Importance of physiotherapy in Management of stroke
A stroke can occur when the blood flow to the brain is blocked or there is sudden bleeding in
the brain. There are two types of stroke-ischaemic and haemorrhagic.
Rapid intervention can reduce the amount of brain damage that occurs as a result of stroke.
Who are at risk of cerebrovascular accident?
- individuals with high blood pressure
- high blood cholesterol
- family history
What are the signs and symptoms of stroke?
- sudden numbness in the face, arms, legs, especially on one side of the body.
- sudden trouble in speaking or difficulty in understanding speech.
- sudden trouble walking, dizziness, loss of balance or lack of coordination.
If you think someone may be having stroke, act FAST:
F-Face-ask the person to smile. Does one side of the face droop?
A-Arms-ask the person to raise both the arms. Does one arm drift downward?
S-Speech-ask the person to repeat a simple phrase. Is the speech slurred?
T-Time-if you see any of these, immediately call for medical help.
Physiotherapy in the management of stroke:
In the treatment of stroke, physical rehabilitation is extremely important. It seeks to aid stroke victims in regaining their strength, independence, and mobility.
Here are some key aspects of physiotherapy management in stroke.
Assessment – To understand the unique impairments, restrictions, and goals of each individual, a thorough assessment is carried out. Muscle strength, balance, range of motion, and functional abilities are all assessed during this evaluation.
Mobility training – Physiotherapists attempt to increase mobility through strategies like gait training (walking), transfers (such as from bed to chair), and practicing everyday routines like bathing and dressing.
Muscle strengthening – Having a stroke often leaves you weak. Exercise regimens targeted at particular muscle groups are created by physiotherapists to help patients rebuild strength and stop muscular atrophy.
Balance and coordination – One of the best ways to prevent falls is to practice balance and coordination exercises. These exercises can be done on both stable and unsteady surfaces.
Range of motion – Active and passive range of motion exercises prevent joint rigidity and contractures that can develop after long periods of inactivity.
Functional activities – This type of therapy often involves relearning everyday tasks such as how to get into and out of cars, how to climb stairs, and how to use assistive devices such as walkers and canes.
Neurological techniques – Nerve reeducation and sensory stimulation are specialised methods used to enhance motor function and sensory perception in affected limbs.
Cardiovascular conditioning – Cardiovascular exercises are a type of exercise that stroke survivors can do to improve their general health and reduce the chances of recurrence.
Pain management – Pain is treated by physiotherapists using techniques such as heat therapy, ice therapy, manual therapy, and relaxation techniques.
Education and home exercises – Patients and caregivers are trained in exercises and techniques to support at-home rehabilitation for long-term recovery.
Assistive devices – If needed physiotherapy providers recommend and teach patients how to use assistive devices such as orthotics, braces and mobility aids.
Adaptation and compensation – Therapists also work with patients to help them adjust to any long-term disabilities and create compensation plans to improve their independence.
Recovering from stroke is often a multi-disciplinary process that involves not only physiotherapy but also occupational therapy, speech therapy and other health professionals. The aim is to improve the quality of life of stroke survivors and their functional abilities. Treatment plans are designed to meet the individual needs and progress of stroke survivors.
Dr. R. V. Dharwadkar
Assistant professor, Dept of neuro physiotherapy
Kles Institute of physiotherapy Belagavi