Stroke is the number three cause of death in the U.S. and the leading cause of serious long-term disability. If stroke strikes you or a loved one, a Physical Therapist can help regain function and cope with physical losses associated with stroke, such as decreased ability to move.
Rehabilitation begins as soon as the stroke survivor is stable, and the health care team works to match patient and family desires with patient abilities. The majority of survivors of stroke will receive Physical Therapy as part of the rehabilitation process. Your physical therapist will develop an individualized treatment plan which may include prescribing exercise and other activities to improve movement, help facilitate independence and regain your quality of life after stroke.
Recent advances in neuroscience have had a significant impact on rehabilitation for stroke survivors. As part of research funded by the National Institutes of Health, scientists who are Physical Therapists are determining how new techniques can help promote motor recovery after a stroke. For example, Physical Therapists are using methods such as restricting the arm that was less affected by the stroke to encourage more effort and practice from the arm that has impaired movement. Treadmill training with the use of body-weight support and the assistance of a Physical Therapist can help people recover walking ability.
If you have problems with movements of the arm or leg that affect your everyday function, a Physical Therapist can help determine if you are an appropriate candidate for these and other innovative physical therapy interventions