A Basic Rehabilitative Template
Clinical Monograph 1
By R. C. Schafer, DC, PhD, FICC
Injuries can be classified into 13 types: abrasions, contusions, strains, ruptures, sprains, subluxations, dislocations, fractures, incisions, lacerations, penetrations, perforations, and punctures. This paper will not detail the management of burns or injuries requiring referral for operative correction, suturing, or restricted chemotherapy.
Except for the most minor injuries, traumatized neuromusculoskeletal tissues are benefited by alert restorative procedures. The more serious the injury, the more prolonged is and the greater the need for professionally guided rehabilitation. The first step in rehabilitation is to explain to the patient that rehabilitation is just as important as the initial care of the injury. The goal is not only to restore the injured part to normal activity or as near normal as possible in the shortest possible time but also to prevent posttraumatic deterioration. It is an individualized process that requires patient dedication. The author recognizes that it is easier to write about comprehensive planning than to motivate some patients to follow prescriptions after pain has subsided.
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Most authorities would agree with Harrelson when he lists the goals of rehabilitation as:
- decreased pain;
- decreased inflammatory response to trauma;
- return of full pain-free active joint ROM;
- decreased effusion;
- return of muscle strength, power, and endurance; and
- regain of full asymptomatic functional activities at the preinjury level (or better).