Stroke Rehabilitation
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(commonly known as cerebral “attacks” or “congestions”) are sudden complications of vascular disease: stopping blood supply (cerebral infarction) or rupture of a blood vessel (cerebro-meningeal hemorrhage) . They are extremely common and represent the leading cause of disability, most commonly in the form of hemiplegia (half-body paralysis).

The most usual and most visible consequence is hemiplegia.

Among the associated disorders, the most frequent and the most troublesome is the language impairment: either by paralysis of the muscles allowing the speech (dysarthria), or by reaching the understanding and / or the expression of the language (aphasia) , oral and / or written. These disorders may be the most important social handicap.

What’s involved in stroke rehabilitation?

There are many approaches to stroke rehabilitation. Your rehabilitation plan will depend on the part of the body or type of ability affected by your stroke.

Physical activities might include:

Motor-skill exercises. These exercises can help improve your muscle strength and coordination. You might have therapy to strengthen your swallowing.

Mobility training. You might learn to use mobility aids, such as a walker, canes, wheelchair or ankle brace. The ankle brace can stabilize and strengthen your ankle to help support your body’s weight while you relearn to walk.

Constraint-induced therapy. An unaffected limb is restrained while you practice moving the affected limb to help improve its function. This therapy is sometimes called forced-use therapy.

Range-of-motion therapy. Certain exercises and treatments can ease muscle tension (spasticity) and help you regain range of motion.

Technology-assisted physical activities might include:

Functional electrical stimulation. Electricity is applied to weakened muscles, causing them to contract. The electrical stimulation may help re-educate your muscles.

Robotic technology. Robotic devices can assist impaired limbs with performing repetitive motions, helping the limbs to regain strength and function.

Wireless technology. An activity monitor might help you increase post-stroke activity.

Virtual reality. The use of video games and other computer-based therapies involves interacting with a simulated, real-time environment.

Cognitive and emotional activities might include:

Therapy for cognitive disorders. Occupational therapy and speech therapy can help you with lost cognitive abilities, such as memory, processing, problem-solving, social skills, judgment and safety awareness.

Therapy for communication disorders. Speech therapy can help you regain lost abilities in speaking, listening, writing and comprehension.

Psychological evaluation and treatment.

When should stroke rehabilitation begin?

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. Some stroke survivors recover quickly. But most need some form of long-term stroke rehabilitation, lasting possibly months or years after their stroke.

Who participates in your stroke rehabilitation team?

Stroke rehabilitation involves a variety of specialists.

Specialists who can help with physical needs include:

Physicians

Neurologists and specialists in physical medicine and rehabilitation

Physical therapists. These therapists help you relearn movements such as walking and keeping your balance.

Occupational therapists

Stroke rehabilitation takes time.Recovering from a stroke can be a long and frustrating experience. It’s normal to face difficulties along the way. Dedication and willingness to work toward improvement will help you gain the most benefit.

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