There are advances in stroke physical rehabilitation that significantly assist stroke patients in gaining mobility.
In our facility, in addition to the parallel bars and standing table, we have the Solostep, a unique piece of equipment that helps the patient maintain their balance while participating in their therapeutic program, thus eliminating the fear of falling. It helps to facilitate a more fluid gait and appropriate balance reactions. This allows the patient to learn to walk with the help of his therapist, over the floor and carpet, while partially supported. We are currently the only facility in South Florida that has a Solostep.
Bioness L-300 is a neuro retraining tool that assists patients who have drop foot in clearing their involved foot during the swing thru phase of gait by helping them strike with their heel. We incorporate the use the Bioness during our therapy sessions as another tool to re train our patients to regain their function.
Our therapists are certified in the Neurodevelopmental (NDT) treatment for the adult hemiplegia and brain injured patients. This technique is the technique of choice in the rehabilitation of neuromuscular impairments.
According to the American Heart Association, a stroke occurs when a blood vessel that carries oxygen and nutrients to the brain cannot get the blood and oxygen it needs, so it starts to die.
When a person suffers a stroke, it usually means altered facial expressions and loss of function on one side of the body and sometimes speech impairment, depending on the area of the brain that is affected.
MOTOR LEARNING AND MOTOR CONTROL:
Until recently, it was believed that once the brain was injured, as in the case of a stroke, the damage was permanent. However, recent studies have demonstrated the plasticity of the brain and its ability to "rewire" itself after injury.
Most of the studies have determined that this "rewiring" of the brain comes as a result of re learning the lost functions through increased and repetitive use.
The involved extremities in a stroke are "flaccid" or very weak, or show "spasticity", an abnormally increased muscle tone, or a mixture of both. In any scenario, the patient will have a difficulty using the involved side's arm and leg to perform any of their daily activities.
Undergoing physical, occupational, and speech therapy helps restore these lost functions. Rehabilitation focuses on making the patient functional, this means teaching the patient to walk, get in and out of bed, feed, dress themselves, and address any speech impairment incorporating in the treatment the use of the weakened side of the body.
Depending on the severity of the stroke, patients can fully recover their ability to perform their daily activities independently as in the case of a mild stroke, or they may become disabled in varying degrees as in the case of a more severe stroke.
Initially after the stroke, therapy is usually given for a few hours daily for 2 to 4 weeks as an inpatient either at the hospital or rehabilitation facility. Once the patient goes home therapy is given for one to three hours two to three days a week for a few months to a year.
Balance and gait training are an integral part of stroke rehabilitation. Our physical therapists provide the necessary facilitation to enhance the patient's proprioception and balance reactions.