What is a stroke?

A stroke happens when the blood supply to part of your brain is cut off, either from bleeding in or around the brain or from a blood clot. The damage can affect the way you move, speak, think and feel, depending on which part of the brain is affected. All strokes are unique in that different people are affected in different ways.

A large proportion of stroke survivors will experience physical problems. Stroke frequently results in weakness, lack of co-ordination of movement (ataxia), spasticity and sensory loss. Typically, people experience weakness on one side of the body (hemiparesis or hemiplegia) and this affects their ability to walk and keep their balance and the ability to use their arm.

How can Physiotherapy help?

Physiotherapy is important at every point of the journey, both within hours from the onset of a stroke, and in the years to come. Physiotherapy can be beneficial even years later to help with stiffness and weakness that have occurred due to reduced activity.

Physiotherapy offers a range of interventions depending on the individual needs and goals and includes some of the following:

  • Strengthening weak muscles
  • Postural training
  • Stretching to improve flexibility
  • Repetitive task-speci­fic training to strengthen neurological pathways and re-learn new movements
  • Sensory stimulation
  • Gait re-education
  • Managing foot drop
  • Balance training
  • Constraint-induced movement therapy
  • Teaching strategies for safe movement
  • Falls management
  • Improving exercise tolerance

Contact us to discuss how we can help you after a stroke