Like survivors of other serious injuries, burn patients often require months or years or rehabilitation after immediate treatment in the hospital or burn unit.
Health care professionals place great emphasize on rehabilitation for burn survivors. Rehabilitation means engaging in a program of physical and mental exercises that help a burn survivor reintegrate into home life and into society at large.
Medical Devices Used in Rehabilitation
For many burn survivors, part of rehabilitation includes becoming accustomed to various medical devices that must be worn for a long period of time. These devices include pressure garments for scar management, splints to minimize contractures or support weakened bones and muscles.
Exercises Used in Rehabilitation
Physical therapy for burn survivors will begin while the patient is still in the hospital. Physical and occupational therapists will work with the patient to learn or relearn ways to perform the simple and complex functions of daily living:
- Standing and sitting
- Getting up from a reclining position
- Performing household chores
The patient will usually receive additional help via physical therapy appointments that continue on an out-patient basis. These appointments help remind the burn survivor why it is so important to resume an active life.
Movement and exercise is important for the rehabilitation process after a burn injury. Healing skin will feel tight and restrictive. One of the effects of regular movement is to help the healing or grafted skin gently stretch in order to allow unrestrained movement.