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The Caregivers' Role in Rehabilitation 

By Sean Kenny

(Page 2 of 3)

Active-assisted exercise: Exercise in which the patient is helped through a ROM (see below) which they are unable to do by themselves.

Active exercise: Exercise in which the movement is done entirely by the patient.
Closed-chain exercise: Any exercise in which the exercising body segment is attached to a fixed surface such as a floor, requiring the entire limb to bear the resistance. An example would be squats for the legs.

Coordination: The working together of various muscles in the execution of movement.

Cross-transfer: A neurological phenomenon in which training the "healthy" limb provides strength increased in the immobilized limb.

DAPRE: A program often used in rehabilitation. The abbreviation stands for "daily adjustable progressive resistance exercise".

Flexibility: ROM possible in a joint or series of joints.

Limited ROM exercise: Exercise in which the ROM is limited due to an injury or the bio-mechanics of the injury.

Non-weight bearing exercise: An exercise in which the body weight is not borne by the lower extremities.

Open-chain exercise: An exercise in which the end of the exercising body segment is not fixed to the end of a floor, wall, etc. and is freely movable. Leg extensions are an example of an open-chain exercise for the legs.

Passive exercise: An exercise in which the patient is taken through a ROM by a therapist, caregiver or machine.

Reconditioning: The restoration of pre-injury or pre-deconditioning levels of physical fitness through a program of prescriptive therapeutic exercise.

ROM: An abbreviation for range of motion. This is the measurement of the range that a limb moves through space around its joint.

Rehabilitation Strategies

Regardless of why your loved one needs a rehabilitation program, the goal of the therapy is to help restore levels of fitness to the pre-injury state or better. In cases of chronic illness or disability, programs focus on improving the quality of life and comfort. To achieve this, many techniques can be employed depending on the therapeutic goals and objectives.

Before programming begins however, testing of functional capacity is normally done to establish baselines and future progression. The areas tested can be muscular strength, power, endurance, flexibility and range of motion. Some of the devices used include: calipers, isokinetic instruments, goniometers and dynamometers.

After testing, therapeutic exercise programming and selections begin. The basic program structure allows for a warm-up prior to activity, the reconditioning exercises, then concluding with a cool-down period.

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