Stroke rehabilitation programs are the primary way for recovery for stroke patients. According to the World Stroke Organization, about 12.2 million people worldwide have a stroke in a year, and about one in four adults will have a stroke at least once in their lifetime. These numbers have resulted in better programs suited to ease stroke recovery. Strokes also have very high fatality rates, and tackling them is crucial now more than ever.
So, what exactly are strokes? How can you prevent them? What are the stages of stroke recovery? How long does it take? What does it involve?
What Are Strokes?
Strokes happen when the blood vessels in your brain become ruptured. Blood vessels are responsible for delivering blood and oxygen to the muscles in your brain, and when these blood vessels get damaged, they cannot function. This causes brain cells to die resulting in numbness and/or paralysis in parts of the body.
How Can You Avoid Strokes?
Strokes are very serious, can often be fatal and can drastically alter how you live your life. It goes without saying therefore that it is best to minimise the likelihood of suffering a stroke by living as healthy a life as possible. Some ways to prevent strokes and stay healthy are:
- Avoid smoking cigarettes. Smoking is a leading cause of strokes and should be avoided.
- Reduce weight if you are obese. Cholesterol and obesity, coupled with diabetes, are prevalent conditions that can lead to strokes.
- Exercise daily to keep yourself fit and healthy. It is essential to stay active to avoid heart diseases, which can lead to strokes.
- A healthy diet and proper medications can help prevent high blood pressure, which may lead to strokes.
But if you do suffer from a stroke you might well be asking, what are the stages of stroke recovery? In the first instance emergency medical care is needed and the quicker that can be administered the better the long term outcomes are. Once the immediate medical situation is stabilised, the next stage is the rehabilitation process, which involves being under the guidance of health professionals and following the rehabilitation programs that they put in place for you.
How Long Does The Rehabilitation Take?
Stroke rehabilitation can take from anywhere between a few months to years. The severity of the stroke in terms of the damage caused will be the main determiner of the duration of the rehabilitation.
As mentioned above, early intervention and proper care during the early diagnosis period are crucial, and they will also play a significant part in potentially shortening the length of rehabilitation . A healthy lifestyle, willpower and mental strength can also influence the healing period greatly.
What Does Rehabilitation Entail?
Strokes can be traumatic experiences leaving the stroke survivor prone to low morale, depression and anxiety. Rehabilitation programs for stroke recovery often include an assessment of the survivor’s mental state and these common side effects can be treated accordingly as part of the program.
Physical therapy is one modality used to treat the paralysed or affected area. Motor skill exercises are taught, and should be practised as frequently as possible to stimulate the paralysed muscles. An increase in mobility can be mastered by learning how to use aids like walkers and wheelchairs.
Occupational therapy can also form part of the rehab program, particularly for heavily paralysed survivors. It involves stimulating smaller muscles to help you regain some control of them, allowing you to regain some semblance of independence, and ability to perform everyday tasks. Electrical stimulation techniques are the latest inventions in this field to help with stimulating muscles.
In any stroke recovery program, the healthcare professional will both prescribe the therapy program and monitor its progress. The range of motion (ROM) of the affected areas / limb (hand, leg, arm , foot) is one of the main things monitored, and as the ROM improves / increases, so the program will be adjusted accordingly.
Lusio Rehab: Helping Improve Health Outcomes Through Technology
Stroke rehabilitation can be a long, gradual and challenging recovery process. Trusting your healthcare professional’s advice and following the prescribed program is crucial to help recovery.
Lusio Rehab’s LusioMATE is an excellent adjunct to any stroke rehabilitation program. We aim to engage people with their physical therapy through fun and innovative tech. It’s a physical therapy ecosystem app with wearable sensors that connects to exergames to motivate you through tailormade exercise programs. LusioMATE is designed to drive greater adherence to fine and gross motor physical therapy goals, both in clinic and as part of home therapy programs.
For more details, contact us today.