Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation

Rehabilitation Medicine

Rehabilitation Medicine
Rehabilitation Medicine

Frequently Asked Questions about Rehabilitation Medicine


We invite you to click on the items below to get answers to frequently asked questions about rehabilitation medicine.

Rehabilitation can help you get stronger, more flexible, and more mobile. You may be able to move with less or no pain or discomfort. You can improve your ability to do the activities of daily living—such as buttoning a shirt, bathing, or brushing your hair—more easily and comfortably. Improved communication skills may help the way you relate to other people, giving you more confidence. You may regain skills, movement, and function that were lost or diminished due to an injury, surgery, or illness. Overall, rehabilitation can enable you to lead an independent, productive, and satisfying life.

The length of your rehabilitation depends on what you are receiving services for, your overall health, the type of therapy you are receiving, your progress during your rehabilitation, and many other factors. Some people participate in a program of rehabilitation for weeks, while others need care over longer periods. Your doctor and others on your rehabilitation medicine team will discuss your care with you and give you a general idea of what to expect, both at the beginning of your care and as you continue through treatment. We understand that you may feel impatient and eager to complete your rehabilitation, but we also want to be sure we have helped you maximize your function and comfort before we end your course of therapy.

We recommend wearing loose-fitting clothing that is comfortable for participation in your therapy program. Sneakers or other rubber-soled shoes are the best footwear, giving you comfort and stability as you go through your therapy session.

That depends on the type of rehabilitation you are receiving. Outpatient rehabilitation begins with approximately an hour-long evaluation, with follow-up sessions of 30 minutes. Inpatient rehabilitation is more intensive; you will receive a minimum of three hours of therapy, six days a week.

While specific exercises during your therapy may cause some discomfort or fatigue as you regain strength and flexibility, this generally eases over time as you progress. Your therapist is very attuned to how you are responding to therapy and will often ask you how you are feeling. It’s important to let your therapist know if you have any sharp or new pains during a session. “No pain, no gain” does not apply to rehabilitation. Our goal is to enhance your comfort.

Outpatient rehabilitation usually includes exercises for you to do at home between therapy sessions. It is important for you to make time to do these exercises. Doing so will help you achieve your therapy goals more quickly than if you only do them when you come in for therapy. Continuing home exercises after your formal therapy program is completed will help you maintain the strength and other improvements you achieved during therapy and reduce your risk of injury.

Acute rehabilitation is inpatient rehabilitation performed in a hospital setting, where you stay overnight for several days to weeks, depending on your health. It is an intensive course of care where you receive at least three hours of rehabilitation each day, six days a week. A subacute facility is a unit within a nursing facility that continues to provide rehabilitation in a less intensive manner, over an extended length of time. Subacute rehabilitation is a good option for people who need a supportive and therapeutic setting before they are ready to deal with the additional stress of being at home.

Insurance usually covers rehabilitation services. Check with your insurance provider to learn if there is a limit on the number of sessions they will cover, and what your copay is. Our financial counselors can help you get precertification for therapy and address your insurance questions and concerns.