Physical Therapy and Stroke Recovery

Physical Therapy and Stroke Rehabilitation

As most of us probably already know, having a stroke is perhaps one of the most terrifying situations a person could ever go through. Fortunately though, if you ever have a stroke, you don’t have to sit there and accept the damage the stroke has done to your body. There are steps that we can take to get you to a point where you regain function of your body while also building up your strength. The following article is a quick guide that you can use as a starting point to give you an idea of what a stroke is, what can cause a stroke, how a stroke rehab program is the most suitable decision after having a stroke, and how we can work together to overcome any of the stroke’s lasting effects on your body.

What is a stroke?

A stroke is when brain tissue is damaged due to a lack of nutrients and oxygen. This is what we call a cerebrovascular accident. The most common cause of a stroke is the clogging of a blood vessel in your brain, causing certain parts of it to rapidly fail. This type of event is an ischemic stroke, where as the bursting of a blood vessel is a hemorrhagic stroke. Both of these types of stroke are equally terrifying. Both of these types of stroke can cause severe damage to the nervous system and dramatic loss of motor function. The extent of damage a stroke can cause widely varies depending on the section of the brain and where the stroke related “hot spot” is located.

What are the common signs of a stroke?

  • Sudden numbness and weakness

  • Sudden headache, dizziness, problems with coordination, and loss of balance

  • Changes in eyesight

  • Slurred speech and confusion

What are the risk factors for a stroke?

  • High cholesterol and triglyceride levels

  • High blood pressure

  • Smoking

  • Diabetes

  • Cardiovascular conditions

  • Obesity

  • Lack of physical activity

The last two points, obesity and lack of physical activity are the biggest risk factors for a stroke. Now, I know that sometimes I can talk about them a lot but these two risk factors are important as they are something that you can control. When you are at Evolve you will need to face the possible consequences of your past lifestyle, but that doesn’t mean that you have to live with these consequences. We all hope that a stroke won’t happen to us, but if it does then there is a thing or two we can do to help.

What does the rehab program entail after a stroke?


The first thing we do is an initial assessment, which is absolutely crucial so that we can judge your overall postural tone as well as your level of sensory deficit. It is extremely important that before we start you on your rehab program that we have a clear picture of how you feel and how you will respond to the different physical therapy activities. We always follow the moto "Primum non nocere", which is a fancy way of saying do no harm.

The initial phase of treatment is all about reeducating any muscles that have lost motor functions. If we are dealing with the loss of function in either an arm or leg, the therapy will focus on achieving joint movements through a full range of motion. We will start with passive movements at first until you experience some regeneration going on and traces of contraction. Then we move on to aided movements, where you will need to try as hard as possible to gain control of the affected limb.

As we move through the process and as you improve, we will move on to more complex tasks, including working to achieve fine motor activity in the hands and fingers. This is a very important segment because achieving success here in therapy will give you a lot more independence and self-confidence in your daily life.

Before starting the stroke rehab program, you must understand that every treatment is individually adjusted, and it depends on the patient's current status. It is crucial that you continue to perform the physical therapy movements and exercises at home, and make it into a daily routine. That way you can work on getting better every day and we can make sure that you are not missing any opportunity to make your stroke recovery quicker.

What results can you expect from stroke physiotherapy­?

How long you can expect to undergo stroke rehabilitation depends on the severity of the stroke. In a lot of cases, you can expect to see results typically around 3 to 6 months. After this period, the longer you continue the physical therapy sessions and recommended daily routines, the more longer lasting results you will achieve.

How do I sign up for a stroke rehabilitation program­?

Stroke rehabilitation has the best outcome if it is started as soon as possible. Do not hesitate to book your first stroke rehab session at Evolve Physical Therapy today! As soon as you are booked in, we will give you an initial assessment and then we can get underway with your full stroke rehab program immediately. The quicker we start, the quicker you can regain motor function and achieve more independence. 

Call: 1-718-258-3300

Or Get Started by Filling Out Our Form Here-

About Evolve Physical Therapy-

Brooklyn's Premier Holistic Physical Therapy Clinics-

There’s physical therapy, there’s training, and then there’s EVOLVE. We use the science of biomechanics merged with fitness to help our patients get better and stay better!

First we evaluate, then we heal, then we strengthen our clients so they can reach their goals, feel better, and live happier lives. We do so by utilizing a range of core techniques and specialized treatments to reduce pain, improve mobility, enhance physical strength and deal with the underlying issues, not just the pain itself.

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