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What Are Therapeutic Guidelines?

By Sandra Koehler
Updated May 17, 2024
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Whenever there is a medical problem or health condition interrupting the body’s ability to maintain internal balance and overall wellness, there are steps that should be taken to aid in the healing process and assist in recovering mobility and function. Therapeutic guidelines are the calculated strategies, essentially the “do’s and don’ts” medical professionals propose to speed recovery time and enhance health. These parameters can range from the timing and dosage of recommended medications to when and how much weight bearing can occur to which exercises or rehabilitation plan would optimize recuperation.

Therapeutic guidelines are dependent on the type of ailment and an individual’s medical history. The treatment protocol for a person suffering from the inability to walk or move due to the physical fatigue of a serious condition such as cancer would greatly differ from someone experiencing a fractured or broken bone. If the fracture was coupled with a debilitating ailment, such as a serious head trauma, the guidelines would also require alterations.

Treatments can also vary according to the medical professional’s advice. People suffering from the same type of cancer, for example, may have different therapeutic guidelines. These can range from chemotherapy, radiation, surgery or a combination of the three. If there is a complication, say high blood pressure or heart problems, in addition to the cancer, additional medications or treatment options may be necessary to ensure problems do not arise unrelated to the cancer care.

Rehabilitation or the therapeutic guidelines for the treatment of injuries possess much of the same qualities of the guidelines used for the management of chronic or longstanding debilitating health conditions that interfere with functional mobility. People dealing with the chronic effects of Multiple Sclerosis, for example, may need to retrain muscles, boost strength and maintain flexibility just as those individuals who sustained a sports injury. The difference is commonly in the duration of treatments and the expected outcomes. Athletes expect to have the ability to return to the sport of chose within a few weeks or months, whereas MS patients want to optimize movement and prevent further debilitation for the long term, and may require ongoing rehab throughout their lives.

The goal of setting therapeutic guidelines is to maximize overall health. This has many variances that must be taken into account including the consideration of the acceptable outcomes, whether it be improving mobility or extending life. Therapeutic guidelines are set up through a team of medical professionals including physicians, nurses and therapy professionals, and can change as the circumstances surrounding the goals changes.

WiseGEEK is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.

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