Rehabilitation, in general, is primarily rooted in “neuroplasticity.” Neuroplasticity is the ability of the brain to adapt its activity in response to internal and external stimuli. This may include structural and functional changes. It may also involve changes in neural connections. Neuroplasticity allows the brain to learn new things and adapt to new situations, especially after injuries like stroke or traumatic brain injury (TBI). You see, the brain is not “fixed.” It changes with every experience and impression, meaning that new connections are continuously being formed as we continue learning. This learning and relearning quality is what drives rehabilitation.
The goal of every neurorehabilitation program is to restore health, independence, and functionality as much as possible using the best rehabilitation strategies. While the approach used differs from patient to patient, the steps in the process are very similar. The first step of every program is a comprehensive assessment using specific tests to understand the extent of the injury and the patient’s abilities. These tests are then used to create a treatment plan and are also used to set realistic rehabilitation goals. Once the assessment is complete, rehabilitation begins and continues until the desired results are achieved.