Stroke Physiotherapy Achieves Stroke Rehabilitation

A stroke happens when an area of the brain is clotted or bursts or ruptures. Patients who have suffered from a stroke often feel helpless about their situation. Rehabilitation can be a lot of work and the effects of the condition may be long lasting.

Physiotherapy has been shown to improve the recovery function and mobility after stroke. Physical medicine and rehabilitation may be needed to regain motor function and to relearn lost abilities.

A rehabilitation program is required for a sustained period following a stroke. Patients should continue with rehabilitation with a physical therapist, occupational therapist or other health professional until they have shown measurable benefit. Treatment should be sustained until the goals set at the start of their treatment are achieved.

Consequences of a Stroke

Many patients lose the use of their arm and hand following a stroke. Many also experience spasticity: uncontrollable muscle tightness, and stiffness, which make movement difficult. According to medical research, 20-50% of stroke survivors have some spasticity. Paralysis or weakness on one side of the body happens to the vast majority of people – around 80% of all patients. This usually happens on the opposite side of the body from where the stroke occurred in the brain. In rehabilitation, patients work with a health care team to regain use of their arm.

People of working age are two to three times more likely to be unemployed eight years post stroke. Around one in four strokes occur in people of working age. However, people of working age are two to three times more likely to be unemployed after their stroke.

When Does Physiotherapy Start After A Stroke?

Physios will work with stroke patients 24 hours after they have suffered a stroke. Rehabilitation therapy commences with short, frequent sessions. These sessions are designed to get a person out of bed, standing and walking. Repetitive tasks training helps people regain movement and relearn how to perform everyday activities while suffering temporarily reduced motor function.

Some equipment may be used to assist patients during rehabilitation. Treadmill training and other assistive devices, for example, improve walking speed and resilience. The tasks performed during rehabilitation are repetitive, but are necessary to build strength and coordination.

What Is Early Supported Discharge (ESD)?

Early Support Discharge is an intervention for adults who have suffered from a stroke. Their care is moved from an inpatient environment to a community centric model. It enables people to begin rehabilitation from home with assistance, rather than staying in hospital and doing rehabilitation there.

Patients who are able to employ the services of an ESD team can reduce their hospital stay by five days. Early Support Discharge teams also achieve great effects on the mental health scores of patient carers. It reduces patient dependency on institutional care too.

Early Supported Discharge teams enable patients to receive early, specialist stroke care.

Coordinated rehabilitation is delivered by a multi disciplinary team with access to a consultant and psychology input. The team will have comprehensive rehabilitation support workers trained in all disciplines to ensure that patients receive intensive input.

Long Term Rehabilitation

Physiotherapy teams support stroke patients as they achieve long terms goals like returning to work. Social workers enable stroke victims to reintegrate into their local communities. Physios will help stroke victims perform physical activity as part of their daily routine. Doing this helps reduce their chance of another stroke by 35%, according to research undertaken during clinic trials.

Physios will assist patients perform circuit training. This involves intensive repetition of everyday activities to help patients walk faster, further and with more confidence. Endurance and strength training will also be undertaken to reduce disability. Such exercises include balance and weight shifting to rebuild balance and motor skills.

We recommend five days of physiotherapy rehabilitation per week. Sessions should be for a forty-five minute period each day following a stroke.

If you or someone you know needs rehabilitation following a stroke, contact Therapy Services Physio for a consultation today. Our rehabilitation unit is open for business Monday to Friday, 8:00am to 4:30pm. Call us on (02) 8382 6935 to speak to our friendly team and to book your first appointment.