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Physical Therapy For Stroke Patients At Home

Wrist Movement On One Side

Minor Stroke 1 – Physical Therapy at Home (Stroke Recovery)
  • With the right hand on top, place your left-hand palm-down on the table.
  • The left hand is gently pushed sideways by the right hand.
  • For stroke victims, this is the final level 1 hand exercise. It allows the wrist to move in a separate direction, from side to side.
  • Place your affected hand, palm down, on the table. Then slide your hand to the left, then to the right, using your non-affected hand. Side to side, gently repeat.
  • These hand exercises should be done on a daily basis with a lot of repetitions. The best technique to retrain the brain and enhance movement after a stroke is to exercise in large groups.

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 youre only moving one hand, the brain is tricked into thinking youre moving both. This aids in the activation of neuroplasticity and the gradual improvement of mobility in the affected hand.

Treadmill Training Vs Home Exercise

For the study, patients over age 18 with one weakened leg after a recent stroke were recruited from six rehabilitation facilities in California and Florida.

To be included, they had to be able to walk at least 10 feet with minimal help and to tolerate exercise. They also had to be living at home or were expected to return home after therapy.

Four hundred eight patients qualified for the study. The average age of study participants was 62.

Two months after their strokes, they were randomly assigned to one of three groups: early treadmill training, later treadmill training, or home exercise.

All participants received 30 to 36 sessions of physical therapy for 90 minutes, three days per week. The early treadmill training group and home exercise group started their regimens two months after their strokes. The late treadmill training group began six months after their strokes.

In the treadmill training sessions, patients were strapped into a harness that partially supported their body weight. A physical therapist helped them move their weakened leg as they walked for 20 to 30 minutes on a treadmill. They followed that with practicing walking on the ground for another 15 minutes. The rest of the session was used for warm-up and stretching exercises.

Those are significant improvements, Linder says.

“If you looked at what typical walking speed is for an older adult, it really is around 2 miles per hour or faster, so that’s really achieving what age norms would be,” Linder says.

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Best Stroke Recovery Exercises

Stroke, regardless of its form, is a serious disease. After a stroke, the performance of various parts of the brain often becomes impaired. This means that a person is unable to carry out the usual everyday activities themselves. But a stroke is not a life sentence. In most cases, it is possible to restore lost brain function fully or partially. And the rehabilitation program can be done at home.

The Benefits Of Stroke Rehabilitation At Home

Physical Therapy Core Exercises for Stroke Patients at Home

People who have had a stroke can receive physical therapy in a clinic setting like Propel Physiotherapys Etobicoke and Pickering locations. However, there is another lesser known option which can often be more effective, and this is community-based physiotherapy or stroke rehabilitation at home.

With this option, a registered physiotherapist with experience treating clients with stroke and other neurological conditions will come to the location that suits you best, whether that is at your home, in a public park, a community gym or your workplace.

According to the article Evidence-based Community Stroke Rehabilitation, the delivery of therapy in the patients home is increasingly common, particularly as health services face the challenge of reducing costs and moving care out of hospitals. There is also evidence that rehabilitation in the home environment is more beneficial for patients.

Here are some of the benefits of stroke rehabilitation at home:

A common difficulty after stroke is getting up and down stairs. Its one thing to work on and accomplish this task in a clinic setting, but to the client it can feel like a completely new issue once facing the staircase in their own home. If the client has been struggling with this activity since their injury, what better way to assess and treat this issue than tackling the exact staircase which they will be using every day?


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Next Steps After Home Physical Therapy

As you progress with rehab at home after a stroke, you hopefully will find that moving around is easier and you can be more independent with functional tasks. Your home-care physical therapist can assess your progress and determine if you are achieving your goals.

Once you have achieved your goals , your therapist may recommend discontinuing services. They should discuss with you and your healthcare provider a discharge plan. This plan may include an updated home exercise program, follow up care with your healthcare provider, or continued physical therapy in an outpatient clinic.

Since the outcome of a stroke may be variable, it is impossible to tell how long you will require home-care PT and what your specific discharge plan will be. Be sure to work closely with your PT and healthcare provider to understand your specific prognosis.

Physical Therapy Guide To Stroke

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Stroke occurs when a blood vessel in the brain is blocked or ruptures and the blood flow in the brain stops. Stroke is the third leading cause of death in the United States. It also is a leading cause of serious and long-term disability. A stroke can happen at any time to people of any race, gender, or even age. More women than men have a stroke each year. African Americans have almost twice the risk of a first-time stroke as Caucasians. About two-thirds of those who experience a stroke are over age 65. Nearly 800,000 people in the U.S. have a stroke each year.

