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The Benefits of Physical Therapy after Stroke

When a person suffers from stroke, the flow of blood to a section of the brain is obstructed. As a result, vital brain cells lose oxygen and die, causing all abilities that are controlled by that section of the brain to dissipate.  Once recovered from the stroke, the patient must relearn all abilities. For some people, the after effects of a stroke can be very mild, and for others, they may be more debilitating. The effects of a stroke can include short-term weakness of one side of the body, such as the face, leg, or arm area. However, a stroke can also lead to a patient being paralyzed within a specific area of the body or no longer be able to speak.

Physical therapy can help a person through the recovery process in several ways. Stroke rehabilitation through the use of physical therapy, in addition to other therapy types (speech therapy and occupational therapy), is comprised of movement activities of the effected limbs, such as relearning how to walk or lift an arm. This type of therapy can also help individuals who are paralyzed on a particular part of the body learn to do tasks for everyday living, such as bathing or cooking and dressing with one arm and hand.

In order for physical therapy to be effective, the physical therapist needs to schedule regular sessions and the patient needs to attend each session. The therapy sessions need to be carefully directed, concentrated on the area, and repetitive. With this type of therapy, survivors of stroke can possibly regain strength, mobility, coordination, and balance.

 

“NINDS | Post-Stroke Rehabilitation.” Post-Stroke Rehabilitation. NINDS. Web. 25 May 2016. <http://stroke.nih.gov/materials/rehabilitation.htm>.

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