A stroke is a major event where blood flow within the brain is restricted in certain areas. This can be the result of a blood clot forming or a bleed within the brain itself.
The resultant effects are very varied and depend on the areas of the brain most affected.
Common problems include balance, weakness or stiffness of muscles, sensory changes and altered perception of body position.
Other issues could include difficulty with speech, language, swallowing, memory and cognition.
Overall a stroke can be devastating for both the patient and their family and stroke physiotherapy can do a great deal to improve a patient’s quality of life by positively impacting recovery.
Stroke physiotherapy plays a large part in the total rehabilitation package offered to stroke patients alongside nursing and medical care, occupational therapy and speech therapy. Different presentations will require input from different team members.
The most important factor in maximising recovery is by accessing skilled therapy as soon as possible after the stroke occurs. However at MNC we see a number patients many years after their stroke who demonstrate potential and make very positive changes.
The first goal is a detailed assessment to understand the primary problems related to movement.
This assessment identifies the client’s sensory awareness, muscle strength, postural stability, voluntary movement and balance all of which will have an impact on functional day to day activities.
A skilled hands on approach used at MNC, in conjunction with an in depth analysis of movement control and knowledge of potential plasticity within the central nervous system enables a clear analysis each individuals presentation.
The hands on therapy directs positive changes in the central nervous system by adapting sensory information making changes in the muscle activity produced.
We may combine mobilisation of stiff joints and tight muscles, strengthening weaker postural muscles and increasing the sensory awareness of the affected body parts by specific stimulation techniques.
Working to improve postural control, balance and functional independence is a large part of stroke physiotherapy and many patients will still show potential for increased mobility even a long time following their stroke.
Stroke Physiotherapy at MNC is based upon the principles of the Bobath concept where the emphasis is on efficiency of postural control and the recovery of efficient movement.
In order to reinforce the positive changes made within treatment session the provision of individual treatment programmes and home exercise programmes is an essential part of our practice.