A stroke is one of the most debilitating events that can happen to a person. Strokes are also extremely common, with over 800,000 people in the US experiencing one each year.
In this blog post, we will discuss some of the different approaches for stroke rehabilitation and how they can help improve your quality of life after suffering from such an event.
How to Define and Recognize a Stroke?
A stroke commonly referred to as a “brain attack” is when blood flow to the brain stops. Blood carries oxygen and nutrients that help with cell repair, so without it, your cells get damaged or die.
Usually, this happens because a blood vessel in your brain bursts or becomes blocked and can’t carry oxygen-rich blood to your brain.
A stroke can come on quickly, without any warning. It’s important to know what the warning signs are so you can get help right away if you need it.
The first sign of a stroke is often numbness or weakness in one arm or leg, especially on one side of the body. This could make it hard to move that arm or leg. Your ability to talk might also be affected. Another common sign is sudden confusion— trouble understanding what other people say, remembering things from earlier today, or understanding instructions given a few minutes ago.
Other symptoms may include:
- sudden difficulty seeing in one or both eyes;
- sudden trouble speaking clearly;
- severe headache with no known cause;
- loss of balance and coordination;
- slurred speech;
- pain, nausea, vomiting, dizziness.
What is Stroke Rehabilitation?
A stroke is an event that interrupts the blood supply to a part of your brain. This can lead to death or disability depending on where the stroke occurs and how much damage it causes.
Stroke rehabilitation is a process designed for patients who have had a stroke or mini-stroke, offering them cognitive therapy, physical therapy, occupational therapy, and speech-language pathology services to improve their quality of life.
How Does Stroke Rehabilitation Work?
Stroke rehabilitation refers to a set of physical therapy techniques used to help patients recover from a stroke.
In stroke rehabilitation, the first step is to evaluate your condition. Then you’ll learn how to move in a way that’s safe for you and helps prevent further injury. You may work on balance, walking, strength training, and other exercises.
Some of the rehabilitation exercises after a stroke include physical, occupational, and speech therapy.
- Physical therapy- Stroke is a debilitating condition that can cause a variety of physical and emotional problems, but physical therapy is the best way to help improve your quality of life.
Physical therapy for stroke patients is one of the most effective treatments for recovering from this serious health condition.
- Occupational therapy- The occupational therapist at a medical clinic is there to provide occupational therapy for stroke sufferers. This type of rehabilitation helps patients regain their independence and live life to the fullest. The therapist will work with the patient to teach them how to do things that may be difficult as a result of their stroke, such as feeding or bathing themselves. They will also learn ways to prevent injuries by using adaptive equipment and techniques that can help improve their quality of life.
- Speech therapy- There are many different forms of speech therapy. One form, which is often used for stroke sufferers, is called “chewing and swallowing therapy.” The purpose of this type of speech therapy is to help patients with their eating ability as well as the ability to speak. Speech therapists will work on strengthening muscles in the mouth and throat area that have been weakened by a stroke or other injury. This includes using tools such as straws, spoons, eggs, and popsicles.
Types of Treatments for Stroke Patients
A stroke is a medical emergency. Strokes can happen at any age but are more common in adults over 60.
When a patient suffers from a stroke, they can take one of two approaches to treatment. One approach is to use medication that will decrease the size of the blood clot and prevent it from spreading. The other approach is surgery, which involves opening up the skull and removing part or all of the clot. Which option should be chosen depends on many factors like location and severity of stroke symptoms as well as an individual’s medical history.
- Clot-busting drugs- Strokes can arise from blocked arteries in the neck and head or due to ruptured vessels. Following these occurrences, about 2/3 of stroke patients are left with some impairment in one part of their body’s motor abilities (e.g., speech difficulties). The first thing doctors will treat for such injuries is a medication that disrupts clots, specifically on blood vessels causing symptoms of stroke-like worsened heart rate, numbness, or confusion up until ambulances arrive at the location to transport these patients to the hospital or any other medical center.
- Surgery for stroke- Surgeries for stroke sufferers are intended to restore function by repairing blood vessels that have been cut off as a result of an obstruction or clot caused by the stroke. There’s a new type of surgery available, called Deep Brain Stimulation (DBS). This is one of the newest innovations in surgical therapy for neurological disorders, and it’s making waves in communities around the world as an effective treatment for debilitating conditions such as depression, Parkinson’s disease, epilepsy, and more.
Who Should Be Involved in Treatment?
Treatment for stroke patients is often a collaborative effort between physicians, nurses, and other medical team members. Physicians need to take into consideration the emotional needs of their patients as well as their physical symptoms, while nurses may be more focused on the physical aspects of treatment. Patients who have suffered from a stroke are also likely to experience changes in personality due to damage that has occurred in their brain, so all members of the health care team need to be trained in how best to communicate with them.
It often comes as a surprise that stroke sufferers are not always included in treatment decisions. Many times patients themselves have left out of the decision-making process altogether.
However, this trend is slowly changing, and more medical professionals are recognizing the importance of including patients in treatment decisions for their well-being and recovery.
The change can be attributed to research that has shown that when stroke sufferers receive input from their family members or other loved ones about what they want for their care, they have a better chance of making progress with rehabilitation than those who do not have this information available to them.
What are the different approaches to treatment?
The question of how to best treat stroke patients is a difficult one. Strokes are caused by a lack of blood flow and oxygen in the brain and can result in paralysis, speech difficulties, or cognitive impairment. Depending on the severity, there are many different treatments available for stroke sufferers, including medication, physical therapy, surgery, and rehabilitation services. Here, we will talk about two commonly used approaches in the treatment of stroke-suffering patients. Those are:
The goal of activity-based therapy is to help stroke sufferers relearn how to do things they once did without thinking about it – like getting up from a chair or picking up an object from the floor. It also helps them build strength and endurance so they can relearn those skills more quickly.
Constraint-induced movement therapy (CI)
Constraint-induced movement therapy is a physical rehabilitation approach that has been used to treat stroke sufferers. It is considered to be an alternative treatment for those who have not responded well to traditional methods of therapy. Researchers found that the use of constraint-induced movement in combination with traditional therapies such as occupational and speech therapy can help decrease the amount of time it takes for patients to recover from their strokes.
The importance of stroke rehabilitation
Strokes are usually caused by clots or bleeding in the brain and can be fatal. The sooner a patient recovers from a stroke, the better their chances of getting back to normal life. Stroke rehabilitation is important for patients to get back on their feet because it helps with mobility and speech skills.
For many people who have experienced stroke, rehabilitating themselves can seem like an impossible feat because they feel physically limited or cannot move one side of their body at all. However, there are ways to help improve these limitations through therapy, such as physical therapy and occupational therapy, that can strengthen muscles and increase coordination.
Stroke is one of the most common causes of disability in adults. Strokes can lead to a variety of physical, emotional, and cognitive problems. These include speech difficulties, paralysis on one side or half the body, and loss of vision.
Strokes are a serious condition and can lead to permanent disability. Stroke rehabilitation is essential for these patients to regain their independence and get back on their feet after a debilitating stroke.