A stroke is a "brain attack". It is a physical condition where the blood supply to the brain is cut off. This causes the brain cells to die, affecting the functions controlled by those cells. A stroke can cause memory loss, paralysis, and loss of muscle control throughout the body. It is necessary to know the signs and symptoms of a stroke to prevent or mitigate any severe damage to the body. Following are some signs of a stroke that you need to look for to provide immediate medical help.
Warning Signs of a Stroke
An easy mnemonic to remember the symptoms of a stroke, just before it occurs, is FAST. It stands for
F – Face Drooping
Ask the person showing subtle signs of a stroke to smile. Due to paralysis , the muscles in one side of the body become numb, and the face looks as if it is drooping on that side, making the smile uneven.
A – Arm Weakness
A person suffering a stroke loses muscle control and struggles for a simple motion of the limbs. So, ask them to lift their arms up. If they can’t, it’s a sign of a stroke.
S – Speech Difficulty
A stroke also affects the facial muscles and leads to an impaired speech. Thus, a person suffering from a stroke will experience difficulty in talking.
T – Time to Call 911
If the person shows any of the symptoms mentioned above, then there are higher chances of an inevitable stroke and it is time to call 911 immediately.
Some other symptoms of a stroke are:
1) Weakness in the body, ‘pins and needles’ sensations, numbness in the limbs, and muscle stiffness
2) Loss of memory, lack of concentration and attention, and confusion
3) Trouble with balance and coordination, dizziness, and behavioral changes
4) Impaired or blurry vision, and severe headache
Physical Therapy and how it Helps
Physical therapy is a healing technique which employs movements, exercises, and manual force to fix muscle disorders or regain muscle control in the case of paralysis and stroke. Various forms of physical therapy are used in stroke rehabilitation.
Exercise therapy includes different exercises to restore the functioning of the affected muscles. Routines based on stretching, bending, rotation, muscle lifts and pulls, and endurance building workouts are scheduled for stroke patients. These exercises help in regaining muscle control, build stamina, and boost the form and functionality of the muscles to the original form.
Manual therapy for stroke patients focuses on loosening up tension in any muscles or joints in the body by the application of massage and other pressure by the therapist. Techniques like strain, counterstrain, myofascial release, joint mobilization, and soft tissue mobilization help in releasing the tight knots, muscle spasms and cramps in the limbs, or any other muscle tension due to the paralytic symptoms during a stroke.
Finally, physical therapy employs agents like electrical pulses, temperature, thermal and mechanical applications of ultrasound, light, and sound signals to fix any ligament damage in the body. Electrical signals are mostly used to treat the speech impairment.
Physical therapy can be used for many other healing benefits. If you wish to consult a physician or a therapist to help you with your condition, you can contact us at InHome Physical Therapy and Massage.