What Happens After a Stroke?
First, we need to make sure you have a good understanding of what a stroke is! A stroke can either be from bleeding into and around the brain (called a hemorrhagic stroke) or from a clot stopping blood flow to an area (called an ischemic stroke).
Stroke rehabilitation--including physical, occupational and speech therapy--helps you get back to doing what is most important in your life.
Stroke rehabilitation is started as soon as possible. Rehabilitation is a vital part of stroke recovery—it consists of physical therapy, occupational therapy and speech therapy. Therapy addresses what affects you the most, whether it is muscular weakness, balance deficits, decreased coordination, problems walking, swallowing difficulties, visual/spatial problems, difficulty dressing/bathing, decreased sensation, or problems understanding and speaking. We want to get you back to doing what is most important in your life!
The way we do that in Rehabilitation is called neuroplasticity. This is the brain’s ability to make new paths around the area of injury, allowing the brain to change through growth and reorganization.
How therapy promotes neuroplasticity:
While there is no magic number, the more times you do a familiar task (dressing, walking, eating, etc.), the easier it gets.
More therapy during recovery means more progress toward goals!
Involve your weaker hand when feeding yourself even if it is messy. Attempt getting dressed by yourself even if it takes longer. Practice walking even if you have to use a walker or cane.
Incorporate as many of your senses as possible to promote normalized movement and functional use. Talk to your leg to make sure it is doing what you want. Look to make sure your hand is in a safe spot. Rub and tap your affected side to “wake it up.”
Physical, occupational and speech therapy work together to help patients who have suffered a stroke regain their independence and improve their quality of life. Our main goal is to help you return home and be as independent as possible as safely as possible. Along with a social worker, we work together as a team to ensure you have all equipment needed to succeed at home.