Physical Therapy Helps Stroke Patients

 

Physical activity improves heart function and lipid profile by lowering total cholesterol while raising HDL (good cholesterol). It lowers blood pressure and resting heart rate. Being active reduces the risk and severity of diabetes by increasing insulin sensitivity, and it improves strength,balance and endurance. For stroke survivors, these benefits can spell the difference between dependence and independence.

 

Stroke is the third leading cause of death and the prevalent cause of disability in adults. If you or someone you love has experienced a stroke, you need to understand that rehabilitation may take months, even years to regain many of the functions lost. This can be frustrating but does offer hope that with physical therapy, you can continue to improve the strength and function of your arms and legs.

 

Success Through Strength

 

Physical therapy involves using and strengthening the muscles, even before the patient can do this on their own. Therapists use both active and passive range-of-motion and strengthening exercises. Active exercises are ones the patient performs unassisted; passive exercises are performed or aided by the physical therapist. Both types help strengthen muscles.

 

 Following Through With a Plan

 

Physical therapy often starts while the stroke patient is still in the hospital, so you can continue to work with the same physical therapist once you return home or move to the inpatient stroke rehab center. However, if your initial treatment was not at a primary stroke center with health providers specifically trained in stroke, you may want to find a physical therapist to help with your stroke recovery at a certified stroke rehabilitation center.

 

Physical Therapy: Managing the Costs

 

Often, private health insurance plans will cover either a percentage of the costs or a set number of physical therapy sessions. Medicare usually pays for physical therapy after a stroke. Find out about your coverage before physical therapy begins so you understand what costs, if any, you will be responsible for.

 

Family Education

 

Physical therapy also involves working with family members and caregivers. We start working with the families as soon as we can to follow through with any of these techniques for positioning and range of motion. “We do a lot of education with the stroke victim and their families as far as the limitations that they may be left with.

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