Rehabilitation medicine is a medical field which is concerned with the prevention, diagnosis, treatment and rehabilitation management of people with disabling medical conditions such as (but not limited to) stroke, brain injury, multiple sclerosis, spinal cord injury, amputation, polytrauma, arthritis, vestibular illnesses and post-myocardial infarction.
Specific goal-oriented programs are developed for individuals referred for rehabilitation after a thorough medical assessment and functional evaluation. These programs are then offered as inpatients or outpatients. The main objectives are to optimise recovery, identify the impairments that limit activity and participation; optimise physical and cognitive functioning; and modify personal and environmental factors to promote participation in society which include a return to work program.
To achieve these objectives, specialists in rehabilitation medicine work closely with other medical specialties, healthcare professionals and other agencies to assess and provide relevant treatment. Multiple interventions are utilized in rehabilitation medicine; ranging from simple interventions such as physical modalities, hydrotherapy, balance training, ADL training, cognitive therapy and orthotic prescription; to more complex interventions such as robotic therapy, functional electrical stimulation, transcranial direct stimulation therapy, botulinum toxin injections and pharmacological prescription as part of neuromodulation therapy.