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Physiotherapy After Stroke
What is stroke
A stroke is a “brain attack”. It occurs when blood vessels carrying oxygen and nutrients to different parts of the brain suddenly burst or become blocked. This means that part of the brain can not get the blood and oxygen it needs, so the affected brain cells die and parts of the brain may be permanently damaged, causing the person to experience the symptoms of stroke. When brain cells die during a stroke, abilities controlled by that area of the brain such as memory, language comprehension or muscle control are lost. It is very similar to what happens in a heart attack, this is why it is commonly referred to as a “brain attack”.
Stroke is a leading cause of serious long-term disability
It can happen to anyone at any time. Actually, a stroke happens every 40 seconds, and every 4 minutes someone dies from it. Many different factors and conditions can cause a stroke but as researches have shown, high blood pressure is one of the leading causes. People with uncontrolled high blood pressure, diabetes, cholesterol and those who smoke are at a greater risk for strokes. Other causes of stroke include infections such as TB meningitis, HIV, head injuries (as a result of alcohol or substance abuse, violence and accidents).
The consequences of a stroke can be devastating as it can result in permanent disability or early death. This can place an enormous burden on affected families. Medical costs and loss of income through disability can put a major strain on the family budget.
The brain is an extremely complex organ that controls various body functions. If a stroke occurs and blood flow can not reach the region that controls a particular body function, that part of the body will not work as it should. The physical effects of a stroke can include paralysis on one or both sides of the body, vision and memory problems. It may cause depression or some kind of emotional issue. There might have difficulties with eating or swallowing, and even with the loss of control of the bladder resulting in incontinence. Stroke is the leading cause of aphasia, a disorder of communication that impairs a person’s ability to use or comprehend language.
We believe that physiotherapy for stroke patients is an excellent way to maintain mobility of the limbs and prevent complications. It could improve patients’ limb function and self care ability through appropriate rehabilitation exercises and education about proper usage of assistive devices. Complementary to the therapy itself, proper caring techniques and posture in daily living could also enhance the treatment effect.
Our physiotherapists recommend aerobic exercise, which can provide significant benefits for people with mild to moderate disability after a stroke. These exercises include walking, stepping or running. For post-stroke patients with poor balance we highly recommend cycling on a stationary bike.
Loss of balance and coordination can make standing and walking difficult. Targeted exercises can improve daily functions such as walking, sitting or bending down, and they are crucial in helping to prevent falls. Our physiotherapists focus on activities that involve more than one joint or muscle, or standing and shifting weight from one leg to the other.
It is important to add flexibility and mobility to your affected limbs. These active or passive (when the therapist moves your limbs) exercises are always performed more slowly, and would only be done in a pain-free range.
Stroke usually causes muscle weakness, spasms and pain. Strength-training exercises using light weights, resistance bands or other equipment can help rebuild muscles and improve function.
Ironically, researches have shown that socializing is one of the best ways to maximize stroke recovery. Many experts contend that socializing should begin right away in the recovery process. But you have to accept that the degree of recovery depends on the severity and location of the stroke.
Your first session at PhysioMedicine will include a detailed assessment. From this, your physiotherapist will create a personal rehabilitation programme for you that meets your needs. To request further information pleasecontact usby phone, e-mail or simplybook an appointment. Do not forget to check out ourspecial offers. We are here to help!