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 Dr. George Jacob
Heart Infocenter

Holistic-online.com

Stroke

Conventional Treatments for Stroke

Rehabilitation Therapy

According to the National Stroke Association:

10% of stroke survivors recover almost completely

25% recover with minor impairments

40% experience moderate to severe impairments that require special care

10% require care in a nursing home or other long-term facility

15% die shortly after the stroke

14% (approximate) of stroke survivors experience a second stroke in the first year following a stroke.

Successful rehabilitation depends on:

  • Amount of damage to the brain

  • Skill on the part of the rehabilitation team

  • Cooperation of family and friends. Caring family/friends can be one of the most important factors in rehabilitation

  • Timing of rehabilitation - the earlier it begins the more likely survivors are to regain lost abilities and skills

Stroke Rehabilitation Goals

The goal of rehabilitation is to enable an individual who has experienced a stroke to reach the highest possible level of independence and be as productive as possible. Because stroke survivors often have complex rehabilitation needs, progress and recovery are unique for each person. Although a majority of functional abilities may be restored soon after a stroke, recovery is an ongoing process.

Therapies are available to help rehabilitate post-stroke patients.

See: Effects of a Stroke: Possible Disabilities From a Stroke

Physical Therapy (PT)

For most stroke patients, physical therapy (PT) is the cornerstone of the rehabilitation process. A physical therapist uses training, exercises, and physical manipulation of the stroke patient's body with the intent of restoring movement, balance, and coordination. The aim of PT is to have the stroke patient relearn simple motor activities such as walking, sitting, standing, lying down, and the process of switching from one type of movement to another.

Occupational Therapy (OT)

Occupational therapy (OT) involves exercise and training to help the stroke patient relearn everyday activities such as eating, drinking and swallowing, dressing, bathing, cooking, reading and writing, and toileting. The goal of OT is to help the patient become independent or semi-independent.

Speech Therapy

Speech and language problems arise when brain damage occurs in the language centers of the brain. Due to the brain's great ability to learn and change (called brain plasticity), other areas can adapt to take over some of the lost functions. Speech therapy helps stroke patients relearn language and speaking skills, or learn other forms of communication. Speech therapy is appropriate for patients who have no deficits in cognition or thinking, but have problems understanding speech or written words, or problems forming speech. A speech therapist helps stroke patients help themselves by working to improve language skills, develop
alternative ways of communicating, and develop coping skills to deal with the frustration of not being able to communicate fully.

With time and patience, a stroke survivor should be able to regain some, and sometimes all, language and speaking abilities.

Psychological Therapies

Many stroke patients require psychological or psychiatric help after a stroke. Psychological problems, such as depression, anxiety, frustration, and anger, are common post-stroke disabilities. Talk therapy, along with appropriate medication, can help alleviate some of the mental and emotional problems that result from stroke.

Source: National Institutes of Health

Caution: If you suspect a stroke, seek emergency medical treatment immediately. Time is of essence.

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