February 10, 2011

Stroke Rehab

I am posting this to inform the public how severe a stroke could be. I am involved with a family member who is undergoing several treatments for a stroke. The patient however is showing signs of development and as a family member it is so much of a relief to see that there is hope that he can recover. We don't expect total recovery like he used to be but for the thought that he survived and keep on showing signs of improvement, we are more happy to know that.

What's involved in stroke rehab?

Stroke rehabilitation may include some or all of the following therapies:

  • Therapy for communication disorders can help you regain lost abilities in speaking, listening, writing and comprehension.
  • Strengthening motor skills involves using exercises to help improve your muscle strength and coordination.
  • Mobility training may include learning to use walking aids, such as braces, walkers or canes, to support part of your body's weight while you relearn how to walk.
  • Range of motion therapy uses exercises and other treatments to help lessen muscle tension (spasticity) and regain range of motion.
  • Psychological therapy may involve antidepressant medications, counseling with a mental health professional and participation in support groups.
  • Constraint-induced therapy, also known as "forced-use" therapy, involves restricting use of an unaffected limb while you practice moving the affected limb. Forcing you to use the affected arm or leg can help improve its function.
  • Electrical stimulation involves using electricity to stimulate weakened muscles, causing them to contract. This may help with muscle re-education in some individuals.

When should stroke rehabilitation begin?

Stroke rehabilitation should begin as soon as possible after a stroke. The first priority is to stabilize your medical condition and get life-threatening conditions under control. Doctors also take measures to prevent another stroke and limit any stroke-related complications. However, once these steps have been taken, it's common for stroke rehabilitation to start during your acute hospital stay. The sooner you begin stroke rehabilitation, the more likely you are to regain lost abilities and skills.

How long does stroke rehabilitation last?

The duration of your stroke rehabilitation depends on the severity of your stroke and related complications. While some stroke survivors recover quickly, most stroke survivors need some form of stroke rehabilitation long term, possibly months or years after their stroke. Your stroke rehabilitation plan will change during your recovery as you relearn skills and your needs change.

The length of time you spend doing stroke rehabilitation during each therapy session varies depending on your recovery, severity of your symptoms and responsiveness to therapy.

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