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Rehabilitation is the discipline focused on restoring a patient’s functional abilities to pre-injury or pre-disease status.

Functional abilities are defined as those activities in one’s daily life, work, or sports and recreational activities that an individual participates in. Relevant impairments (e.g. strength, endurance, flexibility, motor control, etc.) are often intermediate goals of rehabilitation, but the final goal of successful care is returned to participation in activities in which the patient was successful before the onset of the injury or disease.

Essential to a rehabilitation approach is a focus on patient-centered outcomes such as independence and self-management or self-care skills.