Rehabilitative Therapy For Post-stroke Patients

According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), stroke is the 5 th leading cause of death and a major cause of long-term disability. Experiencing a stroke can be frightening, and some of the possible complications that can result after surviving an episode of stroke can greatly affect one’s quality of life.

Sequel to an episode of stroke, it is essential that you undergo rehabilitative therapy to retrain the brain, possibly regain affected functions, prevent further disability and adapt in the best way suitable to the irreversible changes from the stroke. 

Rehabilitation will entail specifically focused and carefully structured activities with the sole goal of helping you regain as much independence as possible and promoting an improved quality of life in general. The American Heart Association and the American Stroke Association advise that the rehabilitation team for a post-stroke patient should be well-coordinated and multi-disciplinary. Find below some of the professionals alongside their services that should be involved in your care if you have just experienced a stroke.

1. NEUROLOGISTS
This is a medical doctor trained to diagnose and treat disorders affecting the brain, the spinal cord, and the nervous system. They are important to your rehabilitation as their knowledge of the signs, symptoms, causes, and types of stroke can help find and treat the cause of your stroke and prevent the risk of recurrence.

2. PHYSICAL THERAPISTS
The role of physical rehabilitation cannot be over-emphasized for a post-stroke patient. They focus on your movement and balance coordination by training your brain and muscles to work together to achieve optimal muscle strength and tone. Physical therapy has been found to be effective in improving patients’ mobility and regaining independence post-stroke.

3. OCCUPATIONAL THERAPISTS
They work with you to ensure you relearn previous basic skills you have previously acquired, such as bathing, eating, writing, dressing, etc. Therefore, you can get back to performing daily, routine activities requiring fine motor skills.

4. SPEECH THERAPIST
Speech and swallowing problems are common possible complications of a stroke. A speech therapist helps you relearn talking, reading, swallowing, etc. This can be done through techniques such as word drills, role-playing, and so forth.

5. DIETICIAN
Food can be a form of medicine. Patients who have experienced an episode of stroke require certain modifications in their diet, e.g., low salt, low-fat diet. These and other dietary recommendations will be made by a dietician who is sufficiently trained in healthy nutrition.

6. REHABILITATION NURSE
Good nursing care is essential for a stroke patient. Their expert assistance helps recovery and prevention of certain debilitating complications. For example, regular turning of the patient prevents the development of pressure sores.

7. PSYCHOLOGIST
Often, after a stroke, one may require the psychologist’s services in dealing with the emotional problems that may follow, such as anxiety, depression, etc.

8. SOCIAL WORKER
Their services might be of benefit to you as they help in getting home support services, dealing with insurance, making living arrangements, finding a support group, or choosing a rehabilitation program.

In conclusion, rehabilitation plays a significant role in the proper recovery of a stroke patient. Patients who went through rehabilitation post-stroke have been found to have a better recovery in comparison to their counterparts who did not. During rehabilitation, essential skills for independence such as self-care, mobility, communication, cognitive, and even social skills are relearned, thus leading to a better quality of life. You can start rehabilitation as soon as you are stable. In fact, early rehabilitation is highly recommended. Therefore, choose the best setting for yourself, whether home, hospital, or a center such as ours, and get a competent team alongside to help you recover and prevent as many long-term complications as possible.

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