Physical therapy and stroke

Recovering from a stroke can be quite challenging. Strokes are neurological conditions that occur when the blood supply to the brain is disturbed. It’s generally older individuals who experience strokes as a result of the blocking of arteries that supply blood to the brain. In some cases, younger individuals can experience strokes as well. This generally happens if a blood vessel has burst, thereby causing blood to collect within the brain (a condition known as hematoma).

Strokes can cause the loss of physical function as well as other issues, which is why stroke patients will often take physical therapy as part of their rehabilitation process.

Physical Problems Caused by a Stroke

The effects of a stroke can vary greatly from one person to another based on numerous factors, including the severity of the stroke and what part of the brain the stroke affected. For example, a stroke can damage the part of the brain that sends signals to your muscles, which means that you may have difficulty with movement as a result of weakness in the muscles in certain parts of your body following a stroke. Muscles can also become stiff and tight.

Another common effect of a stroke is the loss of balance. Patients can suffer from ataxia, vertigo, and spatial neglect as a result of a stroke. Such issues with your balance can not only cause dizziness and unsteadiness, but they can also lead to fall-related injuries.

Physical Therapy for Stroke Rehabilitation

Depending on the severity of the stroke, patients may need to relearn basic skills that were impaired as a result of the stroke, including simply day-to-day functions, such as walking, dressing, bathing, and eating. These impairments are typically the result of physical issues that can be improved with physical therapy.

Many studies have been done to determine the effectiveness of physical therapy for stroke patients. The majority of the studies found that different forms of physical therapy were beneficial in helping stroke patients to recover some of their function and mobility, especially if those patients underwent treatment sessions of 30 to 60 minutes a day for five to seven days a week.

There was no conclusion as to a specific type of physical treatment being more or less effective when it comes to recovering physical function or mobility. However, the Cochrane Review performed 58 trials studying 2797 stroke patients focusing on fitness training and concluded that cardiovascular training, including walking, helps to improve the ability to exercise and walk following a stroke. They also found that mixed training can improve the patient’s balance and ability to walk.

Getting Physical Therapy

Around 795,000 Americans suffer from stroke every year. Even minor strokes can cause impairments that the patient will have to learn how to live with. Fortunately, the effects of a stroke can be improved through physical therapy. If you recently suffered a stroke, then you should schedule physical therapy as part of your rehabilitation process today.

To schedule physical therapy treatment in Vero Beach or to ask about our physical therapy services in general, be sure to contact us at Florida Spine today.