Hello, it’s Therapy Tuesday again and I am sharing with you some ideas I got from an article I read from Flint Rehab regarding Physical Therapy for Stroke Patients at home. Please be sure to check out the entire article, “13 Tips for Effective Physical Therapy for Stroke Patients at Home,” dated October 9, 2018.
Here's a recap:
(1) Do Your DAILY Stroke Rehab Exercises
Traditional exercises strengthen your muscles while stroke rehab/exercises focus on strengthening your BRAIN - because the high repetition activates the neuroplasticity and rewires your brain.
I am doing this by making sure that I repeat specific exercises everyday! I make my schedule the night before, and follow the times the next day. The exercises that are working for me and making an improvement, I make sure that I repeat at least everyday.
(2) Try CONSTRAINT-INDUCED Movement Therapy for Paralysis (either arm or leg)
This is very simple to do. You need only 3 steps:
As I have indicated before, my RIGHT side is my affected side. Although it is not “paralyzed,” it suffers from movement ability. So I am definitely doing this step with my right side. I did it with my right leg/foot and was able to regain walking. Now I am doing it with my right arm/wrist/hand as much as possible - even with zipping my sports vest, for example.
(3) Try MIRROR THERAPY for Hand Recovery
Mirror Therapy is a great form of fine motor therapy. You can use a tabletop mirror to cover your affected arm with the reflection of your unaffected arm while you perform rehab exercises on the table. The mirror image tricks your brain into thinking that your affected arm is moving like your unaffected arm - your brain thinks both hands are moving.
(4) Use Mental Practice to Boost Results
This is exactly what it sounds like - mentally rehearse/practice what you want to do. Whether it’s moving your legs or arms or hands or fingers! And if you combine mental and physical practice together - you will see better results!
I do this as often as I can - with my legs still and, of course, with my arm - shoulder/elbow/wrist/hand/fingers! I mentally do a lot of my exercises before I physically do them. It gets my brain engaged with my physical requirements! And I talk to my physical parts - both orally and also just from my brain!
(5) Remember Home Rehab Tools
Home therapy tools can help, especially if they motivate you to do more repetitions! For my hand/wrist, I am using several tools - mainly the Saebo Glove which I wear all night and again for 2-3 hours during the day to straighten my fingers so they don’t “clench,” and a Saebo ball that I hold/squeeze, about the size of a tennis ball (but not as tense). And, as I have shared in my Therapy Tuesday Posts before, I regularly use a walker, a peddler, a roller and a few other items (so far - and I may add to this list of tools as I progress).
(6) Use Japanese KAIZEN
This is the practice of continuous improvement through small, consistent steps. It involves patience and persistence. Remember - one step at a time!
Remember, our stroke rehab will not work overnight!! We need to be patient - very patient! This is something I must constantly remind myself! One day I may make great progress and feel very happy and proud. The next day I may not be as progressive and I get discouraged and sad. That is when I really need to remember KAIZEN. I need to slow my work down and be happy with every moment. I need to be persistent and patient EVERY DAY. I know that I can do this.
(7) Listen to your Physical Therapist
This is from the article… “Ditch the let’s see if this might work mantra and start telling yourself I will do this therapy UNTIL it works! No IF’s allowed.” Keep a Positive Attitude. Keep an Open-Mind.
When I see a new therapy, I give it a try. I try it a few times even if I don’t like it. I wait to see if it does work.
(8) Turn OFF the Background Noise and Turn ON Your Brain
Your brain is hard at work, so let it stay that way! Turn off the TV, the radio and don’t check your phone or email. Tell family members and/or friends to leave you alone. That’s what I do.
(9) Don’t Let the Plateau Stop You
If your results slow down, don’t let that discourage you!! It may slow you down, but not stop you. Shake things up a bit - add some variety to your plan! That’s what I have to do with my daily plan.
(10) Don’t Let Paralysis Stop You, Either
Never give up hope! Again, I am not paralyzed, but I do suffer from right-side slow-movement. I am doing my best, everyday, to keep it encouraging me and not discouraging me! And certainly not stopping me!
(11) Resist the Nocebo Effect for a Better Recovery
Never let someone else’s opinion about your recovery mess with your efforts. Ignore their thoughts, words, writings!!
(12) Treat Spasticity the Smart Way
Even though spasticity makes it hard to move your muscles, moving them helps the spasticity go away! Read all about spasticity - exercise, drugs, ointments, massages, etc. can help you and your spasticity. Read about these things here and everywhere!!
(13) Take 30 Extra Seconds to Boost Your Brain
A great way to get yourself to stick to your rehab plan is to visualize sticking to your rehab plan! Making the decision today to exercise tomorrow makes you far more likely to actually do it!! So, VISUALIZE doing it for at least 30 seconds!!
That is the main reason I put together a rehab/exercise plan/agenda every night for the next day. I want to make sure that I have the time, the energy and the mental capacity to do it all - and it is working!!
God Bless, Peg!
"Fall seven times and stand up eight."
-- Japanese Proverb
2/5/2019 06:06:43 pm
Great post, Peg!! You’re helping others and yourself. You definitely do your homework.
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