Neurological rehabilitation is a multidisciplinary, physician-supervised program that improves function and alleviates symptoms for people with a variety of conditions. It includes elements of pain management, stress management, and emotional support. In addition, patients participate in individualized programs designed to enhance the quality of their life.
Neurological rehabilitation is a team-based approach that combines the skills of physicians, physical therapists, speech therapists, and other professionals to develop a treatment plan that will be best suited to the needs of the patient. Treatment may be done in a hospital or in an outpatient setting.
The main goal of neurological rehabilitation is to increase the ability to perform daily activities. This may involve cognitive exercises to help patients better their judgment and reading or writing, as well as mobility activities to help control muscle weakness. As with any type of rehabilitation, patients and families should be educated about the program’s goals and expectations.
During the early stages of rehabilitation, patients are often severely impaired. However, as they become more comfortable with their new abilities, the process can slowly advance. Rehabilitation is also appropriate for individuals with other types of conditions, including vascular disorders, brain or spinal cord injuries, and degenerative disorders.
Patients are usually enrolled in the neurological rehabilitation program at a primary care medical center. They may be provided with occupational therapists, physical therapists, a neurologist or a neurosurgeon, a social worker, a case manager, and other specialists. Depending on the nature of the condition, the team will also have a vocational counselor and a psychologist to assist with the patients’ rehabilitation.
Inpatient rehabilitation is a highly structured process. During this period, patients will attend sessions for several hours each day. During these sessions, they will be monitored with EEG electrodes that monitor cerebral activity. This information is used to monitor therapeutic effects. An inpatient rehabilitation program can last as long as two to three weeks. During this time, the patient is encouraged to make progress.
Outpatient treatment is a more flexible option. Patients can choose to receive therapy in a rehabilitation center, a private clinic, or in their own homes. Studies show that community rehabilitation teams are just as effective as hospital-based teams. These teams are typically more affordable and preferable to disabled consumers.
Despite their differences in treatment, all rehabilitation teams work toward a common goal. To achieve this, they must be able to effectively work with all of their stakeholders. For this reason, many neurorehabilitation teams rely on input from lawyers, employment experts, and other professionals to ensure that the team’s treatment plan is comprehensive.
The team’s focus on neuroplasticity allows the brain to change in response to stimuli. New neural connections are formed every time a person learns, experiences, or undergoes a new activity. Neuroplasticity is a natural ability of the brain that enables it to adapt to new situations.
Among the most important elements of a good rehabilitation program are active involvement of patients and their families. By working together, the team will be able to ensure that the patient’s needs are met and that the program is successful.