An Introduction to Residential Rehabilitation

Hello, I’m Beth, one of the team at Dorset Orthopaedic’s Midlands Clinic in Burton upon Trent and new found blogger! I’m going to be writing a series of blogs about our services, our products, staff and stories and also any requests you have or top tips I want to share. Because I’m biased… I’m going to start with the Physio stuff!

Over the first few weeks I will try to explain and introduce you to all the elements of our rehabilitation programmes. To start, I am going to give you a little overview about what happens when you decide to do a whole week of Physiotherapy – known as Residential Rehabilitation!

First of all it is not as scary as you might think and one of the best parts is that you do get a great night’s sleep after a good day’s work. The week can vary largely depending on your ability and depending on whether you’re also getting a prosthetic leg fitted whilst you’re here.

If you’re getting a leg at the same time then mixed into your Physio programme will be fittings with your Prosthetist so that they can tweak your socket and prosthesis to suit you. But even if you aren’t getting a brand new leg we always have Prosthetists and technicians on hand to tweak and perfect your prosthesis throughout the week.

On the Physio side we start with an initial assessment. First of all you can expect to be asked lots of questions, about phantom sensation, pain, body complaints, hobbies, goals, medication, medical history, it’s a good old question and answer session where we try and listen closely to all your needs and hopes for the future. This lets us build a week of rehab around you and what you want, it means we can tailor each part to you as an individual and set realistic and achievable goals.

Then comes the objective assessment, think of this as me giving your body an MOT, checking that every joint moves the way it should, every muscle can stretch and contract well, checking your balance, co-ordination, strength and control. We see where you’re at now so that we can bridge the gap towards your goals. If, for example, your hip is giving you jip (did not mean to rhyme there but it’s a happy coincidence) then we can build in manual therapy and strengthening exercises to help that element.

Once all the assessing is out the way then we sit down together and plan your week. A typical week would include gait re-education; learning how to use the prosthesis on different terrain, slopes, stairs and without walking aids. We also provide hydrotherapy where we go to a local pool with fantastic accessible facilities to do some deep water jogging and water based exercises. You will be given a home exercise programme (don’t worry this gets written and illustrated for you to take home, my stick men are infamous). We will use the Compex electrical stimulation to switch on muscles that haven’t been used in a while and to give you some time off your feet. We also make sure you’re not going to be too achy by including massage, foam rolling and a stretching routine. Manual therapy gets rid of those aches and pains and makes sure all your joints are moving nicely. You can also expect a core and strength workout alongside balance training through exercise and using the Wii Fit. Some cardio will be thrown in so that you improve your resistance to fatigue and work on those heart and lungs. Like with hydrotherapy we love to get out into the wider world and we offer outdoor rehab, where we go to a local park and get some real life scenario experience. We even take people out food shopping to practice pushing a trolley or cycling if that’s your thing.

That may seem like a lot to take in, so over the coming weeks I’m going to take each section and go into them in a bit more depth. I’ll also give some exercises and tips for you to try at home and hopefully explain a bit more about why we love what we do!

Please email Beth with any questions you may have - bethl@dorset-ortho.com