The 4 Stages of Rehabilitation: A Guide to Recovery

When you decide to enter a professional alcohol and drug treatment program, you'll begin a journey through four different stages of rehabilitation recovery as you learn to develop a healthy, sober lifestyle. The four stages of rehabilitation are: the repair stage, the strength stage, the maintenance abstinence stage, and the protection and discharge stage. The first stage of rehabilitation is the repair stage. The main purpose of this stage is to gently relax the body so that it returns to the range of motion (ROM) levels before the injury, or as close as possible to the levels before the injury.

Soft tissue and gentle range-of-motion exercises are important to begin this stage, so as not to extend the injury too far or aggravate the injury. Flexibility exercises can also help prevent the long-term effects of decreased range of motion or function. Small weights can be used during exercises if it is safe to do so, but more intensive strength training is not recommended at this time. The second stage of rehabilitation is the strength stage. Once your range of motion has been restored in the best possible way, the next stage of physical rehabilitation is to start regaining strength.

Resting during the recovery phase can cause muscle atrophy or wear and tear that causes weakness and loss of strength. In the strength phase, the goal is to minimize these losses and recover levels of muscle strength and endurance prior to injury, together with cardiovascular endurance. With the use of weight machines, strength training can be performed safely and accurately and, at the same time, reduce the risk of aggravating injuries or running the risk of suffering new ones. The third stage of rehabilitation is early abstinence. This is an incredible advantage and makes them excellent tools for rehabilitation.

The first stage of recovery is to prevent further damage and allow the body to begin the healing process. Inflammation and pain are the body's first response to injury. We have started the healing process, the better you can control inflammation, control pain and protect the damaged part of the body to prevent further damage. When you seek help from a professional alcohol and drug rehabilitation program, the first stage of your recovery begins, the start of treatment.

Challenges at this stage of treatment include cravings, social pressure to drink, and high-risk situations that can trigger alcohol consumption. It's during this early stage of abstinence that your addiction counselor will begin teaching you the coping skills you need to lead a sober lifestyle. The tools you learn to use now will help you during your recovery. Early withdrawal issues being worked on at this point in treatment, such as learning about the physical and psychological aspects of abstinence, learning to identify triggers for alcohol consumption, and learning to manage alcohol cravings without drinking. The fourth stage of rehabilitation is maintaining abstinence. After approximately 90 days of continuous abstinence, you will move from the recovery phase of early abstinence to the third stage, maintaining abstinence.

If you started in a residential treatment program, you will now move on to the ongoing counseling or follow-up phase of your rehabilitation program on an outpatient basis. In addition, during this stage of your rehabilitation, you'll learn to use the tools you learned during early abstinence in other areas of your life, so you can continue to live a truly sober lifestyle. You'll find that your future quality of life depends on more than just not using. The maintenance abstinence rehabilitation phase will begin approximately three months into your rehabilitation program and will last until you reach approximately five years clean and sober, at which point follow-up counseling will generally end. Finally, proper protection and discharge are vital for several reasons. First of all, protect the affected area so that it does not suffer further damage.

Take the example of a fracture, a muscle tear, or a ligament injury, all of which will require some level of protection to protect them in the early stages. Second, protection not only prevents the injury from getting worse but it also promotes an internal environment to support healing. It is worth noting that during the first few days after injury, inflammation progressively increases associated with decay and removal of damaged tissue and debris from site of injury. Effective rehabilitation should always be a phased process aimed at promoting recovery, accelerating return to sport, optimizing performance and preventing a new injury. Regardless of total duration through injury rehabilitation it is essential effective management is generally carried out in phased approach.

Blanche Taboada
Blanche Taboada

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