Rehabilitation is the most important factor in recovery post stroke. It should be followed religiously daily and practiced throughout the day. No two stroke survivor’s prognosis is the same. The nature of symptoms can be different for similar cases of stroke. We never know how a brain responds post stroke. In some cases, the brain cells may be temporarily damaged and may resume functioning over time. In other cases, brain may re-organize its own functioning.
In stroke, the other part of the brain usually takes over for a damaged region. In Stroke rehabilitation, it’s not only exercises that help, but a holistic approach is needed for recovery which should also include Occupational Therapy, Physical Therapy, Speech Therapist, Dietician etc. Along with proper prescription of exercises, the patient needs to get proper diet too, as it plays an important role and helps in modification of their lifestyle and also helps in prevention of another stroke. Post Stroke, the patient initially requires to undergo vigorous therapy to restore muscle function and for early ambulation (movement) and to attain independence.
The aim of the rehabilitation of stroke patients is to enable patients to live as independently as possible with maximum quality of life. While the first aim is to restore the impaired functions, it is also one of the main objectives of the rehabilitation program to treat some complications after stroke and to take all measures to prevent possible complications.
There are many protocols that can be followed in Stroke rehabilitation. Stroke protocol depends on part of the body affected or deficit demonstrated by the patient.
The sooner rehabilitation begins; the earlier patient will be able to regain lost functions. But the priority should be that patient needs to be medically stable. It’s common to begin stroke rehabilitation within 24-48hrs of stroke. This could be done while in hospital.
Once the patient is discharged from critical care of the hospital, you can chose to take the patient home and manage the rehab care at home or opt for IPD rehab and attain faster comprehensive recovery in the initial few days. Once basic movements like shifting positions, toileting are attained, transferring the patient to home becomes much smoother for both patient and the care-giver.
There is no appropriate time that can be predicted for the patient to recover. Some patient recovers in no time while some patients require longer time depending upon the severity of the stroke and demonstration of symptoms. Patient rehabilitation protocol may keep on changing depending upon the movement relearned and capability of mastering the new learning. With continuing practice, the patient can gain progression over time. After an initial burst of recovery in IPD rehab, patient can continue the rehab at home.