Effectiveness of Psychological Factors in Physical Rehabilitation


Effectiveness of Psychological Factors in Physical Rehabilitation


Rehabilitation--Psychological aspects


The field of physical rehabilitation has exploded over the last 50 years, with an increased understanding of anatomy, exercise physiology, kinesiology, therapy, etc. revolutionizing the field. A relatively under discussed topic with an arguably substantial effect on physical rehabilitation is psychology. An entire field of psychology, sport psychology, primarily focuses the effects of psychological principles on sport performance. There is an undeniable role of psychology in physical performance; certain psychological factors can massively impact physical performance, for better or for worse. A logical deduction would be that the same effect of psychological factors could possibly be applied towards the efficiency of physical rehabilitation, but substantial research would be required to substantiate this possibility. In line with this specific research, in a groundbreaking research study, it was found possible that the voluntary activation of the sympathetic nervous system via training of mediation, breathwork, and cold exposure can result in epinephrine release and subsequent suppression of the innate immune response in humans in vivo (Kox 2014). This study has numerous major implications regarding possible alternative factors that could affect the efficiency of physical rehabilitation. From this study, the question arises whether or not exercises such as meditation, breathwork, and cold exposure, which primarily affect the mindset of an individual, affect the efficiency of physical rehabilitation. The consistent performance of meditation, breathwork, cold exposure, and other similar practices may influence or change thought processes in reaction to stimuli through the rewiring of neural pathways. Ultimately, to rephrase the question, does an individual’s mindset have an effect on the efficiency of their physical rehabilitation, and if so, to what extent? The question of why, or why not does this phenomenon occur, arises as well. The questions can extend beyond causal factors, an additional question could be asked whether or not the mindset of an individual be trained and developed in order for an increased efficiency of their physical rehabilitation? Through a thorough background literature review, a more definitive viewpoint on the topic specifically from the viewpoint of various sources from the scientific community will be established. Based on prior research, it can be hypothesized that various exercises that alter an individual’s mindset, and therefore the mindset of an individual, can affect the efficiency of their physical rehabilitation, which can be developed and trained. This hypothesis will be verified with a literature review, then a concise study will be conducted in order to get a perspective on the topic from health professionals specifically, with this capstone project being concluded with a final discussion.


Joy, Timothy


Rider University


Guers, John


Baccalaureate Honors Program


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Joy, Timothy, “Effectiveness of Psychological Factors in Physical Rehabilitation,” Rider Student Research, accessed January 28, 2022, https://riderstudents.omeka.net/items/show/24.

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