stroke rehab

Stroke

A stroke is referred to as a Cerebrovascular Accident and is the sudden death of brain cells due to lack of oxygen. This occurs when the blood flow to a particular portion of the brain is restricted by a clot or bleed. Depending on where the stroke occurred in the brain, how extensive the damage was and the duration, dictate the severity of the symptoms and recovery.

Common symptoms of stroke are a slurring of speech, facial droop, weakness or loss of function in one side of the body, either in the arm, legs or both. If someone is having these symptoms, call emergency symptoms immediately. A stroke can affect cognitive function, speech, the ability to swallow, walking, balance, strength and function.

After medical management, rehabilitation is needed to assist the person in regaining as much function as possible. The nervous system is plastic, meaning it has some ability to adapt for the damaged areas. Many people are able to regain function in their affected limbs, speech and enjoy life with modifications.

How therapy helps with rehab from stroke

Physical therapy is a vital part of the recovery of a person who has suffered a stroke. A thorough evaluation is done in various stages of the rehabilitation process to determine progression in strength, transfers, walking, balance, range of motion and safety. Our physical therapists approach the care of each person as an individual adapting the best rehabilitative process to each case. A great deal is done to ensure the safety of the person with normal transfers from sitting to standing, getting in/out of a car, stairs and uneven terrains. In addition, the strengthening and exercising of muscles provides positive feedback to the nervous system to accelerate adaptation and function.

Occupational therapists may work very closely in the process to improve a person’s ability to perform the tasks that occupy their time (cooking, eating, getting dressed, etc.) while Physical Therapists work to recover the basic functions that support these tasks. Learning to write, improving dexterity, movement of the elbow and shoulder are crucial components to functional use of the arm. In addition, occupational therapists assist in cognitive improvements, and especially adaptations to daily activities such as dressing, caring for oneself, cooking and work activities. Many of these skills we take for granted have to be re-learned.

Speech therapists work with muscle deficits in speech, swallowing and facial expressions. In addition, cognitive challenges can help increase the functioning of the brain to problem solve many of life’s daily activities.

Be sure to give our office a call to set up a one-on-one consultation and full evaluation. Our physical therapists are certified, experienced and committed to helping you feel better.