What is Phase One of Rehabilitation?

Phase One of rehabilitation is a crucial step in the recovery process for those who have suffered from an injury or illness. It is designed to control pain and swelling, eliminate aggravating movement patterns, and provide medical support. During this phase, patients will receive physical therapy to restore range of motion, improve strength and endurance, and increase proprioception. Additionally, they will be educated on lifestyle changes and monitored as they progress with their exercise regimen.

The three-phase approach to rehabilitation has been proven to produce the best results and a long-term recovery. Phase One begins with a slow, comfortable detox followed by intensive medical and clinical support in a residential program. In Phase Two, clients live in a more homely residence with a focus on therapeutic growth. Phase Three is about a slow reintegration to life while maintaining a strong safety net to use if things get tough.

At Boulder Orthopedics Physical Therapy & Sports Medicine, we understand that not all clients have the ability to complete extended treatment programs. We believe that any treatment we can provide will have a lasting impact on our clients and their path to recovery. We offer medical detoxification as a stand-alone treatment option, as well as 28-day programs. During Phase One of rehabilitation, patients should perform exercises under the guidance of their doctor or personal physical therapist.

These exercises are designed to minimize muscle loss and strength deficits, which are important rehabilitation goals set out in the physical therapy program. Examples of exercises include ankle circles, where the foot and ankle are slowly turned clockwise and anti-clockwise for 10 rotations in each direction per series. Patient education is an essential part of Phase One cardiac rehabilitation. The doctor wants to clearly understand at what level the patient will work at home, so they can determine the level of activities of daily living (ADL) at which the patient is expected to function.

Upon discharge, the patient should understand what activities are safe and what activities should be avoided for the next few weeks. When evaluating current protocols for Phase One cardiac rehabilitation, subjectivity with respect to exercise prescriptions can be observed. Therefore, Phase One of cardiac rehabilitation has become a challenge for evidence-based physiotherapy, having the means to succeed with the adjustment of a new exercise prescription model, provided that this model is based on the principles of clinical physiology of exercise, on the individualization of the prescription. After completing Phase One cardiac rehabilitation, patients will move on to Phase Two cardiac rehabilitation.

This phase focuses on supporting learning from Phase One and ensuring that all new information has been incorporated into lifestyle changes. Most people are surprised to discover how their injury and the ensuing recovery period can lead to muscle weakness and loss of endurance. The primary goal of Phase Three cardiac rehabilitation is to give patients the tools to manage their heart condition on their own and live a longer, happier and healthier life.