Stroke Rehabilitation for Stroke Recovery
As an Action for Rehabilitation from Neurological Injury (ARNI) Independent Specialist my role is to provide an option for stroke recovery to stroke survivors. Once stroke patients have been discharged from hospital they may want to continue their recovery, that’s where I can step in with stroke rehabilitation.
Neuroplasticity for Stroke Recovery
Having a stroke is a scary and life altering experience and can potentially leave you with a number of physical and psychological limitations.
Neuroplasticity is the main mechanism of recovery after a stroke. Neuroplasticity is the ability of the brain to drastically adapt to assist you in the recovery of lost function. By taking advantage of your brains capacity for neuroplasticity can dramatically extend the therapeutic time window you may have been told about.
Your brain is made up of interconnected nerve cells (neurons) and glial cells that send signals via electrochemical impulses. Neuroplasticity is essentially brain training or re-training, by modifying the structural and functional organisation of the neurons via specific repetitive movements which create connections. Repetition of these movements will strengthen these new connections gradually assisting stroke recovery and lost function.
How to Recover After a Stroke
Regaining strength is crucial to stroke recovery and regaining function, this is why it’s the most important process of my approach. Regaining strength after a stroke builds capacity while also improving ease of movement. This ties in with neuroplasticity, with the repetition of task specific training it produces the best results in terms of recovering action control and fine motor skills. Strength building and movement also helps to build confidence and independence levels in stroke recovery.
Goal setting is a key tool I use when developing a stroke rehabilitation programme as it creates a pathway for tracking progression and keeps clients motivated.
Stroke Recovery You Can See
Below is a video of one of my clients eighty seven year old Stan, who is a stroke survivor. Together we worked on his stroke recovery, specifically on his grasp and release function in his affected hand. This is an essential motor skill that you might take for granted, but after a stroke this ability may be lost. As you can see we worked on Stan’s fine motor skills by using neuroplasticity and repetitive techniques. Over time Stan’s stroke rehab made it possible for him to grasp and release unaided.