Physical therapists provide treatments for people who have had a stroke to restore movement and walking ability, decrease disability, and improve function.

Physical therapists are movement experts. They improve quality of life through hands-on care, patient education, and prescribed movement. You can contact a physical therapist directly for an evaluation. To find a physical therapist in your area, visit Find a PT.

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Mirror Therapy For Hand Recovery

Mirror therapy is one method to activate the signals from the hand to the brain, especially for those with hand paralysis or extremely limited hand movement.

This method of therapy for stroke survivors involves using a tabletop mirror to cover the affected arm with the reflection of the functioning arm. Then, you perform tabletop hand therapy exercises while looking at the reflection.

Although you know that youre only moving one hand, it tricks the brain into thinking that youre moving both hands. This helps activate neuroplasticity and slowly improve mobility in the affected hand.

Talk With Social Workers Or Case Managers For Tips

Minor Stroke 2 – Physical Therapy at Home (Stroke Recovery)

Social workers and case managers are an essential part of the stroke recovery team. Dont hesitate to ask them any questions if you are having difficulty understanding any part of home care. They can provide you with critical information about things like home modifications and insurance coverage after discharge.

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The Importance Of Home Therapy Programs For Stroke Patients

Tuesday, February 12th, 2019

Navigating the stages of stroke recovery is a personal, individualized process. During this transition, stroke therapy and treatment programs should be fine-tuned to each persons specific needs and lifestyle. Stroke treatment at home offers familiarity and comfort during a time of great stress. Home therapy can incorporate all the necessary exercises for rehabilitation while remaining flexible and adaptable to a survivors schedule, needs, and preferences.

In order to receive home health therapy, a stroke survivor needs to be homebound, meaning its difficult to leave your home and you need help doing so. The stroke survivor needs skilled care by at least one therapy service including physical therapy, speech therapy, and/or occupational therapy. Home therapy for stroke patients combines an array of activities and exercises to improve function.

Dont Let The Plateau Stop You

Every stroke is different so everyone will recover at a different pace. However, there is a well-documented phenomenon called the stroke recovery plateau where results often slow down at the 3-month mark.

This is normal and to be expected. Dont let it stop you from continuing with physical therapy at home. Although results may take longer to occur, recovery will not stop unless you stop.

When you stick with a consistent home therapy regimen, the brain will respond and healing will continue towards your recovery.

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Balance Issues And Ataxia

Many patients experience difficulties with balance, walking and the ability to coordinate movements, otherwise known as ataxia.

All these symptoms are obviously both distressing and disabling. However, with the right treatment, many of them can be improved, and they may even resolve altogether. Physical therapy plays a key role in helping stroke patients manage their condition.

Stroke Patients At Level : Moderate Hand Exercises

Physical Therapy Core Exercises for Stroke Patients at Home

The hand exercises below are designed for people who have mild spasticity and limited hand movement. The key to regaining movement in your hand is to do these hand exercises on a daily basis. To see results, you must be consistent.

For stroke sufferers, here are some more therapeutic hand exercises:

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What Is The Purpose Of Post

Stroke often causes paralysis on one side of the body, which means patients lose function in one arm and one leg. In the first weeks and months of recovery, physical therapists work with stroke survivors to keep these muscles toned and stimulated even before they regain voluntary movement. If and when function does return, physical therapy allows patients to relearn everyday skills and retrain their healthy brain cells to control the affected body parts. This is part of the various services offered for stroke recovery including occupational therapy, rehabilitation nursing, and speech therapy.

Choose The Program And Facility That Is Best For You

Physical therapy and stroke recovery is a key component in the long recovery journey back to a normal life. Choosing the right program and setting the right goals are not decisions to be taken lightly. Be sure to communicate your needs and feelings so you end up with the facility and program that best fits you. Recovery can sometimes take a long time so getting the right people on your team will help the process.


Whether you are a caregiver, occupational therapist or even a stroke survivor yourself, Saebo provides stroke survivors young and old with access to transformative, life-changing products. We pride ourselves on providing affordable, easily accessible, and cutting-edge solutions to people suffering from impaired mobility and function. We have several products to help with the stroke recovery and rehabilitation process. From the SaeboFlex, which allows clients to incorporate their hand functionally in therapy or at home, to the SaeboMAS, an unweighting device used to assist the arm during daily living tasks and exercise training, we are commitment to helping create innovative products for stroke recovery. Check out all of our product offerings or let us help you find which product is right for you.

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What Should You Expect

In terms of recovery, the first three to four months are crucial for stroke patients.

