A stroke can occur either as a result of a blockage (ischaemia) to the blood vessels supplying the brain, or as a result of a bleed (haemorrage). The resulting loss of blood supply and swelling to certain areas of the brain cause a lack of oxygen to the brain tissue, which then becomes damaged. Depending on where the damage occurs, a number of symptoms can present including:
- Muscle weakness. Usually, but not always, on one side of the body called hemiparesis
- Muscle spasms and spasticity
- Altered sensation
- Neglect of one side of the body
- Visual and perceptual impairment
- Difficulties with balance
- Problems with speech, swallowing & concentration
- Cognitive impairments
- Difficulties with mobility & other daily activities
IF YOU, OR ANYONE YOU KNOW ARE EXPERIENCING THESE SYMPTOMS, EVEN IN A MILD TEMPORARY FORM, IT IS IMPORTANT TO PRESENT TO THE EMERGENCY DEPARTMENT OF YOUR NEAREST HOSPITAL STRAIGHT AWAY OR DIAL 000.
A STROKE IS A MEDICAL EMERGENCY.
Damage to the brain cells following stroke is irrepairable; however, the brain is adaptable and other areas can be trained to take over some the lost function. Our neurological physiotherapists and Occupational Therapists set up specific training exercises with high repetition and variation to influence the brain to learn and adapt. This helps optimise this adaptation recovery and minimise secondary complications which can cause further disability.
Effective stroke rehab requires expertise and a comprehensive team approach to ensure your treatment is effective and you are reaching your recovery goals. For maximum improvement, you can do one of our intensive rehab bursts which are delivered boot camp style for ‘Arm and hand’ or ‘Stand. Walk. Run.’. If you are wanting to improve your strength, fitness or balance a group circuit conditioning program may be more appropriate. Sometimes, getting a scripted device, such as a neuromuscular orthotic or better management of your spasticity through our spasticity clinic may be the difference between independent walking and wheelchair ambulation.
During your initial assessment, your therapist will discuss your symptoms and difficulties, and examine your function and assess your impairments. This will lead to a treatment plan being discussed which is individually designed to help you reach your goals.