Recovery & Beyond
You've had treatment and you're on the road to recovery. As healing begins, Cedars-Sinai will be there to manage your wellbeing. Whether you need pain management, rehabilitation therapy or emotional support, our experienced team works together to guide your journey back to better health.
Cognitive or physical issues may linger, come and go, or worsen over time after treatment for a neurological condition. Rehabilitation therapies can help you manage symptoms and improve your quality of life. Your doctor may recommend one or more of the following:
- Physical therapy: Helps maintain strength, flexibility and mobility, and can reduce pain and joint stiffness
- Occupational therapy: Allows you to engage in daily activities without putting unnecessary strain on joints or causing fatigue
- Balance and vestibular therapy: Helps manage dizziness and staying safer in daily life
- Speech therapy: Helps restore language and speaking ability
- Psychological support: Allows you to cope with the emotional distress of a neurological condition
- Therapeutic recreation: Helps you pursue hobbies or community involvement
Cedars-Sinai offers a wide range of rehabilitation programs for patients who are recovering from brain surgery and other neurological disorders.
After a neurological diagnosis, managing or reducing pain is an important part of recovery. Severe or lingering pain can lead to depression, sleep problems and mobility limitations that can slow healing. If your pain is acute, chronic or recurrent, ask your doctor for a referral to a specialist. Cedars-Sinai has a dedicated pain center, where you can find a wide range of treatment options.
Your doctor may have prescribed a certain neurological medication because the benefits outweigh the potential side effects. If you're experiencing dizziness, nausea, diarrhea, constipation, weight gain, irritability, daytime sleepiness or nighttime insomnia, ask your doctor about changing the dosage or switching to a different medication.
If you're experiencing serious side effects, such as trouble breathing, loss of consciousness, sudden chest pain, difficulty thinking, moving, seeing or speaking, or unusual (for you) seizures, call 911 or contact your doctor immediately.
Get Ongoing Support
You don't need to experience the neurological journey alone. Talking to people who have similar stories may provide comfort, inspiration and hope. Cedars-Sinai offers several types of support for patients and their caregivers.
After your surgery, you'll be cared for by different staff members working together to assure a speedy recovery. Everyone involved in your care attends weekly meetings as well as daily rounds to ensure continuity in your treatment. This team is composed of:
- Registered nurses (RNs).
- Physical and occupational therapists will work with you to help strengthen your muscles, regain your balance and become more physically able.
- Speech therapists may be needed to help you regain cognitive, communication and swallowing skills.
- Psychologists are available to help you cope with the emotional and physical changes you may experience.
- Social workers can help you and your family adapt to any changes in your family life, career, social life and financial circumstances.
These skilled professionals will assess your needs and help you to decide whether you can get enough care at home. They'll explain transportation and employment options, offer referrals for other services, and assist in planning follow-up care.
Additional support staff may include:
- Psychiatrists and neuropsychologists who specialize in testing memory, thinking and reasoning processes
- Case managers, who are nurses assigned to oversee your transition from the intensive care unit through recovery and into discharge from the hospital
Remember that you're not alone, and that it's OK to rely on family and friends for help.
On the day you leave the hospital, your doctor, resident or physician assistant will talk with you. This is the time to ask any questions about what to expect over the next several days, and to get advice on home care. During this time, you'll be given a detailed plan that will include:
- Caring for your surgical incision
- Recommended and prohibited activities
- Medication and dosage information
- What to do if you have a problem
While the goal of both physical and occupational therapy is to help you recover, there are key differences in how they work.
Physical therapy is intended to help restore your physical functioning and mobility. Your physical therapist will work with you to create a treatment program, which may include exercises, massage and other techniques in their office as well as routines you can do at home.
With occupational therapy, the goal is to improve your daily living abilities, making it easier for you to function independently. An occupational therapist can also help with modifications to your home environment that will help you accomplish everyday tasks.
For example, if you're recovering from a stroke, the physical therapist might work with you to build up your muscle strength, while the occupational therapist would help you work on buttoning your shirt or taking a shower.
This grandmother was diagnosed with Parkinson's disease more than a decade ago, but that didn't stop her from competing in 5K races around the world. Find out how a physical therapist at the Cedars-Sinai Outpatient Neurological Rehabilitation Program helped her stay active.