Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Post-Stroke

Q.

What is a stroke?

A.

A stroke is a "brain attack" and occurs when blood supply to the brain is cut off. Most strokes are caused by a blood clot that has built up on the wall of a brain artery or one that has traveled there from another part of the body (an embolic stroke or ischemic stroke). Other strokes are caused by a ruptured blood vessel in or near the brain (aneurysm), which results in bleeding within or over the surface of the brain (hemorrhagic stroke). Stroke is the fifth leading killer and the number-one cause of disability in the United States.

Q.

What are common stroke symptoms?

A.

A stroke occurs when a clot blocks a blood vessel or when a vessel ruptures, causing bleeding in the brain. Symptoms depend on which blood vessel is affected, which means that not all strokes will present with the same symptoms. Common symptoms experienced post-stroke include, but are not limited to, one-sided arm and/or leg weakness, difficulty balancing, difficulty walking and/or performing activities of daily life, and cognitive impairments. Speech may also be affected in some cases.

Q.

How can physical therapy help with post-stroke rehabilitation?

A.

Physical therapy for stroke patients focuses on restoring function throughout the body.  We work on maintaining muscle tone while also working on increasing voluntary control of the paralyzed body parts. Often, physical therapists will get to work maintaining the muscles of the affected body parts before a patient regains voluntary movement. As functioning returns, physical therapy will focus on retraining the patient’s brain to control the entire body again.

Q.

How often should you start therapy after your stroke?

A.

The sooner the better.  As soon as the patient is stable, physical therapy should begin. This can be in as little as 24 hours post-stroke.  Often, physical therapy will begin in the hospital and then with home PT.  Once you are discharged from home PT, it is important to establish PT through an outpatient facility.  This will significantly improve functional strength and mobility to improve your day-to-day activities, keeping you as independent as possible. Wellness 360 offers home outpatients PT making your recovery more comfortable and convenient to you.  Find out more about our home PT by calling 585-259-0782. 

Q.

What happens in post-stroke physical therapy?

A.

Wellness 360 focuses on you as an individual.  Each session starts with conducting a full evaluation to understand where a patient’s areas of need are and will develop a treatment plan based on those needs. Patients or their loved ones will work with a physical therapist to develop recovery goals—long-term and short-term. To reach these goals, the psychical therapy regimen will focus on helping patients safely perform movements, improve balance, relearn coordination, and retrain the brain in functional tasks like grasping objects and walking.