offering frequent visits to the rehabilitation center for treatment, as and when required.


3. Residential Rehabilitation Services: This type of rehabilitation program requires housing of the individual during the entire course of treatment and lasts for 28 days. The participation of the individuals in this type of program is voluntary, and obligatory, unless and until ordered by a court. Residential rehabilitation programs differ in the extent of restraining the patient to the house. Like, locked-door programs require complete restraint of the individual to the house/facility, whereas others do not require restraint and also prohibit the return of the individual.


4. Executive/Luxury Rehabilitation Services: In today's world, everyone is too occupied to look after anyone. So, when one wants to look after someone, but cannot, centers like executive rehabilitation centers can be a great option. These centers provide the individual with all the luxuries that one would get to staying in a multi-star hotel, ranging from the gym, massage, to appetizing food. So, if one couldn't afford the time to care for a patient with substance abuse or behavioral addiction, executive rehabilitation services could be a significant alternative.   


A large population of the U.S. needs rehabilitation services. The top 10 rehabilitation centers in the USA are:


  • Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago in Chicago, IL

  • Kessler Institute for Rehabilitation in West Orange, NJ

  • TIRR Memorial Hermann in Houston, TX

  • Mayo Clinic in Rochester, MN

  • University of Washington Medical Center in Seattle, WA

  • Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital-Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, MA

  • Craig Hospital in Englewood, CO

  • MossRehab in Elkins Park, PA

  • Rusk Rehabilitation at NYU Langone Medical Center in New York, NY

  • Shepherd Center in Atlanta, GA


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November, 2017 (1)

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