18 Tips to Improve Stroke Recovery in Nigeria

Filed in Health line, Health tips, Medical, Recovery by on March 29, 2021 0 Comments

Improve Stroke Recovery: Physical therapy is an effective and necessary form of stroke rehabilitation which helps people recover their ability to function and go about their daily lives.

While you should work with your physical therapist to develop a program that is right for you.

There are some basic movements you can learn at home to help regain strength.

At first, you will start with small movements in the hospital as directed by your doctor or physical therapist.

You should then start doing daily exercises to improve the use of your arms, help your balance, and increase the strength of your lower body.

Make sure that you are supervised by your physical therapist or caretaker while doing physical therapy in case you hurt yourself or fall.

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Improve Stroke Recovery: https://www.webmd.com

Improve Stroke Recovery

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Improve Stroke Recovery

1. Meet with your physical therapist to discuss goals and treatments.

Your physical therapist will tell you specifically which exercises you should be focusing on.

They will take notes from your doctor and create an individualized plan.

Always consult your physical therapist before adding new exercises and stretches to your regimen.

2. Start moving as soon as you can.

You do not want to begin your physical therapy too soon.

Most doctors will have you starting between 24 and 48 hours after the stroke. 

You can ask your doctor when you will be able to begin.

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3. Change positions frequently in your hospital bed.

Sit up if you are able. This will help to remind your weakened muscles how to move.

You can support your body by placing a foam wedge near the small of your back.

  • If you are ready, you can, with assistance, try moving from your bed to your chair.
  • Do not try this when you are alone.

Improve Stroke Recovery

4. Work with a therapist on passive movements.

Passive movements are exercises where your therapist moves your limbs for you.

You may be paralyzed after your stroke, or you may otherwise have difficulty moving.

By guiding you through the movements, your physical therapist is helping you regain joint mobility.

  • A common passive movement is arm rotation. Your therapist will gently move your arm in a circular motion.
  • Your physical therapist may also ask you to lie down so that they can stretch and bend your legs for you.
  • You should ask your therapist to teach family members or caretakers to help you with these passive movements so that they can help you even when you are discharged.

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5. Wear a sling on your strong arm.

If your arm was paralyzed by the stroke, wearing a sling on the healthy arm will force you to use the weak arm.

This will strengthen the arm over time. Ask your physical therapist to fit you with a sling.

  • Make sure you talk to your doctor or physical therapist first to find out if a sling is right for you.

6. Rotate your arms.

At least three times a day, move your arms through their full range of motion.

Arm exercises will help your balance when you are walking as well as your ability to pick up and lift objects again.

  • First, stretch out your affected arm until you can feel a slight burn.
  • Hold it for 60 seconds (or as long as you are physically able) before relaxing.
  • Make a wide circle with your arms. Go slowly, and try to reach out as far and high as you are able.
  • Raise your arms above your head before lowering them. Repeat this motion at least five times. If you cannot raise your arm high, ask your physical therapist or caretaker to move it for you.

7. Improve shoulder motion.

Lie on your back with your hands clasped beneath your breast.

Gradually raise your arms until your clasped hands are above your shoulders.

After a second, lower them back down again. Repeat five to ten times.

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8. Pick up small objects.

You can use pennies, marbles, pencils.

Or other small trinkets for this activity as long as you have a couple to work with.

Pick up each small item with your affected hand, and place it in your unaffected hand.

Hold them there until all of the small objects have been picked up.

Next, take each object one by one out of the unaffected hand.

And place them back in their original position.

Improve Stroke Recovery

9. Exercise your hands with a rubber band.

Loop a rubber band around one of your fingers and your thumb.

You may want to start with your index finger and move back towards your pinky.

Stretch the rubber band with your fingers before relaxing the band.

This will help you regain fine motor control.

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10. Shift your weight from side to side.

Sit down on a bench with a book on either side of you.

The books should be roughly the same size.

Place your hands on the books. Lean to one side, shifting your weight to that side.

Gently return to center before shifting your weight to the other side. Do this ten times.

  • You can also practice shifting forward and back. With your hands on the books, gently lean forward while keeping your hips straight. Then slowly move into a small back lean.

11. Lean on your elbows.

Sit on a bench or firm bed.

Lean on your arm so that your forearm is resting straight against the surface.

You can place a pillow under your elbow if it hurts.

With your hand, push down against the surface so that your arm straightens and your body rises.

Slowly bend the elbow back down until you are in the original position.

  • If you are having shoulder problems, do not try this exercise until you have strengthened your shoulder.

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Improve Stroke Recovery

12. Reach forward with your hands.

While sitting on a firm chair, stretch your arms out in front of you and clasp your hands together.

Lean forward slightly before straightening again.

Try this five times every day until you have regained your balance.

13. Practice moving from sitting to standing.

When you are comfortable with leaning forward, you can try standing as you reach out.

Keep your hands clasped, and slowly rise as high as you can from the chair.

If you cannot stand completely yet, do not push yourself.

Simply lower yourself back to the chair.

  • Never try this unless you have someone there with you to catch you if you fall.

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Improve Stroke Recovery

14. Stretch your hips.

Lie on your back with your healthy leg stretched and your affected leg bent.

Lift the affected leg, and move it over the other leg.

Uncross your legs, returning the affected foot to its original position.

Repeat five to ten times.

15. Practice walking while lying down.

Lie down on the unaffected side of your body.

The unaffected leg should be bent beneath your body to support your weight.

Slowly bend your affected leg back so that your heel is reaching your backside.

Before slowly straightening it back to its original position.

Repeat five to ten times.

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16. Start walking with a cane.

You may have to use a walking aid such as a cane or walker.

Your physical therapist should train you how to use this before you leave the hospital.

 If not, invest in a cane with a rubber stopper on the end.

Choose a grip that is comfortable.

Hold the cane in the hand opposite your affected side.

As you move your affected leg, move the cane forward as well.

Keep the cane still when moving with your unaffected leg.

17. Walk on a treadmill.

While being supervised by your physical therapist or caretaker.

You can start walking on a treadmill to build strength and mobility back into your legs.

Go at a very slow pace, and make sure you are holding onto the treadmill.

Don’t attempt to walk on the treadmill without supervision.

Your physical therapist may recommend you use a weight support brace.

If you not yet able to keep your body upright for long.

  • Your physical therapist may also recommend a stair climber if you are having difficulty lifting your legs or going up stairs.
  • If you live in a place with stairs or steps, ask your therapist if this will be feasible for you.

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18. More tips

  • Talk to your doctor or physical therapist about the best kind of shoes to wear during physical therapy.

  • Use physical therapy in addition to other types of therapy, including speech therapy and occupational therapy.
  • Many stroke victims find success with recreational therapy and aquatic therapy.

  • Take it slowly. You may not see results right away.

  • Always have someone to assist you when you are stretching or exercising.
  • Depending on the damage caused by the stroke, you might need help doing some of the exercises.

  • Try to stay positive during your recovery.
  • Remember, it may take time for you to see results, and that’s OK. You’ll get there.

Conclusion

  • Physical therapy programs are highly individualized.
  • Do not start a program without consulting a doctor or physical therapist first.


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