As the world seems to move faster, the occurrences of people having strokes seems to be increasing. The stroke is a synonym for cardiovascular accident (CVA), wherein there is a rapid loss of brain function due the reduction of blood supply to the brain. Strokes happen when there is a sudden blockage of blood flow to the brain due to thrombosis or arterial embolism. Medical science cannot predict when a stroke is going to occur, but risk factors such as smoking, diabetes, high cholesterol, high blood pressure and more have been identified. When you experience a stroke, you are under the risk of facing neurological damage or even death.
After a stroke, you will have impairments with certain motor functions. Parts of your muscles won’t be able to remember simple movements such as sitting or standing. You’ll need to re-learn them. There are chances that you’ve been seriously affected by a stroke. Your movement, sensation, balance and co-ordination may have been seriously damaged. You may not be able to sense a limb or even a whole side of your body.
Once you are a victim of stroke, it is physiotherapy and a rehabilitation program that will help you get back on your feet.
Physical therapy will help regain sense from your areas of lost feelings. A physiotherapist, occupational therapist or kinesiologist will help you to learn how to put on your clothes, chew, swallow and feed yourself because you will need to relearn all of that. You will have to start getting used to sitting, walking, standing, and getting in a car all over again.
A therapist will assess the damage of the stroke and plot out a comprehensive exercise regime for you. You could be subjected to occupational therapy or the Brunnstrom approach. Even if you are bedridden, a therapist will help you exercise on your bed initially. If you have trouble, they will move your body through passive range of motion for you and try to regenerate nervous impulses. If you can’t walk, they will help you with the basics – getting out of the bed into the wheel chair, or working with walking assists such as canes and walkers.
You may not be able to move parts of your muscles, but it is important that you keep them strong so that you can never give up regaining your senses in those areas. A therapist will use both active and passive range of motion and strengthening exercises. Active exercise refers to the ones that a stroke victim can perform without any assistance, while a passive exercise requires assistance from the therapist.
At first, it will be difficult to regain motor controls, but in time and with regular exercise, your muscles will regain their strength and be maintained.
For any chance of recovery, it is important that victims of stroke keep their family members involved. A therapist will teach your family the things that they can do to assist you in your rehabilitation. It is only through repetition of physical activities that stroke victims can hope to get better and the family of the stroke victom can assist in some of the movements that are needed for recovery.
Physiotherapy takes places as soon as victim recovers enough in the hospital to begin a program. Depending on the amount of damage caused by the stroke, you can either go home or go to a rehabilitation facility where you will get treated further. It is very important that you begin treatment as soon as possible after a stroke. The quicker that the rehabilitation program begins post stroke, the more improvements to your mobility you will experience.Your therapist should draw out a plan so you can see for yourself what you’ll have to face in the coming months.
Physiotherapy is not a cure and it is not a miracle program. It may take months, years and the harsh fact is that you may never regain the same sense of feeling that you previously had. All you can do is keeping working through your rehabilitation program and know that you are doing everything that you can to regain your mobility and quality of life.