The purpose of stroke rehabilitation is to help recover those skills which have been lost due to the brain getting affected. It helps in regaining independence and improving the overall quality of life.
Irrespective of the severity of the stroke, patients should participate in rehabilitation programs as a part of stroke treatment. It has been found that patients who have participated in such programs tend to recover and perform better in comparison to those who have not.
Components of Stroke Rehabilitation
There are many aspects of a stroke rehabilitation program out of which the ones which are to be included depend on the part of the body affected by the stroke and the type of disability. Depending on these factors, some of the physical exercises include –
• Motor-skill Exercises – The purpose of these exercises is to aid in improving the muscle strength and coordination
• Mobility Training – A variety of mobility aids such as ankle brace, canes, walkers, wheelchairs to support the body weight and help relearn how to walk
• Constraint-induced Therapy – Also known as forced-use therapy, in this the unaffected limb is restrained while the affected limb is retrained to regain its function
• Motion Therapy – Many exercises and treatments are done to help ease tension in the muscles and help regain motion.
Beginning Stroke Rehabilitation
The sooner the stroke rehabilitation programme begins, the greater are the chances of getting back the skills and abilities.
Some of the top priorities of the doctor include:-
• Stabilizing the medical condition of the patient
• Controlling life-threatening conditions if any
• Undertaking steps to ensure that another stroke does not take place
• Limit any stroke-related complications
If the patient is in the hospital, the rehabilitation can begin as early as a day or two after the stroke has taken place.
Duration of the Rehabilitation
The length of the rehabilitation program depends on the nature of the stroke and its associated complications. Also, he time taken by patients to recover from a stroke varies. While some recover quickly, others do not and thus require long-term rehabilitation which can vary from months to years.
Location of Stroke Rehabilitation
Stroke rehabilitation begins from the hospital and before being discharged family members of the patient work with the care staff in the hospital to determine what would be the best place for rehabilitation.
Some of the possible options include:-
• As an Inpatient – Such an option is usually available in large hospitals or clinics. Taking part in their program would entail living in their facility for two to three weeks
• As an Outpatient – This is also part of clinics or hospitals and patients have to spend a few hours for a fixed number of days every week
• Nursing Facilities – Such facilities are available in nursing facilities which specialize in rehabilitation
• Home-based Options – This option provides the most flexibility than other options but the drawback is that the patient will not have access to specialized rehabilitation equipment.
Lastly, recovering from a stoke takes time which can be frustrating for many. However, with the right amount of dedication patients can regain back their earlier quality of life in the long run.