Rehabilitation is the restoration of normal (or near-normal) functioning after a disease, illness, injury, imprisonment, or addiction. Examples of rehabilitation after an illness would be teaching someone muscle stretching exercise and endurance training techniques due to muscular deconditioning resulting from being bedridden when suffering from a serious disease such as cancer. An example of physical rehabilitation after an injury would be treatment with a physical therapist to improve strength in a body part (e.g., pelvis, shoulder, leg) after treatment for a bone break. There can also be rehabilitation of thinking skills after an injury, which is commonly referred to as “cognitive rehabilitation.” An example would be teaching someone techniques to improve memory and concentration abilities after a traumatic brain injury.
Rehabilitation after imprisonment is sometimes referred to as behavioral rehabilitation. The goal is to enforce strict standards of behavior with significant consequences for violating these standards to improve the behavioral functioning of the individual. Another form of rehabilitation is the rehabilitation of addictions. Examples include rehabilitation for drug abuse, alcohol abuse, gambling, food addictions, prescription drug abuse, etc. If you or someone you know is struggling with addiction, visit Rehab International for information on treatment options.