Working with a team to guide you through your stroke rehabilitation program is essential. Physical and occupational therapists are frequently included in this group. To aid in the recovery of your arm, the rehab staff will most likely propose a combination of exercises and other approaches. Enhancing muscular control and reducing spasticity are two major goals of stroke rehabilitation. This is a persistent muscle contraction that can cause discomfort and other issues.
Passive movements or exercises performed with the assistance of a therapist, as well as more dynamic exercises performed with little or no assistance, are included in stroke therapy for your hand and arm.
Rehabilitation after a stroke can be exhausting. It may also be good to be active when you have more energy during the day. Set attainable objectives.
One of the most critical goals of arm care after a stroke is to avoid partial separation or subluxation. You must safeguard your arm at the shoulder joint to avoid this condition.
During movement, you’ll need to keep your shoulder joint under control. It’s critical that all of your caregivers understand how to help you properly. Nobody should ever grab your arm. Using underarm assistance to stand or walk can cause damage. Instead, support your injured arm and pull yourself up with your strong arm.
Your treatment may also include the use of assistive equipment. After your stroke, you may need to wear a sling or harness on your arm. This will help to support your arm and prevent further injury. If you’re in a wheelchair, the armrests may also be useful. Special lap trays or cushions are examples of such gadgets. It’s possible that you’ll have to use these for weeks or perhaps months.
Other examples of correct post-stroke placement include:
- When lying on your unaffected side after a stroke, use one or two pillows for your head.
- Use one or two cushions to support your head when laying on your affected side, with your affected shoulder forward and your arm supported on a pillow. Your affected shoulder should be in a comfortable position.
- When sitting up, lean back in your chair completely. Place your arms on two pillows on a table and lean forward.
- When laying on your back, place three pillows under your shoulders and head to support your shoulders and head. Place a cushion under your affected arm.
- Sit up straight in bed, with your back and neck well supported by pillows. Placing both arms on pillows is a good idea. This is usually only advised for a short amount of time.
Other positions that are safe and comfortable for you will be suggested by your physical therapist. He or she may also begin working with you on physical rehabilitation exercises. These will assist you in regaining strength and flexibility in the muscles that have been impaired. Muscle stretches, strengthening exercises, and range-of-motion exercises may all be included.
Make sure you discuss your meds with your doctor so you know why you’re taking them. Inquire about possible side effects and probable food-drug interactions. To keep track of your medications, you or your caregiver should write down the name and dose of each one, as well as when and how to take them.
What is the procedure for recovering from a stroke?
Although your stroke rehabilitation program will be adjusted to your individual needs, the majority of people follow a similar route. Once your medical condition has stabilized, you’ll begin supported workouts in the hospital.
Following that, you may be admitted to an in-patient rehabilitation facility where you will get rigorous therapy to help you become more self-sufficient. You may receive outpatient or home therapy once you are able to return home to help you heal as much as possible.
Formal rehabilitation lasts between three and six months. Stroke patients who exercise the skills they learned in rehabilitation, on the other hand, continue to make improvements even after the stroke has happened, according to studies.
1. You are an individual
Every survivor is a one-of-a-kind individual. Your life experiences, values, way of life, and surroundings are distinct from those of others. As a result, setting realistic objectives based on what is essential and relevant to you is critical.
2. Purposeful activity
Choose activities that are relevant, engaging, and based on real-life situations. If you want to increase your grip on your walking cane, consider wrapping your affected hand’s finger around the refrigerator door and drawer handles.
3. Inclusion rather than seclusion
Attempt to stop the non-use cycle and prevent it from developing. As sensory information is sent to your brain, including your damaged arm in daily duties leads to speedier healing and independence. Carrying small shopping bags with your affected arm, for example, allows you to use your walking aid with your non-affected arm. When seated, place both forearms on the table to improve posture and activity involvement.
4 Practice makes perfection
Your skills will develop with several repetitions and practice. Using both upper extremities to polish the table with a towel helps reduce stiffness and improve range of motion. You can also polish and shine your car and/or spread butter on bread for yourself and your family.
5. Do whatever you want
Choose a fun-filled activity that you enjoy, such as playing games, dancing, singing, playing musical instruments, drawing, or writing. Start your day with your favorite hobby. Do it at little intervals on a regular basis.
6. Your sweet home
The greatest place to complete your exercises is at home. There is evidence that learning is transferred more effectively when exercises and activities are completed at home. Staircases, kitchen and bathroom counters, chairs, mattresses, dining tables, bookshelves, storage cabinets, and other everyday items in your home can all be used as therapy instruments.
7. Surface, surface, surface
I’m a strong believer in using the surface as a tool. Surfaces can be either stationary or mobile. It can move up and down, left and right, and close and far. If you have low arm function, maintain your afflicted hand steady on the table and reach out with your unaffected hand to pick up a glass of water to help activate your affected hand.
If you have a high level of arm function, try using moving surfaces to improve your skills, such as a therapy ball or a side table with wheels. Picking up food cans from above helps to improve upper extremity function and flexibility. A therapist can help you choose the right surface for you based on your degree of function.
8. Your sweet home
Another strategy to consolidate information, according to research, is to sleep through the night. This also aids you in starting the day with more vigor, patience, and focus.
9. Exercise and movement
Brain cells restructure when you move your body. Exercise and movement are inextricably linked. It’s a conversation starter. As a result, take advantage of each opportunity to move your affected side. To wake up sluggish bodies and minds, participate in group exercise programs, games, or sports.
According to a study presented at the Canadian Stroke Congress, just six months of exercise can improve memory, language, thinking, and judgment deficits by over 50%. Five or more days each week, at least 30 minutes of moderate physical activity should be completed. You don’t have to finish all 30 minutes at once. This can be broken down into smaller parts over the course of the day.
10. Reward yourself
When we have something to look forward to, we all work better. If there is a reward, we are far more likely to stay on track with our goals, and we may even achieve them sooner than planned. Make a list of your objectives and reward yourself when you achieve them. This will keep you motivated and joyful. It could be anything from sticking to your fitness routine to walking longer distances, or even just a twitch in your fingers.