What is rehabilitation and when is it needed?
Rehabilitation is a complex of procedures aimed at restoring the patient's health after receiving the main therapy or as the only method of treatment. Rehabilitation is necessary when any of the bodily functions have been damaged by disease or trauma.
Types of Rehabilitation in Germany
Restorative medicine in Germany provides child and adult rehabilitation. All methods are aimed at restoring different body functions as each of them is necessary; depending on the its damage.
Rehabilitation Centers in Germany are equipped in such a way as to recreate an ‘at home’ atmosphere as much as possible. This allows patients of all ages to feel comfortable. Most clinics are located near the park areas. Patients can do therapeutic physical exercises out in the open air or just walk around on the hospital`s scenic territory. In modern rehabilitation, two main areas can be distinguished: neurorehabilitation and postoperative rehabilitation. Neurorehabilitation is used to help when functions of the brain and/or spinal cord are damaged.
This is the most common type of rehabilitation, which treats many diseases of the neurological spectrum:
- Cerebral palsy and developmental disorders (including autism, Down syndrome)
- Multiple sclerosis, Parkinson's disease, Alzheimer's disease and other autoimmune diseases
- Craniocerebral and spinal injuries
Postoperative rehabilitation is prescribed for each patient who has had a surgery or other type of treatment, after which the body needs restoration.
Such rehabilitation can be:
Why German Rehabilitation Centers are the best in the world?
The main advantages of German rehabilitation centers are:
- Well-developed schemes of rehabilitation. Rehabilitation programs have been developed by specialists after many years of practice. The list of necessary rehabilitation measures is selected individually for each patient, based on his/her diagnosis and physical capabilities. Usually, the restoration takes place in several stages. The workload gradually increases, which allows the patient to constantly develop and restore health, mobility, speech, ability to work and self-service.
- Comfortable stay at the Rehabilitation Center. The motivation of the patient is of paramount importance during the rehabilitation process. If he/she lives in poor conditions and is concerned about household issues, rehabilitation can not be fully realized. In German clinics patients can focus on their recovery more fully. Each patient receives the maximum level of household comfort. Rehabilitation clinics are equipped with auxiliary mechanisms for people with disabilities. There are special elevators and staircases for convenient transportation of patients. Canteens and toilets are equipped with additional handrails, wards have the bed equipped with lifting mechanisms.
- Care for severely ill patients. Rehabilitation Centers in Germany often provide treatment for patients who cannot service themselves. The person who accompanies the patient can live with him/her or separately, at the hotel. The accompanying person will not have to worry about anything. Severely ill people are supervised and cared for by a specially trained medical personnel.
- Training of the patient's relatives. This is a very important moment for patients who suffer from incurable or only partially curable diseases - for example, cerebral palsy. Such patients need to undergo rehabilitation throughout their lives. In order to perform the necessary exercises independently at home, specialists of rehabilitation centers in Germany teach patients and their relatives special treatment methods, as well as how to lead and organize a daily household life. These lessons greatly simplify the lives of patients and their relatives.
- Comprehensive approach to rehabilitation. Clinics of Germany use various types of rehabilitation measures, providing the patient with a comprehensive recovery. They include therapeutic physical training, physiotherapy, psychological training, classes with a speech therapist, training in self-service skills and lifestyle modification. Techniques are selected in such a way as to complement each other.
- High-tech equipment. In Germany, all the leading centers are well equipped, which use the most effective and high-tech procedures for patient recovery. Here, the most modern types of physiotherapeutic treatment are used. Robotic suits, transcranial magnetic stimulation, exercises on special simulators are applied.
TOP-10 Rehabilitation Centers in Germany
Germany has many rehabilitation centers. A lot of them are located in resort towns and they use thermal springs, mud, salt caves and other natural resources for the recovery of patients. Some rehabilitation centers are highly specialized. They are intended only for certain groups of patients.
We allocated the best rehabilitation centers in Germany that made TOP-10:
- The Median Rehabilitation Clinic Schlangenbad is located in a picturesque area in the land of Hesse. Here patients have access to natural healing resources - thermal springs. There are four departments in the clinic. The department of psychosomatics conducts a course of psychosomatic rehabilitation, including behavioral therapy, stress management, occupational therapy, physiotherapy and other activities. There are also departments of orthopedics, rheumatology and gynecology. Here patients undergo rehabilitation after traumas, spinal surgeries, joint replacement and removal of reproductive system tumors.
- The neurological rehabilitation clinic RehaNova, in Cologne. This medical institution specializes in neurological rehabilitation of patients. Here, even the the most severely damaged patients can undergo restoration. The clinic provides both urgent operational assistance and rehabilitation. Patients receive rehabilitation after strokes, craniocerebral injuries and degenerative diseases of the brain. The clinic is considered the best in Germany for recovery of patients with CCT. The clinic has its own diagnostic center. One of the features of the ReaNova clinic is direct communication with the city hospital. Such close communication gives the patients of this rehabilitation center additional benefits - they can get an appointment with a doctor in case of any complications.
