Stroke Rehab, What It Is, How It Helps Patient Recovery

Stroke rehab beginning as soon as possible after a stroke is key to achieving a patient recovery,

If possible, rehab should begin within 24-48 hours after the stroke. The first stage usually begins in the hospital but will then shift either to an acute care facility or to a skilled nursing home.



stroke rehab



Stroke Rehab: What It Is


Rehab helps survivors relearn skills that were lost when part of the brain was damaged. For example, rehab will focus on coordinating leg movements in order to walk.  It will also teach the patient new ways to perform tasks to compensate for a disabled limb.


This can include how to bathe and dress with one hand, as well as other daily, quality of life activities. The most important of a rehab program is a focused, repetitive program.

The first steps involve promoting independent movement because many individuals are paralyzed or seriously weakened. Rehab begins with  a range of motion exercises, both passive and active.  These exercises strengthen stroke-impaired limbs.


Rehab helps patients to perform more complex and demanding tasks, such as bathing, dressing, and using a toilet. and they encourage patients to begin using their stroke-impaired limbs while engaging in those tasks. The objective is to reacquire the ability to do basic activities of daily living.



Stroke Rehab: Specialties


There are three basic rehab therapies:

  • Physical Therapy
  • Occupational Therapy
  • Speech Therapy


Physical Therapy

Physical therapists treat disabilities related to motor and sensory impairments.

They evaluate the stroke survivor’s strength, endurance, range of motion, and sensory deficits.  Next, they design a rehab program aimed at regaining control over motor functions.

The objective is to regain the use of stroke-impaired limbs, and to help patients retain their newly learned skills. Disabled people tend to avoid using impaired limbs, a behavior called learned non-use. However, using repetitive exercises strengthens the brain and helps reduce disabilities.


Some strategies used are:

  • sensory stimulation such as tapping,
  • active and passive range of motion exercise,
  • temporary restraint of active limbs while practicing motor tasks.


Patients too weak to bear their own weight can still practice repetitive movements during hydrotherapy or partially supported in a harness.



Stroke Rehab: Occupational Therapy


Occupational therapists help survivors relearn skills needed for performing self-directed activities such as personal grooming, preparing meals, and housecleaning. Therapists also teach some survivors how to adapt to driving and provide on-road training.

They also teach how to handle difficulties in their environment that limit activities of daily livingThey also teach people how to develop compensatory strategies and change elements of their environment that limit activities of daily living.


These can include increasing home safety by removing barriers, and re-designing rooms to make it easier to function every day.



Stroke Rehab: Speech Therapy

Speech-language pathologists help stroke survivors relearn how to use language. They also help people improve their ability to swallow.


The focus is to develop problem-solving and social skills needed to cope with the after-effects of a stroke.

Some short-term therapies can improve comprehension.

These can include:

  • repeating the therapist’s words,
  • practicing following directions,
  • reading or writing exercises
  • sign language.
  • computer technology to enhance communication.


Difficulty in swallowing is a major problem stroke survivors have.

Speech therapists devise strategies to overcome the deficit.For example, changing body position and improving posture during eating can bring about improvement.

Food textures can be modified to make swallowing easier; for example, thin liquids, which often cause choking, can be thickened. Also, taking small bites and chewing slowly can also help make swallowing easier.



Stroke Rehab: Split Rock Rehabilitation Center

If your loved one has suffered a stroke, then Split Rock Rehabilitation & Health Care Center’s rehabilitation therapy center is the address towards their recovery.

Our director of physical therapy is a consummate professional dedicated to providing the best possible outcomes.


Together with our highly trained nursing staff, therapy is done in a state of the art gym featuring the latest equipment. Daily therapy sessions include special programs designed specifically for stroke patients.


All stroke rehab programs are designed to get your loved one back to everyday life quickly and smoothly.

Call us ( 718-798-8900) to schedule your personal tour.

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