Rehabilitation Specialist Monmouth County NJ

People’s ability to work or perform daily activities can be limited by illness or injury. Dr. Tom Gustafson, of the Active Healing Center for Wellness in Colts Neck, New Jersey offers rehabilitation in the context of chiropractic services at his clinic.

Rehabilitation Q & A

by Tom Gustafson, DC

What is Rehabilitation?

Rehabilitation can involve the whole body, including therapy for strokes and head injuries, or may be focused primarily on the musculoskeletal system, as is the case with chiropractic rehabilitation. In either case, the goal is to improve overall health or to restore health and function after an illness or injury. In chiropractic rehabilitation, techniques target the musculoskeletal system through spinal manipulation and joint adjustments, although chiropractic rehabilitation can also include massage, stretching, exercise and nutritional counseling.

Who Needs Rehabilitation?

Serious musculoskeletal injuries and strokes nearly always require rehabilitation. Even a relatively minor injury like a sprained ankle may benefit from rehabilitation, however, as weak or uneven muscle strength may have contributed to the injury in the first place. Injuries also affect the way people move and use their bodies; imbalances can remain months after the actual injury has healed. Rehabilitation may also be necessary when an injury or illness leaves a lasting effect to teach patients how to compensate during daily activities.

What Are the Goals of Rehabilitation?

The primary goals of rehabilitation are to relieve pain and improve function and/or mobility. As the patient improves, the focus of therapy may change from treatment to teaching patients how to maintain their functional improvement. People who hurt adapt by changing their posture or moving less. Muscles tighten and, as the patient continues to restrict activities, he or she loses strength, creating a vicious cycle. Rehabilitation can break the cycle by strengthening muscles, increasing flexibility and promoting mobility through carefully targeted therapy.

What’s the Connection with Chiropractic Care?

Physical therapists and chiropractors are the medical professionals most concerned with musculoskeletal injury and therapy. In addition to extensive training in anatomy and function, chiropractors are also trained in related health issues such as nutrition and overall wellness. Chiropractic treatment through spinal and joint adjustments, stretching, exercise and posture correction can reduce or eliminate muscle spasm and pain and restore the musculoskeletal system to optimum function.