Restorative rehabilitation helps patients maintain their level of functioning, reinstate their independence and enhance their standard of life.
An individual of any age who is suffering from a severe health condition may require restorative treatment. To avail rehabilitation services one can hire a psychologist to help recover the physical function. The goal is to increase the person’s level of function and decreases the decline notion. With training sessions, psychologists encourage people to participate in decision-making in health care and to actively take part in their daily activities. These activities include bathing, dressing, and going to the bathroom.
Restorative Goals of Rehabilitation in Multiple Sclerosis
Restorative rehabilitation has numerous benefits if you are suffering from Multiple Sclerosis (MS). Rehabilitation in MS involves the regular or ongoing use of multidisciplinary strategies to encourage functional independence, prevent complications, and enhance the quality of life. The active process helps an individual recover to the highest possible level of functioning and realize his/her optimal mental, physical, and social potential.
Rehabilitation specifically targets the following impairments in patients with MS:
- Cognitive impairment
- Sensory loss
- Speech and swallowing problems
- Bladder problems
- Visual disturbances
- Bowel problems
The goal of these rehabilitation interventions is to reduce disablement, which is a term used to describe the consequences of any health issue in an individual’s body function, structures, personal activities, and participation in society. However, rehabilitation interventions cannot prevent the neurologic damage caused by MS; they can reduce disablement by:
- Decreasing the negative effects on existing impairment on a day to day functioning.
- Enhancing the ability of an individual to carry out daily activities and take part in all of his/her roles.
Restorative rehabilitation allows individual to achieve and maintain his/her highest practicable mental, physical, and psychological well being. Hence, individuals who have recently experienced an exacerbation and accompanying a decrease in functional abilities may require rehab interventions to help them achieve their previous functional abilities again. The total restoration of function is not possible; the goal is to increase independence, comfort, self-care, and productivity while decreasing the impact of impairment and secondary complications in an individual’s activities and participation.
Restorative rehabilitation includes:
- Cognitive therapy
- Occupational therapy
- Physical therapy
- Speech/language pathology
Cognitive therapy- A cognitive therapist can help if you have difficulty with focus, memory, problem-solving, and divided attention that comes along with MS. About half of the population suffering from MS experience these problems.
Occupational therapy- This therapy can help you with your daily skills. Your psychotherapist will notice what challenges you are facing. He/she can then:
- Help improve the strength and coordination of the upper body
- Provide devices that can support you in your daily activities, like a grab bar for your shower, or special kitchen or cleaning tools
- To make you learn how to make your home and workplace more comfortable
If you have lost some ability because of a flare-up, your therapist can even help you with simple daily activities like cleaning, cooking, bathing, dressing, going to the bathroom, etc.
In case it is required, your therapist can also teach how to use a walker and how to drive a car using hand controls.
They can also help you figure out when you are focussed and have the most energy so that you can spend your day in a way that makes you the most productive.
Physical therapy- If you have MS, then you may experience stiffness, fatigue, weakness, and numbness. These problems can make walking and exercise tough, MS patients are often inactive, which can make the symptoms worse. Physical therapy is considered to be one of the effective therapies available which can bring big improvements.
Counseling- An important part of restorative treatment is not only for MS patients but for their family members and friends too. It helps with the feeling of loss and the fear of change.
Speech/language pathology- Lack of muscle control in the lips, tongue, diaphragm, and vocal cords can cause difficulty in swallowing or speaking. This therapy can help if you are having trouble swallowing or speaking. Approximately 40% of MS patients have speech problems.
A speech therapist can help you learn some important exercises that will relax and improve your respiratory tract. He/she can also recommend a computer assisted communication device that will amplify your voice.
For a patient who has MS, restorative rehabilitation is an important way to stay active. Consult with your health care provider and discuss what can help you.