Stroke is caused by the interruption of the blood supply to the brain, usually because a blood vessel bursts or is blocked by a clot. This cuts off the supply of oxygen and nutrients, causing damage to the brain tissue.
As a result, the affected area of the brain is unable to function, causing sudden weakness or numbness of the face, arm or leg, mostly on one side of the body. This leads to the inability to move one or more limbs.
The effects of stroke depend on which part of the brain is injured and how severely this is affected.
- Advanced Age – Your chances of having a stroke go up as you get older. Two-thirds of all strokes happen to people over age 65
- Sex – Males have a slightly higher risk than females
- Previous stroke or transient ischemic attack/Family history of stroke or TIA
- High Cholesterol
- Hypertension (self-reported history of hypertension or blood pressure >160/90mmHg)
- Diet Risk
- Diabetes Mellitus
- Lifestyle factors – Includes smoking, alcohol/drug abuse, obesity and physical inactivity
- Cardiac Causes
- Sudden weakness or numbness of the face, arm and leg on one side of the body
- Loss of speech, trouble talking or understanding speech
- Difficulty seeing with one or both eyes
- Difficulty walking
- Unexplained dizziness, unsteadiness or sudden falls
- Loss of balance or coordination
- Fainting or unconsciousness
Stroke Rehabilitation involves health professionals such as Physiotherapists, Occupational Therapists and Speech Therapists.
For rehabilitation to be most effective, three points must be kept in mind:
- Rehabilitation must begin as soon after the stroke as much as possible
- The family is the patient’s most important means of support during the rehabilitation process
- Rehabilitation is a team effort with Physiotherapists, Occupational Therapists and other specialists working with the patient and their family.
- Sensory Stimulation techniques help to normalise the tone of the muscle
- Neuro-muscular Electrical Stimulation (NMES) that encourages brain re-organization and recovery of function and stimulates nerve activity in paralysed limbs.
- Exercise Therapy: Motor Learning emphasizes on practicing isolated movements, repeatedly changing from one movement to another. Coordination & Balance training for both static and dynamic sitting/standing balance is being worked on using obstacles, ramps, and bean bags.
- Gait Re-education: Walking is mostly affected following stroke, Therefore, gait re-education is an important physical therapy intervention for patients following stroke.
- Cognition Training: Selective sensory stimulation is applied to encourage use of impaired limbs and to help patients regain awareness of stimuli on the neglected side of the body. Therapist also teaches how to develop compensatory strategies
- ADL Modifications: Help patients make changes in their homes to increase safety, remove barriers, and facilitate physical functioning, which helps in their daily ADL.
- Speech & Swallow: Pathologists help patients with aphasia re-learn how to use language and also help people improve their ability to swallow.
- Out Patient Clinic: Our services are designed to manage the complications of stroke and ensure that an optimal stroke management regimen is in place.
- Home-Based Rehabilitation: Allows great flexibility so that patients can tailor their program of rehabilitation and follow individual schedules. These arrangements are often best suited for people who lack transportation or require treatment for maintaining the condition and to achieve long term goals. However, undergoing treatment at home gives people the advantage of practicing skills and developing compensatory strategies in the context of their own living environment.
- Monitor BP regularly
- Quit smoking
- Constant encouragement needed
- Seek medical help as soon as any symptoms are noticed