Stroke is a condition that affects a part of the brain due to deprived blood and oxygen supply leading to death of brain cells. This damage can lead to problems with muscle movement or speech depending on what functions the affected part of the brain controls. Hence, the road to recovery after a stroke is by way of stroke rehab(rehabilitation) program.
The ability to regain lost skills depends upon the severity of the stroke and varies widely. It is found that the functioning parts of the brain have the ability to compensate for the damaged part of the brain and hence the patient is able to regain some functions. However, it is very important to keep practicing the regained skills.
Stroke rehab program enables the survivors of stroke to regain close to normal functionality and to relearn the skills lost due to the affected part of the brain. This program will enable the patient to be as independent as possible, learn to live with changes caused by the stroke, and also help adjust to living within the home, family, and community.
Rehab program starts during hospitalization itself and should be continued after discharge as well, either at a rehab center or at home.
The most important part of the rehab involves steps to prevent a future stroke. Lifestyle modifications, as well as medications may be required to maintain good health, and this is offered by the rehab team who will work with the patient and decide on the exercises, diet, and other lifestyle changes required for the patient.
One must understand that the first few months are crucial, as the patient has the greatest chance of regaining the lost skills. So it is very important to start rehab soon after a stroke and follow the instructions diligently.
There are various approaches in Stroke Rehabilitation, but the most important point one must remember is that the sensory motor functions and cognitive functions are more likely to improve, when motor activity is done repetitively, is task specific, and the patient is more open-minded and willful to do the tasks.
Rehab will involve strengthening the motor skills by using exercises which helps in strengthening the muscle strength and coordination, including therapy to help with swallowing. Rehab also will concentrate on helping the patient regain range of motion and also muscle strength with the help of exercises and other treatments. Also, training is given to enable the patient use various assistive devices such as walkers. Ankle strengthening exercises are also taught when the patient relearns to walk.
Therapy to help the patient regain the ability to speak, write, listen, and also understand is provided in the rehab program. Psychological evaluation and treatment may also be done to test for cognitive skills and emotional adjustment and counseling may be provided. Also medications are used in case the patient is having depression, which is common in people affected by stroke.
Therapies such as Ayurveda, acupuncture, and various other therapies may also be prescribed to help the patient recover faster.
Ayurvedic treatment is extremely effective in the rehabilitation of a stroke patient. Apart from Internal medicines that are administered to help in restoring the nervous system, it also has a wide range of therapies that also aid the recovery process. Nasyam is one therapy where medicated oil is instilled into the nostrils thereby helping the repair of the nervous system in addition to strengthening the nerves. Vasthi is another procedure of administrating medicated enemas’ through the rectum thereby changing the neuro transmitter levels in the body and improving the neurological function. There are also a wide range of oil massages available which help improve the micro vascular circulation thereby strengthening the muscles.
We at avnarogya provide a holistic rehabilitation programme for stroke rehabilitation which encompasses traditional ayurvedic therapies, physiotherapy, occupational and speech therapy, and counselling which hastens the process of rehabilitation.
The duration of stroke rehab for most people is a lifelong process. The recovery path can be long and frustrating, so maintaining a positive outlook is the key. The patient must try everything in order to recover and also get relief from pain if need be. The patient may recover in the first few weeks or months but will keep getting better for years. The recovery may be very slow and a lot of hard work. The key is not to give up HOPE.