The Importance of PT After a Stroke  


Having a stroke interrupts the connections between the brain and muscles. It can cause a loss of mobility and movement. Stroke can cause paralysis on one side of the body and result in a long-term disability. However, physical therapy rehabilitation is both crucial during the early stage of recovery and helps stroke survivors regain control and movement of affected muscles.

The Purpose and Benefits of Post-Stroke Physical Therapy

In the first weeks and months of recovery from a stroke, physical therapists work with patients to keep muscles stimulated and toned. A physical therapist helps patients relearn everyday skills and retrain the brain to control affected body part.

Once oxygen is restored to the brain, the brain and body begin a long process of recovery. Post-stroke physical therapy rehabilitation is a large part of this recovery process. As a matter of fact, physical therapy typically begins 24 hours after a stroke. The field of physical therapy has come a long way in treatment methods for stroke recovery. The seven stages framework for involuntary and spastic muscle movement, known as the Brunnstrom Approach, is used to assist in stroke rehabilitation.

The Brunnstom Approach treats flaccidity, spasticity and complex movement problems after a stroke. Flaccidity is the medical term for a complete lack of voluntary movement. Muscles begin to make and abnormal movements during this stage. Spasticity refers to the small and abnormal movements muscles make after a stroke. A physical therapist will implement passive exercises to improve your range of motion. Treatment may include how far the physical therapist can stretch the joints in multiple positions.

Physical therapists also use active-assisted range of motion exercises, bands and gravity-assisted devices to help patients better perform movements, such as lifting an arm. Exercises are designed to target voluntary movements, such as combing the hair, swimming and using eating utensils. It’s important to note that all voluntary movements are directly controlled by the brain and involve a response to sensory stimuli. After physical therapy, patients are better able to make more deliberate and controlled movements in the limbs that have been affected by a stroke.

No matter what stage you’re at in the recovery phase after incurring a stroke, your long-term progress will depend on a regular physical therapy regimen with a physical therapist. That’s why physical therapy after a stroke is so very important. It quickly returns you to your normal daily activities. Contact Mind and Mobility today and speak with our experts!