The reality is that not all stroke patients will recover completely. But this doesnt mean that the prognosis is grim. Expect that recovery may be slower or faster depending on the extent of brain damage from the stroke. A guided rehabilitation program consisting of physical therapy, occupational therapy, and sometimes even speech therapy, is needed to ensure the best possible recovery from stroke.

Keep It Going: Get A Free Rehab Exercise Ebook

Best Hand Exercises for Stroke Patients at Home Using Mirror

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How Do I Find The Right Physical Therapist

Though your doctor will decide which rehabilitation option is best for you, you and your family have the option of choosing your own physical therapist. You dont need a physicians referral to access a physical therapists services through direct access, but your insurance provider should tell which ones are in your coverage network.

Ultimately, its important to find a physical therapist who meets the following criteria:

  • Belongs to APTA
  • Meets your states license or certification requirements
  • Is directed by a licensed physical therapist
  • Provides ongoing assessment of your progress
  • Specializes in the right area of physical therapy
  • Works with a program that focuses on patient care
  • Is ready to set the right goals for you, taking your desires and limitations into account
  • Will push you to reach your current physical limits
  • Provides ongoing support and education for your family members and other caregivers
  • Meets with you regularly to evaluate your progress
  • Understands your post-stroke disabilities and symptoms
  • Devotes their full attention to you during therapy if necessary, offering direct, one-on-one care and constant observation to prevent injury and assess your progress

Stroke Therapy At Home

According to the Stroke Association in the United Kingdom and the American Stroke Association, there are over 8.2 million stroke survivors in the UK and the US. Many of these individuals undertake daily rehab activities in their own homes, either independently, or with the help of a friend, family carer or a trained specialist.

Stroke rehabilitation is many things including physical treatments that aim to improve gross and fine motor skills, language drills to restore communicative abilities, cognitive training to strengthen memory, occupational therapy to help with the performance of everyday tasks, and even emotional therapy to deal with any issues of depression or isolation that arise in the aftermath of a stroke.

Every rehab program is different and will depend largely upon the needs of the individual. Yet there are some general points to consider in undertaking therapy at home that can help improve quality of life and strengthen body, mind, and spirit for people who are recovering from a stroke.

One of the first and most important steps is to ensure that the living environment is safe. This means making room for walking aids and rearranging furniture to reduce the risk of falls. You may want to reconsider the purpose of different rooms in your house, for example moving a bedroom to the ground floor if stairs are a problem, or switching to a bedroom with an en-suite.

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Physical Therapy For Stroke Patients At Home: Tips For Caregivers

Physical therapy is a very important part of stroke recovery. Aside from therapy done in the hospital, physical therapy for stroke patients at home is integral to their recovery and overall health.

The reason is that it helps continue the progress that patients have made, and ensures that they regain as much strength and mobility as before. Theres also no special equipment needed for physical therapy for stroke patients at home, so anyone can do it.

What Research Is Being Done

Physical Therapy Core Exercises for Stroke Patients at Home

The National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke , a component of the National Institutes of Health , supports research on disorders of the brain and nervous system, including stroke and post-stroke rehabilitation. Several other NIH Institutes also support rehabilitation efforts. For example, the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, through its National Center for Medical Rehabilitation Research, funds work on mechanisms of restoration and repair after stroke, as well as development of new approaches to rehabilitation and evaluation of outcomes. Most of the NIH-funded work on diagnosis and treatment of dysphagia is through the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders. The National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering collaborates with NINDS and NICHD in developing new instrumentation for stroke treatment and rehabilitation. The National Eye Institute funds work directed at restoration of vision and rehabilitation for individuals with impaired or low vision that may be due to vascular disease or stroke. More than 300 research projects have been funded by NIH since 2012 involving stroke rehabilitation.

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Restoration Of Motor Functions

More than 90% of stroke patients have paralysis or paresis of various parts of the body. The restoration of motor functions is one of the main objectives of rehabilitation. It primarily affects the extremities legs and arms.

The inability to control the muscles of the legs leads to a person loses the ability to walk, in the muscles of the hands, it leads to the inability to manipulate various objects. Since the hands perform more complex movements, the restoration of their functions often takes longer and is much harder. Both limbs on either side of the body are often affected.

The nerve functions lost as a result of a stroke will not be restored by themselves long training is necessary. For this purpose, it is necessary to perform prescribed complexes of physical therapy. They help to restore the functionality of those parts of the body, control of which was partially lost with regards to walking, hand movements, and fine motor skill movement of the fingers. Of course, stroke exercises should not be exhausting.


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