After a serious injury, illness or surgery, you may recover slowly. You may need to regain your strength, relearn skills or find new ways of doing things you did before. This process is rehabilitation.
Rehabilitation often focuses on
- Physical therapy to help your strength, mobility and fitness
- Occupational therapy to help you with your daily activities
- Speech-language therapy to help with speaking, understanding, reading, writing and swallowing
- Treatment of pain
The type of therapy and goals of therapy may be different for different people. An older person who has had a stroke may simply want rehabilitation to be able to dress or bathe without help. A younger person who has had a heart attack may go through cardiac rehabilitation to try to return to work and normal activities. Someone with a lung disease may get pulmonary rehabilitation to be able to breathe better and improve their quality of life.
- Getting Back in Action: Participation Is Key to Recovery (National Institutes of Health)
- Overview of Rehabilitation (Merck & Co., Inc.)
- Noninvasive Stimulation Gets Legs Moving After Spinal Cord Injury (07/31/2015, HealthDay)
- About Aquatic Physical Therapy (American Physical Therapy Association)
- About Occupational Therapy (American Occupational Therapy Association)
- Frequently Asked Questions about Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation (American Academy of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation)
- Introduction to Therapeutic Recreation Services (National Center on Physical Activity and Disability)
- What Is Music Therapy? (American Music Therapy Association)
- ClinicalTrials.gov: Occupational Therapy (National Institutes of Health)
Journal ArticlesReferences and abstracts from MEDLINE/PubMed (National Library of Medicine)
- Article: Effect of acharya technique upon back pain among industrial workers.
- Article: Coping strategies associated with participation and quality of life in...
- Article: Development and initial evaluation of a telephone-delivered, behavioral activation, and...
- Rehabilitation -- see more articles
- Physical therapy -- see more articles
Find an Expert
- American Occupational Therapy Association
- Find a Driving Specialist (American Occupational Therapy Association)
- Find a Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation Physician (American Academy of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation)
- Find a Physical Therapist (American Physical Therapy Association)
- National Center on Physical Activity and Disability
Finance and Policy
- Know Your Employment Rights (Vocational Rehabilitation Services) (American Foundation for the Blind)
- Medicare Limits on Therapy Services (Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services) - PDF
- Going to a Physical Therapist (Nemours Foundation) Available in Spanish
- Going to a Speech Therapist (Nemours Foundation)
- Going to an Occupational Therapist (Nemours Foundation) Available in Spanish
- Learning Through Play (American Occupational Therapy Association)
- Occupational Therapy (For Parents) (Nemours Foundation)
- Physical Therapy (For Parents) (Nemours Foundation)
- Speech-Language Therapy (For Parents) (Nemours Foundation) Available in Spanish