A stroke can be a devastating and life altering event, affecting a number of different systems in your body. Tasks that were once simple may now be challenging, but you can fight back against the effects of a stroke by partaking in physical therapy. In today’s blog, we share five reasons why physical therapy can be extremely beneficial for individuals who have suffered a stroke.
The Benefits Of PT After A Stroke
As we mentioned above, a number of different systems and bodily functions can be altered following a stroke. Here’s how PT can help you regain some strength and independence following a stroke.
- Balance – One of the main bodily functions that can be affected by a stroke is your balance. Aside from being annoying, it can also put you at risk for further injuries in the event of a fall. Physical therapists can help you work to improve your balance and strengthen lower body muscles groups that can keep you mobile and upright.
- Improved Gait – Along a similar vein, your ability to walk can be affected as a result of a stroke. Physical therapy can help you relearn the motions and improve the muscle groups that aid in walking. We’ve helped many patients go from a slower, shuffling gait to a more standard walking pattern simply by committing to their therapy plan. Improving your walking pattern can also protect your hips and knees by keeping abnormal pressure off of these structures.
- Daily Tasks – Strokes can also make daily activities more challenging. Cooking breakfast or showering may have come second nature before a stroke, but now it may be difficult to hold a frying pan or step into a shower. Physical and occupational therapy can help you strengthen the muscle groups that are giving you trouble, and help ensure that you have all the tools necessary to make it through your day.
- Coordination and Fine Motor Skills – Another aspect of your life that can be impacted after a stroke and improved with physical therapy is your coordination and your fine motor skills. Tasks like putting your key in the ignition or peeling a banana can become complicated if more complex systems are affected by the stroke. Your physical therapist will work to improve your coordination and fine motor skills through a number of simulated tasks and strength training exercises.
- Independence – By working to improve all the above tasks, physical therapy can help a person regain their independence following a stroke. Oftentimes regaining independence is the number one thing that patients mention that they want to get out of rehab. Committing to a physical therapy plan can help you master the tasks necessary to live on your own or regain some of the independence that had been stripped away as a result of the stroke.
For more information about the benefits of physical therapy following a stroke, or to see how OrthoRehab Specialists can help with your situation, call to make an appointment today.
PT of Costa Rican National Soccer Team for 2007 World Cup in Victoria, CAN. Clinical Instructor for University of Minnesota Doctor of Physical Therapy Affiliations
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