Following a stroke, many individuals require support to regain as much independence as possible and improve the quality of their life.

The aim of neurorehabilitation following a stroke is for individuals to relearn the skills that were lost due to damage this causes, and to learn new skills to cope with the limitations that have been inflicted by the attack.

Rehabilitation programs differ from person to person as they are tailored to the individual and their goals and lifestyle, as well as to the area of the brain affected by the stroke.

Stroke often causes impairment in memory, emotional disturbances, difficulty in speech and language, difficulty in movement of the muscles and joints and weakness, which limits as person’s function and mobility.

Neurorehabilitation following a stroke

An interdisciplinary approach should be taken to reduce the impact of strokes. The team, which usually includes rehabilitation physicians and specialist nurses assess and record the extent and severity of damage to functioning, mobility, skills and independence caused by stroke and work towards restoring the maximum level of independence possible.

Physiotherapists may work who work on transferring from sitting to standing and develop exercises to aid walking and posture. Occupational therapists might work to support people to relearn the skills of everyday living, suggesting modifications and adaptions to meet the challenges of daily activities. A speech and language can help individuals to articulate speech, improve language and work on appropriate social communication, as required. A psychologist may play a vital role in helping an individual to address the mental and emotional impact of stroke.

Rehabilitation after the stroke is also aimed at prevention of any further complications, such as developing contractures in the body, chronic headaches, and complications arising due to immobility such as pressure sores. During the initial phases, the experts focus on therapeutic exercises, for instance, increasing range of motion, frequently changing posture and position to prevent immobile states for long.

The outcome of these rehabilitation strategies depends on the neurological damage caused by the stroke and level of practical, emotional and social support the patient receives during the process of rehabilitation and recovery.

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