How Does Inpatient Physical Therapy Work? When Is Inpatient Physical Therapy Preferred? Physical therapy and rehabilitation are indispensable for the recovery of stroke patients. So, in which environment is it best to do physical therapy? Is an outpatient physical therapy program sufficient? How is inpatient physical therapy, for which patients is it necessary?
Outpatient physical therapy
In outpatient physical therapy programs, the patient’s condition and treatment needs are usually determined by an initial examination by a specialist. A physical therapy plan is made. Later, although the duration varies, an outpatient treatment program, which lasts for an average of 4-6 weeks, starts for the stroke patient. The patient comes to the rehabilitation room at a certain time every day and physical therapy is applied. In our country, outpatient physical therapy sessions take an average of 45-60 minutes for neurological rehabilitation patients. Again, depending on the patient, activities such as physical therapy applications such as electrical stimulation for pain and muscle weakness, exercise with a physiotherapist, occupational therapy are performed during this period. The patient returns home at the end of the session and comes back the next day. The specialist doctor examines the patient periodically and in addition to any new problems. The patient is expected to repeat the exercises performed in the rehabilitation room at home. Outpatient physical therapy may be an appropriate option for patients with partial paralysis with low disability due to stroke-brain injury.
Inpatient physical therapy
How Does Inpatient Physical Therapy Work? Inpatient physical therapy is more comprehensive than outpatient treatment in diseases such as stroke, brain injury, MS, Parkinson’s disease, and spinal cord injury. In the early stages of stroke and brain injury, the physical condition of the patients may not be suitable for daily commuting to and from the hospital. A multidisciplinary rehabilitation team is required for treatment in cases that are risky in terms of complications and brain damage causes a significant loss in different functions such as breathing, speaking, swallowing, and urinating. Complications are minimized with the 24-hour doctor and nurse supervision in the inpatient treatment of patients in a physiotherapy clinic specialized in this area. According to international treatment guidelines, stroke-brain injury patients should start physical therapy as early as possible and include active treatment for at least 3 hours a day. Exercise with a physiotherapist during this period, With robotic devices, treatments such as exercise, occupational therapy, speech-swallowing rehabilitation are applied. In addition, daily doctor visits and the development of the patient may be closely monitored and new adjustments may be required continuously. Inpatient physical therapy also provides the opportunity to reach the relevant specialists quickly (consultation) in neurological rehabilitation patients with additional medical problems such as heart disease, lung disease, kidney disease, psychiatric disease.
How should physical therapy be for stroke – brain injury patients?
According to international treatment guidelines, physical therapy of stroke-brain injury patients provides the greatest benefit if applied by a large multidisciplinary rehabilitation team. The rehabilitation team includes different health professionals such as physical therapy and rehabilitation specialists, nurses, physiotherapists, speech therapists, occupational therapists, dieticians, social workers, and the patient and their family. The greatest benefit and the most efficient treatment for the patient is provided by close cooperation and communication between the rehabilitation team members. According to scientific data, patients who receive physical therapy for more than three hours a day show more improvement than those who receive less than three hours. Therefore, in the early stages of stroke-brain injury, inpatient physical therapy is recommended for a relatively short time (4-12 weeks) but intensively. In order for this intensive treatment to be beneficial, the patient must meet some conditions. First of all, the patient should have learning skills. Another requirement should be the physical condition that can participate in the 3-hour treatment per day. Because neurorehabilitation is a kind of re-learning process and the patient should not remain passive and actively participate in the treatment.
Who is suitable for home physical therapy?
If patients with a severe stroke-brain injury cannot participate in physical therapy, or when they are discharged home after inpatient physical therapy in the early period, home physical therapy may be considered. In-home physical therapy, respiratory physiotherapy, positioning, and range of motion exercises stand out to prevent complications in the patient. Apart from this, it is beneficial for patients who can actively participate in physical therapy and who have been discharged after inpatient treatment to do their exercises at home, not forgetting the skills they have learned and to continue their recovery.