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Top 7 Frequently Asked Questions About Stroke Rehabilitation from Merge Rehab

How long does it take to regain hand function or arm movement after having a stroke?

This is a simple question with no simple answer. It depends on many factors. Some of these factors include the severity of the stroke, your motivation, your understanding of what is needed to regain movement, how much work you put in, how determined you are and, to some degree, how old you are and how long ago the stroke was. Other medical problems that you may have may also affect recovery.

The earlier you start the rehab process with Occupational Therapy and Physical Therapy, the sooner you can see results. But rest assured, even if your stroke was many years ago, you can still regain some movement. As far as age is concerned, older people in general take longer to heal than younger people but recovery is still possible at any age.

How can I improve my hand function after a stroke?

Occupational Therapy and Physical Therapy can help people restore movement in the arm and leg for improved function and independence following stroke. Therapists specializing in stroke rehabilitation can help stimulate muscles for improved strength, movement, coordination and develop a home exercise program for you to continue progressing at home. Read our Blog on >> Best Exercise for Stroke Recovery << to learn more about the top 3 ways to improve movement following a stroke.

What happens to the hand after a stroke?

A stroke occurs when there is a lack of oxygen to an area of the brain. This can be due to a blood clot in the brain blocking blood flow or a ruptured blood vessel. Both of these scenarios prevent oxygen from reaching an area of the brain and results in damage to brain tissue. The area that is damaged determines your impairments. In human brains, movement of the left side of the body is controlled by the right side of the brain and vice versa. If, for example, your left arm is affected and you can no longer move it or use it the way you used to, this means that there was damage to an area of the right side of your brain that is responsible for controlling the left arm. Rehabilitation would focus on regaining movement of the arm with stimulation and exercises that would help the brain to make new connections and for another part of the brain to take control of movement of the left arm.

What exercises are good for stroke patients?

Having a stroke is traumatic for your body. Your entire body becomes weaker and deconditioned. Stroke patients should participate in aerobic, strengthening and stretching exercises. Exercises specifically focusing on the affected arm and leg should focus on the principles of neuroplasticity. These are exercises and activities that work to stimulate the brain and muscles to improve movement and functional use of the limbs. Read our Blog on >> Best Exercise for Stroke Recovery << to learn more about the top 3 ways to improve movement following a stroke.

What type of therapy is best for stroke patients?

After staying at a hospital to address immediate medical concerns following a stroke, many people transition to a rehabilitation center focusing on physical rehabilitation to continue to recover. At a rehabilitation center most stroke patients receive Occupational Therapy, Physical Therapy and Speech Therapy. Your Therapists should provide you with a Home Exercise Program with exercises and activities that are safe to do on your own so that you can continue progressing when not in therapy. Physical and Occupational Therapy focus on improving mobility, function and independence. These therapies should also focus on improving movement of the affected arm and leg. When you are discharged home, you should continue the therapies either in the home or at an outpatient clinic. Read our Blog article on:

>> What Does Physical Therapy in The Home Look Like? <<To learn more about the benefits of In Home Physical Therapy.

Can stroke symptoms get worse over time?

Yes! Stroke symptoms such as muscle weakness, stiffness, tightness can absolutely get worse over time; especially if you do nothing with the arm and leg and never try to use it or move it. The good news is that stroke symptoms can get better with the right kind of treatment and exercises provided by trained and specialized Occupational and Physical Therapists.

What percentage of stroke patients make a full recovery?

According to the National Stroke Association, 40% of people who had a stroke experience moderate to severe impairments, 25% recover with minor impairments and 10% recover completely.

Not sure where to start? Merge Rehabilitation can help. We offer Physical Therapy in the convenience of your home to help keep you active and mobile to maintain function & independence. Servicing Croton-On-Hudson, NY and Surrounding Areas.

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