Rehabilitation medicine is a special kind of care designed to help you recover, improve or strengthen important skills or functions that were impacted by an injury, condition or other ailment. You can trust that our physical medicine and rehabilitation experts will help you heal at your own pace, one goal at a time.
Restoring your quality of life
Climbing stairs, talking with friends and pouring a glass of orange juice for breakfast are all everyday tasks that can feel more like a chore when you're living with a chronic or acute condition. That's where rehabilitation medicine comes in. By exploring personalized exercises and treatment programs, we can help you gain independence and empower a greater sense of self.
Whether you're undergoing physical therapy to mend spine trauma or adjusting to life with a new prosthesis, rehabilitation medicine helps you rise above disabilities that may limit your lifestyle. When turning to Tufts Medicine, you can feel confident knowing we share a common goal: to help you overcome these obstacles so you can live a healthy and fulfilling life.
Our rehabilitation and physical medicine experts tend to your whole well-being when you're restricted by:
- Musculoskeletal conditions affecting your bones, joints, muscles and tissues
- Neurologic conditions affecting your brain and spinal cord
- Neuromuscular conditions affecting how your nerves send electrical signals to your muscles
Recovering from a chronic condition, acute injury or surgery can feel like an uphill challenge, especially when you're living with persistent symptoms. So when your physical care needs are anything but average, you can trust that we'll overdeliver in helping you manage symptoms like:
The root of many musculoskeletal challenges are traced to joint injuries, chronic strain or overuse. They can also stem from conditions linked with aging, such as degenerative disc disease and osteoarthritis. We treat a wide range of chronic and acute musculoskeletal conditions, including:
- Back injuries
- Carpal tunnel syndrome
- Cervix disorders
- Contractures (shortening of a muscle, joint or tendon)
- Herniated discs, slipped discs + disc disease
- Kyphosis and other spinal deformities
- Lumbar degeneration
- Neck injury
- Osteoarthritis (degenerative joint disease)
- Overuse syndrome (repetitive strain of the muscles)
- Paresis (muscle weakness)
- Piriformis syndrome
- Rotator cuff injury
- Sacroiliac dysfunction + pain
- Spinal injuries
- Spinal stenosis
Through neurorehabilitation, we help people living with neurological conditions or a nervous system injury like the following meet their mental and physical recovery goals:
- Cerebral palsy
- Neuropathy (nerve pain)
- Spina bifida
- Spinal cord injury
- Traumatic brain injuries
Your nervous and musculoskeletal systems work harmoniously so you can move and communicate freely. Nerves send electrical signals to muscles telling them to contract when needed. When there's something off with muscles or nerves, normal electrical activities start to change. We refer to these as neuromuscular conditions.
Our rehabilitation and physical medicine teams are experts in treating neuromuscular conditions like:
- Muscular dystrophy: A rare genetic condition that causes muscle loss and weakness.
- Spasticity: A condition that leads to muscle stiffness and tightness. It's usually caused by damage to nerve pathways within the brain or spinal cord that control muscle movement.
Lymphedema is a condition that produces fluid buildup in your arms, legs, breasts, head or neck. There are 2 kinds of lymphedema: primary and secondary. Breast cancer survivors are at a higher risk for developing lymphedema, especially if they've had lymph nodes removed. We can help manage swelling caused by lymphedema with physical therapy.
A concussion is a brain injury caused by a bump, blow or jostle to the head. Concussions can affect people differently depending on what part of the brain is injured. Little by little, we’ll increase the following exercises and therapies without putting too much strain on the brain:
- Balance training
- Cardiovascular training
- Strength training
- Sports-specific movements
We use the latest imaging technology and diagnostics to safely examine your body's internal structure:
To treat and diagnose certain neurological conditions, your doctor may prescribe a 2-part electrodiagnostic study to evaluate changes in your electrical activities. An electromyogram (EMG) and nerve conduction survey (NCS) is a series of safe, minimally invasive tests that help us understand how your muscular and nervous systems are working together:
- Electromyogram (EMG): A test that measures the electrical activity of muscles when they’re resting and contracting.
- Nerve conduction survey (NCS): Measures how quickly and effectively your nerves can send electrical signals to your muscles.
Rehabilitation is an essential step along your path to wellness. Because your condition is unique to you, we'll create a treatment plan that's tailored to your needs and mindful of your limitations. We'll keep a close eye on your progress and adjust your treatment plan.
Depending on your condition, we’ll refer you to one or more of our specialty programs:
Occupational therapy and pediatric occupational therapy can empower people of all ages to gain or rediscover everyday skills, from strength and flexibility training to daily self-care practices. Occupational therapy is often just one part of a broader care team. We'll work with our colleagues in primary care, physical therapy, speech therapy and other specialties.
Our programs focus on helping people better perform daily activities like:
- Leisure activities (playing sports, exercising, crafting, traveling, etc.)
- Managing medications
An illness, injury or surgery can take a toll on balance, coordination and muscle strength. Physical therapy and pediatric physical therapy are designed to improve how you move. Some of the more common treatment strategies include:
- Functional training
- Hand therapy
- Heat and cold modalities
- Manual therapy
- Therapeutic exercise
Speech language therapy
Speech language pathology works with people of all ages to overcome speech, language, cognitive, swallowing and other communication disorders. We turn to the following treatment options to help you communicate, learn and work to your fullest potential:
- Augmentative communication and speech-generating device services
- Deep pharyngeal neuromuscular stimulation
- Thermal tactile stimulation
- Facial muscle exercises with neuromuscular electrical stimulation (ES)
As we age, the freedom to move around as we please becomes more and more important. We're dedicated to helping older adults overcome medical and age-related conditions to rediscover their strength, mobility, balance and comfort. Through geriatric rehabilitation, we empower people to remain active and independent.
Amputation + bracing care
Although uncommon, amputation can be the safest treatment option for limbs severely affected by disease, infection or trauma. We’ll help improve your mobility with physical therapy that strengthens your balance, comfort and confidence.
We partner with the New England Orthotic and Prosthetic Systems (NEOPS) to offer assistive devices like an orthosis (brace) and prosthesis (artificial implant) to restore your functional independence.