10 Tips to Help You Recover After a Stroke

  1. Keep on Moving: There is a myth which would have one believe that all progress occurs within the first 6 months post brain attack.  Research and clinical evidence suggests there is a re-mapping and reorganization of the brain and new synapse connections continue to occur if rehabilitation is continued.
  2. The Importance of Equal Weight Bearing: The stroke survivor tends to stand on the strong leg and use the strong arm which pampers the weakened side. Use no discrimination policy; left = right.  **Sit in a chair with equal arm support, bearing equal weight on both buttocks.  Stand with equal weight bearing on both legs.  Sleep on both sides. If possible, go back to old activities that kept your muscle strong.
  3. Stretching and moving the arm:  If arm is flaccid, keep each joint in full range to provide the opportunity for return of muscle action.
  4. Clasped Hands:  Clasped hands promote good sensation of the weak arm and keep mobility of the arm joints.  Lifting your clasped hands up over your head few times a day can also build trunk control.
  5. Wheelchair Propulsion: Use your strong hand to turn the wheel on the strong side, as the strong leg pushes and pulls the chair along the floor in the desired direction.
  6. Dysphagia:  The Speech Language Pathologist may give other instructions such as these:
    1. For safety reasons, you should chew food on the strong side of your mouth. You should not try to chew on your weak side until both you and the caregiver are trained by the speech language pathologist.
    2. Caregivers can sit by your weak side for awareness.
    3. For safe swallowing, you should sit with the hips at a 90-degree angle.  You should take small bites of food at each meal and keep the chin tucked in to prevent aspiration.  You should use extra swallows for safety and alternate solids and liquids.
    4. You should stay seated for thirty minutes after eating or drinking.
  7. Use of Splints: might be utilized when a joint is flaccid, swollen, or contracted, for either short term or permanent use with wearing schedule as prescribed by your therapist and physician. 
  8. Caregiver: should approach from the middle to the weak side.  Remind the patient to use the weak side.  When walking, stand and support from the weak side
  9. Sensation Impairments:  Can be light touch, pain or  proprioception: it is the  deep feeling of the joint position.  The return of the deep feeling sensation goes from proximal to distal or shoulder to the fingers.
  10. You should be checked regularly by the doctor.  It is very beneficial to seek help from a skilled therapist to see if there is a new approach or new exercises to stimulate different muscles.

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