A stroke occurs when the blood supply to part of the brain is cut off. Lack of oxygen to the brain results in damage to the brain tissue. This can be due to a blood clot (emboli) or a bleed (haemorrhage).
A stroke can affect people in different ways. Usually the problems people have after a stroke are related to the area of the brain that has been damaged. As a rule, a stroke on the right side of the brain will affect the left side of the person’s body and vice versa. This is referred to as hemiplegia. The person might also have problems with their speech, swallowing, cognition and behaviour depending on the site of the damage.
After a stroke the brain can regenerate/ recover. This means that new pathways in the brain can be formed allowing an individual to carry out tasks that were initially lost when the stroke occurred. Also, individuals can learn new or adapted ways in which to perform tasks, allowing them to maintain independence in the home environment. People need assistance from specialist teams to maximise this regeneration/ recovery.
Most people who have had a stroke will have spent some time in hospital and will have received rehabilitation. Rehabilitation usually involves being seen by a team of therapists and doctors to maximise a person’s independence prior to going back home. A Neurological Physiotherapist is a member of this team. Once home the person might receive ongoing rehabilitation for a period. Often NHS provision is limited by the number of treatments available or waiting list pressures. Therefore, more and more people are looking to the private sector to bridge the gap in provision. This is where ‘mobile neuro physio’ comes in.
A Neurological Physiotherapist has the skills to assist people improve their functional ability. A holistic assessment is carried out by the physiotherapist and a rehabilitation plan is set out tailored to the individual’s needs. This might be a short course of treatment to bridge the gap between hospital discharge and community services, regular rehabilitation or the setting up of a maintenance programme.
Caroline has worked with people who have had a stroke throughout her career. She enjoys keeping up-to- date with the latest evidence based practice and strategies to assist people who have had a stroke maximise their independence. Please get in contact for a chat!