If you have experienced getting an injury, you’ll hear words like therapy and rehabilitation more often. Whether you’re receiving treatment for feet problems or an ankle fracture in Singapore, you will hear these terms applied as part of the treatment plan. However, what is the difference between both?

An ordinary layperson would think of them as two words with the same meaning and that the medical world uses both terms interchangeably. It is far from the truth.

However, rehabilitation in the medical world is an umbrella term for many subsets—including physical therapy. Physical therapy is, in fact, a part of rehabilitation that aims for comprehensive restoration after an injury or surgery.

Orthopaedic 101 – Understanding Rehabilitation

The main goal of rehabilitation is to restore the body’s ability to a near-normal function via therapy and training. The process of rehabilitating a patient is supervised by a doctor. In the field of orthopaedics, recovering from musculoskeletal injuries, surgeries, or disease requires a proper program. Whether you had an ankle fracture, muscle tear, etc., your body will need to get back to a condition that allows you to perform daily motor functions.

Your body will also need to have enough flexibility and strength. Thus the process of rehabilitation becomes an integral part of restoring your body back to its normal function, the quality of life. It also serves to help prevent future problems apart from hastening the recovery process.

Here are the main components of rehabilitation in the field of orthopaedics:

Occupational therapy

Whether you seek an ortho or a foot and ankle specialist in Singapore, these physicians or therapists can implement ways to approach activities for health restoration. One example is helping you manage and break down specific tasks that suit your abilities to help you make adjustments to the environment. During the process of occupational therapy, you can use certain equipment to help you adapt to conditions or environment, such as canes, orthotics, splints, etc.

Physical therapy

In orthopaedics, physical therapy is the component of rehabilitation that helps you regain the ability to move your body and perform a wide range of motions. In most cases, there are several injuries that can impair your body to perform a specific movement, such as ankle fracture, tearing of a tendon, bone problems, etc.

Physical therapy utilises numerous approaches, such as stretching exercises, strength-building training, and therapeutic massage. All physical therapy approaches seek to strengthen, optimise and stimulate your body without feeling the pain.

Sports rehabilitation

Rehabilitation is also a vital part of recovering from sports injuries. Athletes who participate in high-contact sports, such as softball, gymnastics, basketball and field events, are at high risk of getting injured. Ankle fracture, sprains, back pain, tennis elbow, shin splints and hamstring strain are among the most common sports injuries that can threaten your ability to move.

Hand therapy

Apart from injuries, one can develop when playing sports, hand and wrist problems are common conditions that warrant rehabilitation. After all, the hand is one of the most integral components of the body for performing everyday tasks. From carpal tunnel syndrome to wrist tendonitis, a dedicated therapy is prescribed by a doctor or therapist to restore the use of your hands.

When Do You Need Rehabilitation?

A doctor will recommend rehabilitation for a number of reasons apart from having just an injury. Here are the most common signs where you will need proper rehabilitation:

  • If you end up having an ankle fracture or ankle injuries, such as tendon problems or sprains
  • You are recovering from surgery (post-surgery)
  • If you have a spinal fracture, you will need a back rehabilitation
  • After receiving a hip replacement or hip resurfacing
  • If you are experiencing shoulder pain, a doctor will recommend you proper shoulder rehabilitation
  • If you have an ACL or anterior cruciate ligament tear
  • Carpal tunnel syndrome or other wrist problems
  • An existing chronic disease that affects your body movement, such as arthritis
  • Acute conditions, such as bone dislocations or impingements, sprains and strains

Understanding The Role Of Physical Therapy In Rehabilitation Process


If you have injuries, such as ankle fracture, sprain or arthritis, we have mentioned how crucial physical therapy plays in rehabilitation. Physical therapy helps restore the function of your body from the impairment of orthopaedic injuries and musculoskeletal disease. No other methods or approaches can substitute physical therapy.

Physical therapy works in regenerating your body’s strength and flexibility without the need for invasive treatment and surgery. Here are other known benefits of physical therapy in a patient’s rehabilitation process:

  1. Improves or restores blood circulation
  2. Enhance your body/athletic performance after sustaining an injury
  3. Significantly boosts your body’s balance and mobility
  4. Prevents or reduces the chance of having injuries
  5. Relieves pain symptoms in injuries and conditions
  6. Enhance range of motion

Whether you have hand problems or seek treatment for flat feet in Singapore due to leg cramps, following the right physical therapy will also improve your body’s ability to heal. Just like when receiving treatments, there are also prescribed body therapy that you need to follow. One determining factor or identifying physical therapy you need is based on the type of injury or conditions you have (fracture, dislocations, sprains, strains, etc.)

Here are some of the most common physical therapy regimens you can expect from a doctor/therapist:

  • Stretching exercises
  • Gait training
  • Traction
  • Hot/cold therapy
  • Proper posture training
  • Biomechanics training
  • Exercises that relieve pain
  • Strength training
  • Manual therapy
  • Massage therapy
  • Motor skills training
  • Joint manipulation and mobilisation
  • Plank exercises

The severity of the condition or injury may affect the physical therapy that your therapist may prescribe. Thus, it is vital that you communicate with a doctor or therapist before performing any exercise while you are recovering from an injury or surgery.

If you are looking for Dr KananKaliyaperumal, visit Specialist Orthopaedic Centre.