- The Dr. Franz Dengler clinic is located in the well-known spa resort in Baden-Baden. It mainly specializes in cardiological and orthopedic rehabilitation. That's why it has a spacious gym equipped with modern simulators to restore motor functions in patients after injuries, joint replacement and other conditions. In addition to physical exercises, patients can receive treatment with mud and mineral waters from thermal springs.
- The rehabilitation clinic Benedictus Krankenhaus Feldafing is the holder of one of the most authoritative accreditations in the field of rehabilitation - the QMS-Reha certificate. It provides the highest quality of patients' care. Benedictus Krankenhaus Feldafing specializes in orthopedic and neurological rehabilitation. It has cozy rooms with a terrace and a park area for outdoor activities and walks. One of the neurological rehabilitation methods practiced in the clinic is neuropsychology. This method is not available in all clinics, and it is an important advantage for restoring the patient's psychological health.
- Rehabilitation hospital Klinik im Alpenpark is recognized as one of the best in the field of orthopedic rehabilitation according to Focus magazine. The clinic is located on the beautiful lake shore. The region is rich in healing springs and alpine air.
- The Median Rehabilitation Clinic Bad Berka consists of three centers of different specializations. One of them is the center of digestive system rehabilitation. The second one specializes in rehabilitation of patients after oncological, cardiovascular, as well as gynecological and urological diseases. The third rehabilitation center specializes in psychosomatics. The Median Bad Berka conducts rehabilitation research together with many German hospitals.
- Rehabilitation Clinic Bavaria Zscheckwitz specializes in neurological and orthopedic rehabilitation of children and adults. It also admits patients after oncological, metabolic and cardiological diseases.
- Helios Clinic Geesthacht is a neurological center for children and young people. The clinic combines the medical and rehabilitation centers. Helios Geesthacht helps patients after intensive therapy, including those that need recovery after being connected to artificial ventilation (IVL). The clinic is located in a park area, it has recreational areas and a swimming pool.
- The neurological rehabilitation center Friedehorst offers social educational programs in addition to rehabilitation for patients of all ages. Also, the Friedehorst Foundation has a school for the training of junior medical personnel.
- The St. Mauritius Therapieklinik is an academic institution. It conducts scientific researches; some of them were awarded prestigious prizes. The clinic specializes in neurological rehabilitation of patients of all ages. Particular emphasis is placed on child and geriatric rehabilitation. The department of neuropediatrics works for children with congenital disorders of the central nervous system.
How does rehabilitation work in the best rehabilitation centers in Germany?
German rehabilitologists use a set of methods:
- Therapeutic physical education. It includes a number of physical exercises designed to develop joints and tone muscles. Many of the exercises are performed in the pool - this is necessary to lessen the workload, and impact on the joints and increase the amplitude of movements. Some exercises are performed in a suspended state with a special frame. It is used for orthopedic and neurological rehabilitation.
- Ergotherapy is an important element of treatment, as it gives the patient an opportunity to learn how to perform the tasks independently. It is used during recovery after a stroke. The method is also relevant for patients after traumatic brain injuries.
- Intellectual exercises include video games, gadgets to help restore or develop mental abilities in people with CNS disorders.
- Sensory therapy and pet therapy (treatment with dolphins, horses, dogs) and art therapy (music, drawing, etc.) help patients recover their psycho-emotional well being.
- Proprioceptive rehabilitation in special costumes stimulates the restoration of coordination of movements and sensing one`s own position in space.
- Training of fine motor skills in German centers by using robotic simulators as well.
- Device physiotherapy (magnetic, ultrasound, electrotherapy, etc.) is another welcome addition to rehabilitation. It also uses useful qualities of minerals (halotherapy, mud therapy), as well as manual techniques.
- Robotic systems for walking and exoskeletons. These techniques are used both for restoration of the musculoskeletal system and for treatment of neurological diseases and injuries. For example, rehabilitation of disabled people in Germany is possible thanks to such technologies. They assist with walking even for people in a wheelchair.
- Rehabilitation centers in Germany also provide services of speech therapist, nutritionist and psychologist. Especially relevant are the sessions with a psychologist during rehabilitation of children with cerebral palsy. The nutritionist develops an individual menu for patients with specific disorders (for example, if the swallowing reflex is malfunctioning).
All these methods are used in various combinations. However, the effectiveness of rehabilitation measures is higher if more methods are involved.
When to start rehabilitation in a German clinic?
If a patient needs recovery after a stroke, spinal or craniocerebral trauma, then the earlier the recovery treatment begins, the more likely it will be to recover as many functions as possible. Rehabilitation measures begin as soon as possible after the surgery. This ensures a speedy recovery.
How long does rehabilitation in Germany last?
The length of the rehabilitation period depends on the diagnosis of the patient and on when the rehabilitation was started. For example, rehabilitation after a stroke lasts from 1 month to 1 year. Rehabilitation for cerebral palsy lasts throughout one’s life. Postoperative rehabilitation usually takes from 21 days to several months. For example, after treatment of the intervertebral hernia or joint replacement, rehabilitation can last up to 3 months.
Choose treatment abroad and you will for sure get the best results!
Author: Dr. Nadezhda Ivanisova
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