What is rehabilitation?

After an accident or surgical procedure, it is very important to recover. This involves rehabilitation and this often takes place under the supervision of a rehabilitation doctor. This not only concerns the physical aspects, but also the psychological aspects. In this article you can read more about the rehabilitation process and what it involves.

What is rehabilitation?

Rehabilitation is about becoming able-bodied again or recovery after an intervention or accident. There is often several disciplines together, a multidisciplinary approach. The rehabilitation doctor is the coordinator of this and organizes treatments from all kinds of disciplines, such as the physiotherapist, the occupational therapist, the psychologist and so on.

It is important to recover after an illness or accident. This requires a rehabilitation process. People must be made independent again and manage themselves as best as possible.


The rehabilitation coordinator who gets everything started is the rehabilitation doctor. He or she directs treatments from various disciplines and guides the patient in them. The rehabilitation doctor is also the one who sets a specific treatment goal together with the patient and monitors the entire process. The rehabilitation therefore starts with an extensive investigation into the disorder and the functioning of the patient and the consequences this has on his daily life. Motivation is also very important.

The rehabilitation doctor is familiar with several areas. For example, there is knowledge of neurology, orthopedics, cognition and the relationship between them. Only then can a good rehabilitation program be drawn up.

The rehabilitation process

The rehabilitation process can take several steps, as shown below.


  1. Establishing rehabilitation diagnosis. This concerns both the disorder and the consequences that the disorder has for functioning. Functioning is a broad concept because it concerns somatic, social, communicative and psychological functioning, as well as ADL (General Activities of Daily Living).
  2. Explanation of diagnosis. It also indicates what the prognosis is and what this means for the patient’s daily life.

Request for help

The patient naturally has a specific request for help that he or she brings to the rehabilitation doctor. To ensure that the treatment goal is consistent, the orthopedist must make the request for assistance as clear as possible. From there, the rehabilitation goals can be determined in consultation with the patient.


Once the goals have become clear, we can proceed more concretely. This may include rehabilitation resources as well as the treatment and where it will take place. This can be clinical but also outpatient, reactivation or peripheral therapy.
Medication can also be used, for example in case of spasms. Orthopedic footwear is another form of treatment that can be prescribed by the rehabilitation doctor. Other aids include braces, braces and prostheses.


Finally, the gait patterns must be analyzed and it must be determined whether the treatment is progressing as expected.