physiotherapy for stroke patients

24. June 2021

rehabilitation for stroke patients through physiotherapy treatment

For most, a stroke happens suddenly and with little warning.

This is why it’s extremely important to act fast if you think someone may be experiencing a stroke.

F - Face.

Can they smile, has their face drooped on one side?

A - Arms.

Can the person raise both arms and keep them there?

S - Speech.

Can the person speak clearly and understand what you say?

T - Time.

If you see any of these signs it’s time to call 999.

Depending on the severity of the stroke and the time between medical intervention, it can seriously affect the way you move, see, think and feel.

Symptoms, causes and effects of stroke will differ from person to person. And this is also true for stroke rehabilitation.

It can be a long road with all aspects of development needing to be considered such as psychological, physical, cognitive, communication and mobility. Plus incorporating the variable goals and outcomes unique to each patient.

Yet there is a light at the end of the tunnel. Stroke physiotherapy rehabilitation is one of the key approaches to help you on your road to recovery, regaining function and rebuilding your life, following a stroke.

What does having a stroke mean?


The medical definition of stroke: The sudden death of brain cells due to lack of oxygen, caused by blockage of blood flow or rupture of an artery to the brain.


Source: Medical Definition of Stroke

In basic terms, a stroke is an abrupt interruption of blood supply to the brain, which can cause sudden weakness, loss of sensation, plus difficulty walking, seeing, or speaking.

It can sometimes present with a headache or be completely painless, and symptoms differ from person to person. The onset of stroke symptoms usually develop rapidly and require immediate medical attention.

If any symptoms last for less than an hour, this can be considered to be a transient ischemic attack (TIA) or a mini-stroke as it is often referred to.

Stroke risk factors

Unfortunately, anybody can have a stroke at any time!

It can happen at any age and in any sex. Yet babies under the age of 1, and adults over the age of 55 are deemed to be more at risk of having a stroke.

There are also other stroke risk factors such as medical conditions, lifestyle, and family history.

For those who have experienced a stroke, stroke rehabilitation can aid in reducing the risk of further attacks.

What is stroke rehabilitation?

Following a stroke, you will need plenty of rest to heal and recover.

Yet to ensure the best recovery possible, stroke rehabilitation helps you to re-learn the abilities and skills needed for everyday life.

A multi-disciplinary team of specialists are there to support your recovery every step of the way. Carrying out assessments and working with you to set goals and realistic outcomes for your personal circumstances.

Stroke Rehabilitation Treatment and Methods

The impact of stroke can be widespread and long-lasting and this is why it’s important to ensure you receive the right care for your stroke rehabilitation.

Psychological impact

Having a stroke is life-altering, and the two most common psychological problems that present themselves following a stroke are anxiety and depression.

Understandably, feelings of frustration and anger can also be displayed. Though these can sometimes ease over time as physical therapy helps you return to daily activities, they can sometimes persist.

If you feel like this or feeling emotional, you don’t have to suffer in silence. Reach out to your GP who may refer you to a Psychologist.

Cognitive impact

Many of our cognitive processes and functions can be affected after experiencing a stroke.

Communication, spatial awareness, memory and concentration are just some of the functions that can be disrupted.

When medical intervention is sought quickly during and after experiencing a stroke, it helps for better and quicker return of those cognitive functions.

Professionals such as Speech and Language Therapistsor Therapeutic Recreation Therapists will help to improve your cognitive processes and well-being. Each of your cognitive functions is assessed then a comprehensive treatment and rehabilitation plan can be created.

Physical impact

One of the most noticeable effects after a stroke is the weakness or paralysis usually experienced on one side of your body.

In the early stages after a stroke and during recovery you may also feel extreme fatigue and exhaustion. This is natural and although treatment should start as soon as possible, slow and steady wins the race!

Physiotherapy rehabilitation for stroke patients aims to improve:

  • Overall health
  • Coordination
  • Balance
  • Muscle strength
  • Difficulties with sitting, walking, and standing

It’s important to work with your physiotherapist, being honest about your physical health. Once assessed, your physiotherapist will be both truthful and respectful of your physical capabilities.

Using their findings, they will work with you to create a suitable stroke rehabilitation programme, setting goals that you will be able to see positive results from achieving.

What is stroke physiotherapy rehabilitation?


Physiotherapy enables people to relearn lost abilities, regain independence and reduce the risk of further strokes.


Source: The Chartered Society of Physiotherapy UK

Physiotherapy rehabilitation for stroke patients consists of a programme dedicated to improving your general movement and function, whilst returning you to your daily activities.

Stroke physiotherapy rehabilitation can help with:

  • Joint pain
  • Weakness/ paralysis
  • Posture
  • Balance
  • Muscle spasm and stiffness

Following a stroke, we cannot replace the damaged cells in the brain. Yet, with repetitive exercises, our brains are amazing enough to use the undamaged cells to repair and re-learn.

Throughout the stroke rehabilitation process, it may mean learning to do things slightly differently or maybe even better than before!

Your physiotherapist will develop a programme to include exercises to strengthen muscles, improve coordination, regain range of motion and boost your confidence.

Methods and approaches for physiotherapy rehabilitation after stroke may include, but not limited to:

  • Movement/position exercises
  • Chest clearing exercises
  • Strengthening/stretching exercises
  • Electrotherapy treatments
  • Hydrotherapy
  • Cardiorespiratory physiotherapy
  • Constraint-induced therapy
  • Virtual Reality

What affects stroke physiotherapy rehabilitation outcomes?

Depending on the severity of your stroke and related complications, the duration of your rehabilitation will be specifically unique to your circumstance.

The reality is, most stroke patients need long-term rehabilitation which can realistically last months or years.

But don’t lose hope! With dedication, commitment and understanding from you and our physiotherapist, achievable tasks will be set and changed as you move further towards your end goal.

We want you to feel confident and positive in your journey. We will push you to your capable limits to ensure progress and prevent burnout.

Help us to help you

At CK Physio we understand what life-altering effects of having a stroke can have. We want you to know you don’t have to tackle this alone.

It not only affects your physical, mental and emotional wellbeing but can also have a significant impact on family members. We’re here to help you regain your confidence, mobility and independence.

For your privacy and convenience, contact us via our online booking service to schedule a virtual consultation. We can discuss any concerns or specific needs you may have in regards to stroke physiotherapy rehabilitation.

We want you to help us help you.

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