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Physical Rehabilitation After a Stroke: What to Expect

June 27, 2018


A Guide to Post-Stroke Physical Rehabilitation

The process of stroke recovery is different for every patient. While some patients may recover fairly quickly, recovery may be a lifelong battle for others. The length of recovery largely depends on the severity of the stroke and the location it occurs. Though the length of recovery largely depends on the patient, most people will experience a similar physical rehabilitation process.


Understanding Stokes

A stroke occurs when the blood flow to a section of the brain suddenly stops due to a blood clot or fragmented blood vessels. When this occurs, brain cells are deprived of oxygen and begin to die. Though strokes are often sudden and brief, they can lead to lifelong problems with memory, muscle movement, and speech.


Physical Rehabilitation After a Stroke

Physical rehabilitation after a stroke can include physical, occupational, and speech therapy. The treatment plan is usually designed to fit the patient’s specific needs and help them regain their mobility, motor skills, and independence. Ideally, physical rehabilitation should begin as soon as possible after a stroke. In some cases, treatment may begin 24-48 hours after the patient is admitted to the hospital.


The first few weeks or months of stroke recovery will involve the most intensive rehabilitation. Some patients may even visit the rehabilitation center 5-6 days a week. Within these first few months, the patient should see the greatest improvements. Depending on the patient, rehabilitation may last over a year.


Types of Exercises

In physical rehabilitation, patients usually practice mobility exercises, range of motion exercises, and exercises that improve their fine motor skills. Mobility exercises may include balance exercises, like standing on one foot, or strength training exercises, like squats or bridges. To improve motor skills, patients may practice picking up coins or gripping pens.  Depending on the patient’s condition, they may also work with other specialists to improve their communication skills and cognitive abilities.


Recovery Times

There is no set recovery time for strokes. Every case is different, so recovery times will truly depend on the severity of the stroke and the circumstances around it. Some people may recover in a few months, while others may continue physical rehabilitation for years. The success of recovery will also vary. While complete recoveries occur on occasion, most patients will have mild impairments that require some specialized medical care.


Contact Haven Physical Therapy

If you are looking for rehabilitation in Southwest Missouri, look no further than Haven Physical Therapy. We offer convenient hours and locations for Ava, Ozark, Springfield, and Willard. We’re here to help you start your comeback story, so contact us today to learn more!



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