How Physical Therapy Techniques Help Stroke Patients

There is a wide range of Physical Therapy Techniques because each patient has a different condition. For example, the physical therapy exercise required by an athlete that has been injured is different from a patient that has suffered from a stroke. What is important is individualized treatment that is focused on the patient’s recovery process.

Stroke is the leading cause of death in the United States as well as Delaware. In 2013, 409 members of the Delaware population died from stroke. A stroke occurs when the flow of blood to the brain is cut off. Once the brain is deprived of oxygen, it starts to die and without immediate intervention, the patient can suffer from permanent speech, movement and memory damage.

Usually a person who suffers from a stroke is hospitalized for a certain period of time before he moves to inpatient rehab and eventually to outpatient therapy. How long the patient has to undergo physical therapy varies once they are discharged from the hospital but one thing is for certain; the stroke survivor needs to push himself to the limit in order to maximize the recovery of both the brain and the body.

According to an intensive study made by the University of Delaware, stroke survivors still have improvements to their motor functions three to six months after outpatient therapy. The University of Florida also reported similar findings on the June issue of Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation.

Studies have also found out that after physical therapy, patients nearly doubled their ability to use a stroke-affected arm. At the University of Delaware, former soccer referee Frank Herkes participated in a random double-blind clinical trial to examine how pain-free brain stimulation can improve the outcomes of a fast-paced rehabilitation program. The participants of the study do not know that their brains are being stimulated while they proceed with several rehabilitation exercises and neither do the researchers to obtain a biased-free result.

In total, the University of Delaware is conducting eight studies in order to understand how the brain and nervous system changes after a stroke. Some of the studies focus specifically on mobility and exercise while other studies determine how the brain controls the ability to feel touch.