Rehabilitation therapy is important for all patients, but especially for those who are unable to leave their beds for extended periods of time. Even though they are healing, their muscles are losing strength and can begin to atrophy. And for patients who are sedated, the lack of consistent movement can cause the skin to break down and pressure ulcers to develop. Therapy is necessary to prevent deterioration and maintain muscle health.
Bedside therapists teach patients ways of moving that are less stressful for the body; for example, after a surgery, a new way of lifting the body may be necessary to avoid disturbing incisions, or if a patient is connected to a number of monitors or drips, different muscles may need to be utilized for movement than those that were used before hospitalization.
Bedside rehabilitation therapists also work to retrain the body to perform basic movements and tasks. Rehabilitative therapy is the re-education of the neuro-muscular system.