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What Is the Difference Between Rehabilitation and Therapy?

 One must be aware of the difference between physical therapy and rehabilitation. This is because, at times when we go to hospitals, we may want to know the procedures that physical therapists perform on us. It is also important to know the difference between the two procedures so that you can choose any of the two as a career. If you need any consultation or information regarding medical billing for physical therapy or rehabilitation you can get help from physical therapy billing specialists who know all the answers.

Before we talk about the subtle differences between rehabilitation and therapy, it is better if we can define the two.

Here are the definitions:




Physical therapy

Also known as PT, physical therapy is a healthcare profession where physical therapists work to restore the health of patients who have had an injury. As we know, injuries caused by accidents could for instance render people immobile. Therefore, to have these people restore their ability to move they have to be examined, diagnosed, prognosis, and physical intervention taken to improve their health. This kind of intervention is taken by physiotherapists who are trained to carry out the medical procedures.

Medical rehabilitation

Also known as physiatry, physical medicine and rehabilitation involve restoring the functional ability of the people who have physical impairments or people who are disabled. Sometimes these people could be born with the impairments or they could acquire these impairments through injuries, medical conditions such as stroke, brain injuries, and so on.

There are several hospital settings where medical rehabilitation can take place. Physiatrists will attend to patients who have had a spinal injury, people who have suffered a stroke, and so on. As we know, these conditions could affect the body in such a way that such patients are unable to take care of themselves.

There is an interdisciplinary team of specialists that undertake rehabilitation. These are experts such as speech therapists, nurses, recreational and occupational therapists, social workers, and sociologists among others.

Difference between therapy and rehabilitation

When it comes to rehabilitation, a medical doctor known as physiatrist diagnoses, treats, and manages patients who have problems with their mobility due to surgery, illness, or injury. In the case of therapy, a physical therapist helps in physical therapy exercises for patients with weakened joints or muscle problems. These are not trained doctors but specialists in musculoskeletal functions.

Physiatrists use physical methods such as physical therapy and medication to treat their patients. These doctors will however not use surgery as a method of restoring the physical functions of the patients.

Since physical therapists are not doctors, they will work closely with physiatrists, surgeons, sports coaches, and other kinds of professionals in the performance of their jobs.

Physical therapists can be said to execute the plans of the physiatrists. During physical therapy, accessories such as foam rollers, bikes, and treadmills can be used. The purpose of physical therapy is to make the patient gain or improve their mobility. This is one of the ways of making the patients improve the quality of their lives.



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