Rehabilitation (sometimes called rehab) is a treatment to help you work on the thinking and moving skills that were affected by the injury. Rehabilitation is very different than the care you had in the hospital right after your injury. Even though it may start in the hospital, you’ll often keep doing rehabilitation after you leave.
How much rehabilitation you need and what type you get depends on:
- how aware you are (your Ranchos Los Amigos score)
- any other injuries you have
- how much rest you need
- how much you're able to take part in therapy
Helps your body heal
Rehabilitation helps your body heal through:
- physical and thinking exercises
- learning new skills to make up for lost skills
Rehabilitation will help you be more aware of your surroundings and what’s happened. For example, you may need to relearn the date, time, and where you live, and understand what happened.
As your thinking skills and physical abilities improve, you’ll be better able to care for yourself.
The best way to relearn is by practice. You’ll spend only a few hours a day in therapy, but it’s important to practice the skills you learn throughout the rest of the day to help your recovery.
Most progress happens in the first 3 to 6 months
The fastest changes you see during your recovery are usually within the first 3 to 6 months. You’ll keep making gains after this time, but they tend to happen more slowly.
It's done with you not to you
Rehabilitation is hard work. It’s done with you, not to you.
It’s important to be willing and able to work with your rehabilitation team in your therapy sessions. But it’s also important to work on what you learned in therapy when you’re on your own and with your caregivers.
Important points to remember
- The goal of rehabilitation is to help you do as much as you can on your own.
- Most rehabilitation therapy last days to weeks, but some can last months.
- You can do rehabilitation at home in between your therapy sessions.
- Doing everyday tasks, even when you’re no longer doing therapy, is still rehabilitation.