Every year more than 100,000 people have a stroke; or one person has a stroke every five minutes.
Physiotherapy can make a huge difference to both your recovery and your risk of having another stroke. The right exercise can cut the risk by 35%.
What is a stroke
A stroke happens when a blood vessel in the brain bursts or is blocked by a clot, interrupting the blood supply to the brain.
This can sometimes damage or destroy brain cells and the impact will depend on which part of the brain is affected. For example, if the part of the brain that controls movement of a limb is damaged by the stroke, then the individual may have difficulty moving their arm or leg.
Strokes can affect everything from body movement to processing, communication, emotions and learning – or may impact on only one area.
How can Physiotherapy help stroke recovery?
The human brain is remarkable – even when an area of the brain becomes damaged, the brain is able to compensate for this by creating new neural pathways, with different areas of the brain taking on the damaged functions.
We call this neuroplasticity.
Neurophysiotherapy involves specific exercises and treatments to help facilitate this process, improving recovery of function and mobility after stroke. NICE recommends a minimum of 45 minutes of physiotherapy five days a week as part of a seven-day specialist stroke rehabilitation service. High intensity therapy is needed to relearn lost abilities, and most NHS trusts offer this.
The differences between a neurophysiotherapist and a normal physiotherapist
While all physiotherapists receive some degree of training in stroke rehabilitation, a neurophysiotherapist is an expert who has received specialist training to work with patients who have suffered a stroke or other neurological condition or injury.
There is a huge demand for NHS neurophysiotherapy services, which can mean treatment options are limited.
Where can I expect improvements during stroke rehabilitation treatment
No two stroke survivors are alike but as you work with a neurophysiotherapist you may notice gradual improvements in:
- Improved walking and balance
- Improved arm and hand function
- reduced post stroke shoulder pain
- re-educate normal movement patterns
- Reduced muscle weakness
- Reduced post stroke fatigue
- Improved sitting balance
- Improved co-ordination
- Improved strength
- Improved sensation
- Improved awareness
We are also able to provide advice on specialist splints and mobility aids.
Why choose a private neurophysiotherapist
Many stroke survivors choose to work with a private physiotherapist to either continue treatment after discharge from the NHS or because they find it difficult to get to hospital and require treatment in their own home or care home. Patients also benefit from one to one treatment at a time to suit you.
Neurophysio Wales can offer home or care home visits as well as a wider range of appointment times than the NHS – we may be able to see you more frequently, for example.
Finally, a private neurophysiotherapist will have access to the latest technology for all patients, whereas access on the NHS to tools like Saeboflex and neuromuscular stimulation may be limited.
If you are already receiving NHS physiotherapy treatment and would like additional help or guidance, or access to our technology, we are also happy to work alongside your NHS physiotherapist and agree a joint treatment plan. We are client-led, which means we will work with you alongside any other NHS or external treatments you are receiving to reach the best outcome for you.
What if my stroke happened a long time ago?
Even f you suffered a stroke some time ago, seeing a private neurophysiotherapist for stroke rehabilitation can still deliver massive benefits.
We can also provide a second, independent opinion on the potential outcome of stroke rehabilitation in your individual case.
How can I arrange an assessment?
To enquire about our stroke rehabilitation service, or to book an initial assessment, please call us on 01656 858865. We can deliver assessments at our clinic, in your own home or in a care home.