Stroke Rehabilitation

Stroke Rehabilitation

The stroke causes loss of a part of brain and its related functioning. It becomes difficult for the patient to lead a quality and independent life after stroke. This is where Stroke Rehabilitation works wonder and allows the patient to live a quality and healthy life even after losing some skills due to brain damage.

Rehabilitation is a specialized branch of healthcare dedicated to improve and restore physical strength, cognition and mobility of the patient after some serious illness, injury or surgery.

Approaches of Stroke Rehabilitation

There are numerous approaches to stroke rehabilitation and their use depends upon the part of the body or type of ability affected. These approaches include the following:

Approaches to improve physical activities

  • Exercises to improve muscle strength and coordination, lessen muscle tension (spasticity) and regain range of motion

  • Therapy to help with swallowing

  • Mobility training to learn walking with aid like walker or canes

  • Constraint-induced therapy, also known as forced-use therapy, is used to improve the functioning of affected limb by restricting the use of an unaffected limb

Technology-assisted approaches

  • Functional electrical stimulation is the procedure that involves use of electricity to contract and stimulate the weakened muscles

  • Robotic technology uses robotic devices to assist impaired limbs with performing repetitive motions, helping them regain strength and function

  • Activity monitor is used to keep an eye on post-stroke activity

  • Virtual reality is computer based therapy that uses real world environment like video games to improve patient skills

  • Non-invasive brain stimulation involve techniques such as transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) to improve a variety of motor skills

Cognitive and emotional

  • Communication therapy regains the lost ability of the patient in speaking, listening, writing and comprehension etc.

  • Counselling for emotional adjustment

  • Participation in discussions or support groups to improve cognitive skills

  • Medications and meditation to treat depression, anxiety and stress

Nutritional approach

  • Nutritional requirements of a stroke patient are completely different and a dietitian can create healthy menus, including heart-healthy, low-fat and low-salt foods.

When and how long is Stroke rehabilitation required?

Ideally, it should begin soon after getting stable to increase the chances of regaining lost skills and abilities. Most often it starts within 24 to 48 hours after stroke during the acute hospital stay itself.

Its duration of rehabilitation therapy depends upon severity of symptoms, patient’s recovery and responsiveness to therapy along with complications of stroke. Some patients recover quickly while others need long term rehabilitation, possibly months or years after stroke.

Advantages of Stroke Rehabilitation

  • Relearn the lost skills

  • Improved quality of life

  • Decreased recovery time

  • Increases patient independence to perform daily activities like bathing, walking etc.

  • Better adjustment to live within home, family, and community

  • May prevent future strokes

  • Limit stroke-related complications