After a Stroke What to Expect, Recovering from Stroke, Rehabilitation

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For stroke survivors the role of rehabilitation can be very important part of recovery. The severity of the stroke will determine the length of rehabilitation. For some patients it may be a long process of months or even years to fully recover, while for others recovery can be shorter.

For a stroke survivor, regaining independence is one of the key concerns. The ability to be mobile on their feet without assistance is a major goal. The simple everyday tasks that previously were taken for granted, may now seem impossible. Therefore, one of the objectives of a rehabilitation program is to help restore their ability to relearn skills and restore confidence. Regaining independence and improving the quality of life can be gained through participating in a rehabilitation program.

What to Expect

Once medically stabilized post stroke, the patient should start their rehabilitation program immediately. Previously it was thought that a small window of maybe 1 year existed to recover from a stroke. Although it may certainly be easier to begin rehabilitation as soon as possible, research has shown that recovery can be possible at any time post stroke.

So what does a stroke rehab program involve? A typical stroke rehab program can include some or all of the following therapies:
1. Motor skills training. This can focus on helping a patient regain movement or coordination. It may also include strengthening weak muscles.
2. Gait therapy which will focus on helping the patient regain mobility on their feet. This may use walking aids.
3. Communication therapy sessions which may help with language expression or comprehension.
4. Physical therapy to help tight or sore muscles and to regain range of motion.
5. Psychology therapy to address an issues that may arise during the recovery process. Keeping a positive frame of mind is vital for rehabilitation.

As I have mentioned earlier, stroke rehab can begin while the patient is still in the hospital. Most hospitals have set protocols and teams in place for the patient and help him through the rehab program. A choice can be made to use the inpatient or outpatient rehabilitation units.

Inpatient rehabilitation will involve staying at the facility for several weeks for an intense in-house rehabilitation program. For outpatient care, the patient will use facilities located at a clinic or facility and spend several hours a day doing rehab and then return home each night. The road of stroke rehab should not stop after inpatient/outpatient rehab program. Continuing therapy at home can ensure a faster road to full recovery for the patient.

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