Brains need constant stimulation to heal. The recovery process should continue at home even after stroke patients have completed outpatient rehab.
Each stroke is different, and every survivor responds differently to home therapies. So, experimentation is the key to know which exercises are best for you.
Best Physiotherapy for Stroke Patients at Home
Some of the best physical therapies after a stroke includes:
Mirror Therapy for Hands Recovery
Mirror therapy is one way to activate hand-to-brain signals, especially for people who have hand paralysis or minimal hand movement.
A tabletop mirror is used to cover the affected arm with the reflection of the functioning arm in this type of therapy for stroke survivors. Then, while looking in the mirror, you perform tabletop hand therapy exercises.
Even though you know you’re only moving one hand, the brain is tricked into thinking you’re moving both. This aids in the activation of neuroplasticity and the gradual improvement of mobility in the affected hand.
Daily Stroke Rehabilitation Exercises
While regular exercise focuses on strengthening your muscles, stroke recovery exercise activates your brain, allowing it to send movement-related messages to your muscles. The goal of rehabilitation is to activate neuroplasticity, the brain’s ability to rewire itself and learn new skills.
Muscle strengthening is also a goal during stroke rehabilitation to help combat muscle atrophy caused by lack of use.
CIMT for Leg or Arm Paralysis
Movement induced by a constraint Therapy is a complex type of physical therapy that begins in rehab and continues at home. It is beneficial to stroke victims who have hemiplegia or hemiparesis. It works by restricting the unaffected side’s movement while forcing the affected side’s use.
Mental Practice for Improving Paralysis
Mental practice demands mentally rehearsing a task before performing it. Professional athletes are known to use mental training to improve their performance, and stroke survivors can benefit from it.
Before you practice your rehab exercises in real life, try mentally practicing them for 5 minutes. Visualizing yourself moving has been shown in studies to help activate neuroplasticity in the same way that physically moving does.
Mental practice is particularly beneficial for patients who are paralyzed and unable to move without help. It allows the brain to rewire itself without the need for movement.
Home Rehabilitation Tools
Home therapy tools can help you stay motivated while recovering from a stroke at home, especially if you’ve grown tired of following written exercise sheets.
Many physical and occupational therapists recommend Flint Rehab’s FitMi home therapy as a home exercise program for stroke survivors. It encourages users to complete many repetitions of standard rehab exercises, which help in recovery.
Tips to Implement Physiotherapy Regimen at Home
Get Your Mindset Boost with Kaizen
Kaizen’s approach involves patience and perseverance, two essential ingredients in physical therapy after a stroke. You won’t be able to achieve all of your goals in one sitting. Taking one step at a time, day after day is the most effective way to achieve results.
For stroke survivors at home, most physical therapists have one main goal: keep moving. During the recovery from a stroke, any movement is beneficial. So, do your best to engage in therapeutic movement daily.
Turn Off Your Background Noise to Turn On Your Brain
To keep your concentration for exercise, create a quiet, distraction-free environment. Turn off the TV and tell your family not to bother you during this time. As your brain is rewiring itself, allowing distractions to get in the way is not a good idea.
Do Not Let the Plateau Stop You
Because each stroke is unique, everyone will recover at a different rate. This is entirely normal and expected. However, there is a well-documented phenomenon known as the stroke recovery plateau, in which progress slows after three months. Don’t let this discourage you from continuing your home physical therapy.
Do Not Let the Paralysis Stop You
Post-stroke paralysis is a long-term condition that requires effort to recover from. Try using proven treatments like mental practice and passive paralysis recovery exercises at home for patients recovering from post-stroke paralysis. Both methods work by sending signals from the body to the brain, which helps to stimulate neuroplasticity.
Treat the Main Cause of Spasticity
A breakdown in brain-body communication causes spasticity. Muscles tighten to protect themselves when the brain cannot send signals telling them when to move or relax.
Stretching aids in the prevention of contractures and is learned nonuse. This, however, does not address the underlying cause of spasticity.
The root of the problem is addressed by rewiring the brain. As a result, your daily at-home exercise aids in the long-term improvement of mobility and reduction of spasticity.
Do Not Neglect the Hand Rehabilitation
When the affected hand is neglected, however, the loss of mobility only gets worse. The recovery of hand function takes much longer than that of arm or leg movement. As a result, many stroke survivors forego hand therapy to compensate by using their non-affected hands for everyday tasks such as one-handed cooking. This is referred to as “learned nonuse.”
Patients must keep their hands active after a stroke to improve hand function. Even if the stronger hand helps with the movement, focus on using the affected hand during daily tasks. Most importantly, make sure to do daily hand therapy exercises to help rewire the brain and improve your chances of having better hand function.
Get a Sleep of More Than 6 Hours
The brain can replenish the neurotransmitters that organize neural networks for remembering, learning, and performance during REM sleep (rapid eye movement sleep). Because REM sleep occurs toward the end of the night, getting more than 6 hours of sleep each night is critical.
Your therapist can help you when to start physiotherapy after stroke with your specific circumstances and can assist you in setting motivating and meaningful goals. You can also get physiotherapy after stroke guidelines from a physiotherapist via Marham.pk.