Stroke Recovery and Rehabilitation
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Stroke rehabilitation consists of a number of different approaches, such as strengthening exercises, speech and swallow therapy and training for balance and walking. Each type of specialized therapist provides a different kind of exercise focused on improving particular skills. A comprehensive rehabilitation program that begins during or immediately after a stroke survivor leaves the hospital can help to maximize recovery.
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CecilieArcurs/E+/Getty Images More in Stroke Living With Diagnosis & Treatment Causes & Risk Factors Prevention Symptoms For Caregivers Scientific research has proven that stroke rehabilitation helps optimize recovery for a better overall outcome. What Is Stroke Rehabilitation? Stroke rehabilitation consists of a number of different approaches, such as strengthening exercises, speech and swallow therapy and training for balance and walking. Rehabilitation after a stroke is an individualized process tailored for each stroke survivor. The plan normally consists of programs that are designed with a team of health care providers. Each type of specialized therapist provides a different kind of exercise focused on improving particular skills. The rehabilitation program helps a stroke survivor regain as much of the function that is lost after a stroke as possible. A comprehensive rehabilitation program that begins during or immediately after a stroke survivor leaves the hospital can help to maximize recovery. In most situations, stroke survivors can regain a substantial portion of the functions lost as a result of the stroke. Why Is Stroke Rehabilitation Important? After a stroke, most people experience some degree of healing of the brain, which results in improvement of the symptoms. But most people continue to experience some neurological deficits after a stroke. Often, stroke survivors experience problems with balance that can make it difficult to get around safely. Other issues that interfere with recovery after a stroke include problems such as muscle atrophy (thinning of the muscles) from lack of use and muscle spasticity (stiffness of the muscles due to brain damage) that can make it difficult to move around. Stroke rehabilitation provides a safe way to use the functions impaired after a stroke through a targeted and organized exercise plan. Many stroke survivors feel safer getting back to physical activity when under the supervision of a therapist. Rehabilitation is also designed to gradually increase the level of difficulty of the exercises with time. Some of the goals of rehabilitation include:Preventing atrophy of the weakened arms or legsPreventing spasticity of the arms or legsTraining your bladder to avoid urinary retention and incontinence after a strokeLearning how to eat and swallow your food and drinks safely after a strokeImproving communication with aphasia rehabilitation.
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