The reason why a stroke is so devastating is because it causes a disruption of blood flow to the brain, and the lack of oxygen to the brain causes immediate cell death. Once these brain cells die, the functions they carried out cease. However, once the oxygen supply is restored, the body and brain begin to recover from this brain damage that causes a loss of muscle function. This mobility loss is caused by the disruption of communication between the brain and the muscles, and this is why strokes are the leading cause of long-term disability. A stroke almost always results in a loss of mobility and balance, especially if the stroke affected the right side of the brain. The good news, though, is the mobility loss is not always permanent. That’s why physical therapy and rehabilitation is vital during the earliest stages of stroke recovery, after emergency treatment is administered. A consistent physical therapy regimen can keep you on track for long-term progress to improve mobility.
How to Find a Post-Stroke Physical Therapist
Today, there are physical therapists who specialize in post-stroke recovery, to help patients relearn complex body movements and to avoid any complications that could derail their progress to their long-term goals. Most patients start their physical therapy for a stroke before they even are discharged from the hospital. Upon discharge, the patient should have a rehabilitation program planned for you, to assist you with your recovery. While every rehabilitation regimen looks different from one patient to the next, your doctor can help you choose the best physical therapist to work with you to accommodate your specific disabilities, keeping in mind your overall health, age, and any other factoring affecting your body’s ability to heal.
If you are looking for a physical therapist (PT), keep these factors in mind. Your PT should:
- Meet your state’s license and certification requirements
- Provide ongoing progress reports to you and/or your medical treatment team
- Work with a program focusing on patient care
- Set goals for you, taking your needs and limitations into account
- Meet with you regularly to be apprised of your progress
- Push you to reach your physical limits without going past them
Make sure to ask your physical therapist plenty of questions about their therapy approach. At ProFysio Physical Therapy, our treatment philosophy is to set realistic post-stroke recovery goals and provide ongoing assessments of your progress. Ready to get started on post-stroke physical therapy? Contact us at (732) 812-5200.