Sunday, December 26, 2010

Recovery from Mild Hemiparetic Stroke

There are many risk factors for stroke to occur. Such are smoking, alcohol drinking, sedentary lifestyle, obesity, hypertension, family history of stroke, old age, heart disease, diabetes and many more. Individuals that have these risk factors must consider that anytime stroke may happen.

Some individuals may develop mild, moderate to severe stroke depending upon the severity of damaged portion of the brain. The brain is a delicate organ that is responsible for most of body functions; particularly motor and sensory functions.

Mild form of stroke occurs when a small portion of the brain is devoid of blood supply for a significant period of time and thereby created an irreversible damage to the brain cells. Partially damaged brain cells may recover over time called “spontaneous recovery”. Affectation of the right side of the brain will result to a left-sided stroke and affectation of the left side of the brain will result to a right-sided stroke. This is due to the crossing over of sensory and motor nerves before it enters into the spinal cord.

What are the Symptoms of Stroke?
  • Sudden paralysis of a leg, arm or one side of the face
  • Sudden trouble speaking or understanding speech
  • Sudden vision problems, such as blurred or double vision
  • Sudden loss of coordination or problems with balance
  • A severe, sudden headache without apparent cause
  • Sudden numbness, weakness or dizziness
Call 911 or go to the hospital right away upon noticing these symptoms.

What are the Goals of Stroke Rehabilitation?
  • Prevention of re-stroke - Avoiding the risk factors such as cigarette smoking, alcohol drinking, sedentary lifestyle, obesity and blood pressure monitoring are just some of the preventions of re-stroke.
  • Prevention of complications – includes contracture, pressure sores, physical deformity, respiratory complications and more. 
  • Recovery from stroke by attaining the highest functional level – Active participation to the rehabilitation program is necessary to attain the highest functional level of recovery.
What are the Physical Therapy Interventions of Stroke? 

1. Patient education 
2. Proper bed mobility and transfer techniques 
3. Functional rehabilitation – including fine motor movement technique 
4. Home exercise program – Done regularly
  • Range of Motion Exercises – active (done by the patient) and passive (done by the therapist)
  • Peripheral neuromuscular facilitation
  • Stretching of tight musculature and tissues
  • Walking
  • Bicycle ergometer
  • Treadmill
      5. Physical Therapy modalities – eg. electrical stimulation 
6. Activities of daily living modifications
7. Family support

It would take six months, one year or even more years to attain full recovery post stroke or at least minimal residual deficit post stroke. Recovery from mild hemiparetic stroke is different from individual to individual. However, fast recovery post stroke can be attained when rehabilitation intervention is done meticulously.

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  1. For all the words expended you still didn't mention neuroplasticity once, or the difference in penumbra recovery vs dead brain function recovery. I see you also believe in the saying, 'All strokes are different, all stroke recoveries are different', The first is true because a 1 ml. difference in space can cause different effects and the brain may have developed differently. But the second part has never been proven because no longitudinal study has occurred in stroke patients to prove that one way or the other. You missed interventions like mirror-box therapy, mental imagery, thermal therapy

  2. Thanks for dropping by oc1dean. The physical therapy intervention mentioned are just examples of most commonly used means to help patients who suffered from stroke. Actually, PT is just one of the many rehabilitation professionals who participates in the treatment of stroke. Other treatment regimens are done by OTs, Speech Therapists and more. Thanks for the additional treatment regimen :) Thermal therapy is part of physical therapy modalities though.

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