Post-stroke recovery is a challenging time for both patients and caregivers. While the goal is to provide high-quality care for your loved one and to help them regain as much function as possible, in most cases, caregivers can’t do it alone. Partnering with a qualified rehabilitation facility is often the best approach to help your loved one recover from a stroke, regain normal functions and reduce pain.
What Is A Stroke?
A stroke occurs when a blood vessel in the brain ruptures or is blocked by a blood clot.
Stroke is a leading cause of disability in U.S. adults and can cause impairment in speech, motor skills and beyond.
What Are The Effects Of A Stroke?
According to the American Stroke Association, the effects of a stroke depend on which side of the brain is affected. A stroke on the right side of the brain can lead to paralysis on the left side of the body, vision problems, and memory loss. A stroke on the right side of the brain can lead to paralysis on the right side of the body, speech and language problems and memory loss. When a stroke occurs in the brain stem, it can affect both sides of the body and may leave a patient unable to speak or achieve any movement below the neck.
Even after initial medical treatments, patients can struggle with day-to-day activities. Patients may have problems with self-care, bowel, and bladder function, walking and eating. Patients may also experience long-term pain or muscle or joint stiffness. Ongoing rehabilitation is important to managing these long-term concerns.
How Long Do The Effects Of A Stroke Last?
Recovery depends on many different factors: where in the brain the stroke occurred, how much of the brain was affected, the patient’s motivation to regain function, and—importantly—the frequency and quality of rehabilitation services.
Depression And Stroke
Post-stroke depression is common, especially as a patient continues to experience longer- term problems following a stroke. When a patient experiences loss of mobility and struggles with routine activities, depression can become a factor and can negatively affect recovery. In cooperation with your physician, a high-quality rehab program can help by providing regular interaction and stimulation for the patient and by helping them regain function and reduce pain. Goal setting and physical activity, both of which are important parts of rehabilitation, can also help manage post-stroke depression.
Treatments For Stroke Survivors: Rehabilitation Is Key
Professional rehabilitation services are key to providing optimal recovery for stroke survivors. Rehab services can include everything from simple exercises for strength recovery to emerging (and highly successful) therapies like mild electrical stimulation, ultrasound, and electromagnetic energy.
Exercise: a high-quality rehabilitation facility will develop a guided exercise program tailored to the patient’s needs and designed for maximum effectiveness in helping regain mobility and function. These can include exercises for legs, arms, core, hands and wrist. Your rehab partner will help the patient stay on schedule with exercise and move on to more challenging movements when appropriate.
Electrical stimulation has become a more common therapy for stroke survivors in the last decade. The treatment delivers a mild shock to the muscles and causes them to move. In some cases, this can help retrain the brain to move the muscles. Electrical stimulation therapy has been shown to help with walking and hand movement.
Electromagnetic energy treatment sends magnetic pulses through the tissue and has been shown to reduce pain and increase mobility in many cases.
Ultrasound therapy: ultrasound is another way of stimulating tissue—in this case using high-frequency sound waves. Ultrasound can speed up the healing process, relieve pain and increase blood flow to the affected area.
Occupational therapy can help stroke survivors learn to manage daily activities such as dressing, eating, personal hygiene and writing.
Recovering From A Stroke: Rehabilitation Is Key
Surviving a stroke is a blessing, but it often marks the beginning of a challenging recovery process. For optimal recovery, a multi-faceted approach to rehabilitation is essential. That’s why finding a trusted rehabilitation partner is so important. Look for a facility that combines traditional and emerging therapies to help your loved one recover mobility, function, and self-esteem with a carefully tailored program.