But what if you could improve your chances? What if you had access to physiotherapists who would help motivate you and teach you how to exercise correctly so that even years after the stroke, there's still room for improvement?
In the past, it was believed that after suffering a stroke, you have a 3-6 month window to recover. Whatever you are able to gain, that’s it. Many people still believe this. However, research shows that years after a stroke, you can still make significant gains. Many changes toward healing and relearning can continue to happen in the brain and in your body.
Post-stroke rehabilitation occurs typically 6-12 months after a stroke. Common issues include:
- Arm/hand & leg weakness (typically on one side)
- Changes in sensation
- Pain (i.e. shoulder)
- Impaired walking due to weakness, foot drop
- Poor Balance in sitting and standing
- Challenges with coordination
- Speech impairments
- Fine motor loss (i.e.writing)
- Movement planning difficulty
- – Low exercise tolerance
PhysioCare at Home takes a client-centered approach, considering factors such as what your movement goals are and what you think would be a good next step. We work holistically with you, addressing areas such as posture, shoulder stability, overall strength, functional mobility, balance (standing and sitting), trunk stability (i.e. being able to sit on edge of a bed or chair), relearning how to move effectively and efficiently (motor relearning), cardiovascular health (exercise), and coordination.
We want to help you restore your movement so that you can live life as you want to.
Six months after suffering a stroke, Lawrence age 62 was primarily in a wheelchair, spending most of his days watching TV. He felt disheartened and hopeless, thinking he would never recover. He didn’t know what to do. His wife contacted PhysioCare at Home, asking if we could help.
At his assessment, we noted that he couldn’t stand or walk for more than 5 minutes and he complained about shoulder pain. Rolling over and getting up out of bed was slow and strained, requiring help. He had muscle weakness on his right side, not able to lift his right arm very high and dragging the toes on his right foot as he walked. He also had difficulty taking deep breaths. Lawrence didn’t move on his own much, and when he did, he didn’t feel safe doing so.
Our plan with Lawrence included:
- Weekly visits with the Physiotherapist (working within his financial means)
- Exercises to build muscle strength to help improve his bed mobility and independence
- Activities to challenge his standing balance and coordination
- Working on deep breathing exercises to promote healing and improve lung capacity
- Walking practice to improve his exercise tolerance and help reach his goal of walking his daughter down the aisle at her wedding in 6 months
Lawrence developed a good relationship with his physiotherapist, which helped him commit to exercising regularly during his months of therapy. His hard work paid off. On the big day, Lawrence was strong enough to take his daughter down the aisle with the help of a cane. His wife told us afterwards how joyful Lawrence looked coming down the aisle with his daughter.
(Note: This is a composite story based on the many common situations of clients we have worked with over the past several years.)