Stroke rehabilitation can be complex depending on the extent of the injury, and the results unpredictable. Physiotherapy is always recommended and will often involve other professionals, including an occupational therapist and a speech therapist. Following a stroke, a person may present with flaccidity (floppy or low tone) or spasticity (tight, high tone). Physiotherapist will use various techniques to normalise this.
Other goals of physiotherapy will be to:
• Restore function to paralysed limbs
• Improve transfers and gait
• Provide wheelchairs and other mobility devices, if necessary
• Help the patient perform activities of daily living – bathing, dressing, self-feeding etc.
• Increase range-of-motion
• Splinting to keep the hand in a functional position if necessary) and prevent contractures and deformity
Some techniques employed by physiotherapy include:
• Manual therapy to reduce swelling and improve range of motion
• Stretching exercises to improve range-of-motion and produce flexibility
• Massage to reduce swelling and increase blood flow
• Electrical stimulation to restore movement to paralysed limbs
• Strengthening exercises to restore muscle strength to weakened muscles.