Role of Physiotherapy
Stroke affects everyone in different ways, so your therapist will first assess your condition and help you and your family to understand any problems or impairments you might have after the stroke. Manchester Physio will then work with you on specific problem areas; these will depend on the severity of your stroke, and previous abilities, and the life you hope to lead in the future.
Stroke rehabilitation is carried out both inside and outside hospital.
Inside hospital - In hospital, physiotherapists will work with people who have had strokes to teach them the necessary skills to return to their home environment. They will also work closely with occupational therapists to make sure that the person will be able to move safely around their home.
While people who have suffered a stroke will have had neuro-physiotherapy in hospital, it's often not the best time to get the most out of physiotherapy. People are often too shell-shocked or ill to make sense of what has happened or to be motivated. Because having a stroke is a a life-changing event, they will need to grieve for the lifestyle left behind and begin to adjust to a set of new and challenging circumstances.
Outside hospital - Physiotherapy after discharge from hospital is very important but the provision of services is often lacking. People who have had a stroke may have had a physiotherapist and/or occupational therapist visit to assess their homes, and to help them and their relatives to prepare the home environment for them to come home to. Sometimes there will be a very long waiting list for physiotherapy, and people may be frustrated by this and eager to carry on with the work done in hospital. They may also want more treatment than the NHS physiotherapy team can offer or want ongoing treatment when NHS input is being curtailed.
No waiting lists
Stockport Physio have no waiting lists and are experienced at treating stroke patients at their home. Stockport Physio are able to continue the work done by physiotherapists in hospital providing a much smoother rehabilitation experience and maximising the potential for improvement.
Not everybody who has a stroke will be admitted into hospital, or be seen by a physiotherapist whilst in hospital. In this case physiotherapy can be arranged through the patient's GP. However, what is provided is often defined, not by clinical need, but by the availability of resources, long waiting lists are common. Manchester Physio can provide immediate appointments. This allows you to receive rapid access to treatment, and a better rehabilitation experience.
How physiotherapy works
Having a stroke can have a serious impact on movement, sensation, balance and co-ordination and the aim of physiotherapy is to help regain as many of these abilities as possible. The severity of the stroke will dictate how much recovery is possible, but physiotherapy works to maximise potential recovery.
Normally a stroke affects one side of the body and the affected side will often feel weak and heavy, which makes it more difficult for the person to move. In order to compensate for the weaker side, the stronger side becomes dominant and overactive to compensate for the weaker side. This means that a person who has had a stroke will tend to rely heavily on the stronger side of their body.
A physiotherapist will assess the alignment and activity of various body parts, and the physiotherapy treatment will focus on getting the side affected by the stroke to move more effectively.
Every person who has had a stroke has different degrees of difficulty in the activities of daily living. Physiotherapy will address the particular problems at the time of treatment. Generally the aim will be to help with mobility and balance. If the stroke is severe, this could mean helping with getting from bed to chair or on and off the toilet. If the stroke is mild and the person young and previously fit, this could mean help with running and jumping, and returning to sport The recovery of movement is most marked in the first 3 months following a stroke, but progress can still be made many years after a stroke. The degree of recovery depends on many factors, the most important being the severity of damage caused to the brain by the stroke.
Individual assessment and treatment is the best way to plan physiotherapy to help with specific problems.
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