New research has found that chronic stroke patients receiving intensive Physiotherapy and Occupational Therapy can experience life changing improvements in hand, arm, shoulder, elbow and finger movements, even if the therapy is provided a number of years post stroke.
The study (Ward et al, 2019) was completed in the U.K. and involved 224 stroke survivors who were on average 18 months post stroke. They took part in an intensive day program over a 3 week period, completing 6 hours of rehabilitation per day for 5 days a week. This gave a total therapy time of 90 hours.
Treatment focused on reducing impairments and promoting re-education of movement within daily activities. The patients had individualised programs in which they practised meaningful tasks repeatedly in order to facilitate neuroplasticity and task mastery with a focus on quality of the movements. Interventions also included use of robotic devices, sensory retraining, use of dynamic and functional orthoses, electrical stimulation, practice with a therapy assistant and group practice. Coaching was also used throughout to help the stroke survivors embed the new skills and knowledge into their daily routines. In addition, patients were encouraged to work on their cardiovascular fitness during the program.
This study supports what we have already seen here at ARC with our intensive upper limb bootcamp program. We’ve had many success stories with our clients working intensively on their arm function with our highly skilled therapists. This program can be individually tailored to you and your needs and can be delivered as a multidisciplinary program with a combination of Physiotherapy and Occupational Therapy and also Exercise Physiology to challenge your cardiovascular fitness. The program can run in the clinic at St Leonards or we can come to you and provide the therapy in your own home.
Please contact the office on 9906 7777 for more information.
Community Physiotherapy Manager