What You Should Know About Post-Stroke Care

Post-Stroke Care, rehabilitation, Premier Neurology Medical Group

More than 700,000 Americans suffer a stroke each year. Many who survive require rehabilitation to get better. Receiving the appropriate post-stroke care can significantly increase your quality of life. While some of the brain effects of a stroke are irreversible, rehabilitation can help survivors become as independent as possible. Here’s what you should know if you’re starting rehabilitation following a stroke.

Expect an individualized treatment plan

There is no one-size-fits-all treatment plan following a stroke. At Premier Neurology Medical Group, we understand that strokes impact each patient differently. Stroke specialist Dr. Ravinder Singh and our team work with you with the goal of restoring independence and a good quality of life. We create an individualized treatment plan to meet your needs. While no two strokes are alike, survivors have some common needs when it comes to rehabilitation.

What can a stroke patient expect from rehabilitation?

Following a stroke, survivors need to relearn skills that are lost when blood supply to the brain is interrupted and parts of the brain sustain damage. A stroke can affect:

Motor control

Most strokes injure the motor fibers connected to movement. Relearning how to coordinate movements in order to walk and move around freely is a major part of post-stroke rehabilitation. A stroke can make one side of your body weak or cause reduced sensation, making it difficult to walk or perform self-care tasks. Something as simple as buttoning up a shirt can be difficult or impossible following a stroke.

Rehabilitation that focuses on helping you relearn to coordinate muscles helps to improve your motor skills. You can expect to relearn how to grasp items in your hands like zippers and shoe strings to help you with activities of daily living. Working on your motor skills can help you:

Speech and language

Depending on the area of the brain where the stroke occurred, a stroke can affect how you speak, read, write, or understand language. You may experience communication problems if muscles in your face involved with speech, like your tongue, are affected. This can make it difficult to say words and communicate with others. Post-stroke care may involve teaching you to understand and use language, so that you can put together coherent sentences and convey your thoughts through words and writing.

Thinking and memory

Strokes can affect parts of the brain responsible for thinking, learning, and memory. Although every stroke is different, most stroke survivors have problems with memory. You may experience problems with your short-term memory, and you may have impairments in engaging in complex mental tasks, such as planning ahead.

Rehabilitation that focuses on stimulating your brain can help improve your brain power following a stroke. Your symptoms can vary greatly depending on the side of your brain that was affected and to what extent. Different parts of the brain are responsible for cognition. For example, a stroke that affects the right side of your brain may cause issues with problem solving.

Sensation

A stroke commonly affects sensation, usually on one side of the body. Stroke patients may find it difficult to feel certain sensations, such as pain or temperature, or you may feel abnormal sensations such as tingling or pricking.

You may be unable to sense the need to urinate, or have trouble controlling your bladder muscles. If the damage is severe, you may be unable to feel and recognize parts of your body, such as your limbs.

When rehabilitation begins

You should begin post-stroke care as soon as you are stable. For some patients this may mean beginning rehabilitation as soon as 24-48 hours following a stroke. For others it could mean starting post-stroke care several days to weeks after having a stroke.

Recovering from a stroke is complex, and it’s done in stages. Your care team will coordinate your post-stroke rehab. The typical post-stroke care team consists of a neurologist, physical therapist, and nurse, and perhaps other specialists like an occupational therapist or speech language pathologist.  

If you or a loved one has suffered a stroke, comprehensive care and rehabilitation is vital to restoring quality of life. Call our Beverly Hills office to schedule an appointment with Dr. Singh or use our web form to book online.

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