Active Rehabilitation is an exercise-based program designed to improve a person’s level of function. An active rehabilitation program usually begins after an injury that leaves a person unable to perform daily tasks and/or activities they enjoy.
The difference between active rehabilitation and other forms of rehab is that active rehabilitation involves regaining strength, endurance, and functional ability through stretching and light exercise. Passive treatments, such as chiropractic adjustments and acupuncture, don’t focus on regaining strength and function through exercise. Passive treatments are an important part of the healing process, however, it is necessary to strengthen and retrain muscles and joints in order to return to previous activity with lower risk of re-injury.
An active rehabilitation program is tailored to patients’ unique needs. The program takes into account the current condition, symptoms, and past experiences of each individual patient. Typically, the exercises assigned will be “the hardest one you can do well,” meaning they will be challenging but achievable. Active rehabilitation evolves with each individual patient as they go through a treatment plan. Exercises prescribed in the beginning will become more advanced as the patient’s function improves. By the end of the program, the patient will have gained the knowledge and confidence to continue their rehabilitation plan independently.
Active rehabilitation is as much of a teaching experience as it is a productive recovery session. It arms patients with helpful tools to return to pre-injury activities and decreased risk of re-injury.