Types of Therapy

Occupational Therapy

Physical exercises may be used to increase strength and dexterity, while paper and pencil exercises may be chosen to improve visual acuity and the ability to discern patterns. Their goal is to help restore their patient's independence through direct intervention and patient education. Occupational therapists help people improve their ability to perform tasks in their daily living and working environments. These professionals work with individuals who have conditions that are mentally, physically, developmentally or emotionally disabling.

Also, occupational therapists teach patients with permanent functional disabilities, such as spinal cord injuries, cerebral palsy or muscular dystrophy, to use adaptive equipment. Adaptive equipment includes wheelchairs, splints, and aids for eating and dressing. Therapists design or make special equipment needed at home or work. Therapists develop computer-aided adaptive equipment and teach clients with severe limitations how to use them. This equipment enables clients to communicate better and to control other aspects of their environment.

Learn more about Occupational Therapy.

Physical Therapy

Physical Therapy

Physical therapists provide services that help restore function, improve mobility, relieve pain, and prevent or limit permanent physical disabilities of patients suffering from injuries or disease. They restore, maintain, and promote overall fitness and health.

Dysfunctions treated with physical therapy include:

  • Upper, Mid and Lower Back Pain
  • Extremity Pain
  • Pulmonary Disorders (obstructive and restrictive)
  • Cardiac Disorders
  • Orthopaedic Disorders (fractures, sprains and strains)
  • Neurological Disorders (stroke, traumatic brain injury, and upper and lower motor neuron disorders)

Physical therapists examine patients' medical histories and then objectively assess patients' strength, range of motion, balance and coordination, posture, muscle performance, respiration, and motor function. Through development of an individualized, comprehensive plan of care, physical therapists resolve impairments, enabling patients to perform their prior activities of daily living.

Learn more about Physical Therapy.

Speech Therapy

Speech Language Pathology

Speech-language pathologists assess, diagnose and treat speech, language, cognitive, communication, voice, reading and swallowing related disorders.

Speech, language and swallowing problems can result from hearing loss, traumatic brain injury, neurological impairment or disease, stroke, cradiofacial abnormalities, voice pathology, developmental delays, and other conditions and illnesses such as cardiac compromise and cancer. Delays and disorders can be congenital, developmental or acquired. Some of the most common speech, language and swallowing disorders include:


A language disorder which can include difficulty with reading, writing, listening, and understanding language. 


Thought disorders that can include difficulty with memory, initiation, attention, planning, reasoning, organization, safety awareness, and insight.


Speech disorders that are associated with neuromuscular causes that result in weakness, abnormal tone, or abnormal reflexes, etc., which reduce speech intelligibility.. 


Difficulty in learning and or executing the movements for speech production. 


Difficulty in any or all phases (oral, pharyngeal, esophageal) of swallowing. 


Other disorders include:

  • Stuttering
  • Language Delay
  • Articulation Disorders
  • Voice Disorders
  • Language Learning Disabilities
  • Laryngectomy

Licensed and certified speech-language pathologists use formal and informal assessments and tests, as well as specialized equipment and instruments, to diagnose the nature and extent of impairment and to record and analyze speech, language, cognitive, and swallowing irregularities. Treatment is initiated after the development of an individualized plan of care, tailored to each patient's needs.

For individuals with little or no speech capability, speech-language pathologists may select augmentative or alternative communication methods, including automated devices, sign language and other systems. They teach these individuals how to make sounds, improve their voices, increase their language skills, and use these augmentative devices to communicate more effectively. Speech-language pathologists help patients develop or recover reliable communication skills so patients can fulfill their educational, vocational and social skills and roles.

Learn more about Speech Language Pathology.

Recreational Therapy

Recreational Therapy

Recreation therapy provides services that promote return to leisure interests and community interactions. It introduces patients to adaptive equipment, techniques and strategies that allow them to return to previous leisure interests despite current physical and/or cognitive challenges. 

Recreation therapists promote an increase in social and emotional wellbeing through individual and group settings/sessions. They work with patients to increase leisure awareness through introduction of new activities and community resources.

At Shands Rehab Hospital, recreation therapists promote return to community activities through the Community Reintegration Program. This program includes education about community awareness, safety, mobility and accessibility through individual participation in community outings.

Learn more about Recreational Therapy.

Contact Us

For more information about UF Health Shands Rehab Hospital, please call (352) 265-8938.