3 "Rs" For Boosting Brain Change After Stroke
you know that the 1990s was considered the Decade of the Brain? There was more National Institutes of Health spending on brain related research than at any time in our history! Prior to this point, there was not much hope for recovery of function after stroke.
However we now know that NEUROPLASTICITY can occur. Neuroplasticity is the ability for our brain to form new connections. This is crucial for someone after stroke because connections are lost when brain cells are deprived of blood flow with stroke. To be able to make a change after stroke, a person needs to tap into our ability to make these new connections.
So what can you do to boost these changes-
Your body is working hard to repair, especially when you are engaging in specific activities to improve. Thinking and work on improving your cognition can be just as fatiguing as working on physical improvement. You may need to factor naps into your day. Also, getting adequate sleep at night is beneficial.
Learning – motor/physical and cognitive/thinking- requires repetition. How much repetition? For motor tasks it has been noted that it can take 400-600 repetitions per day to develop a functional task. How you go about getting those repetitions matters. You will learn what you repeat. If you are repeating activities in a way that is not how you did in the past, you may be simply learning how to do those activities in a new, more difficult or awkward way. You want to have a skilled person to help you continue to modify any program of repetition that you are undertaking. The therapists and exercise specialists at Dedicated Therapy can help you here. All of our programs are designed and supervised by Stroke specialty physical therapists to ensure your practice is moving you in the direction that you desire.
For most folks who survive a stroke, you will start your journey at a hospital. Many times this hospital will make recommendations for the next step in your recovery journey. This is good information to include in your research. However, we recommend that you don’t stop there. We advise anyone who is working with health providers to improve after stroke to find health providers who are specialists in stroke recovery. You may be tempted to choose the closest or most convenient option to continue therapy when you are discharged from the hospital. However, we suggest that you ask questions to these business to find out if they are specialists in stroke recovery. If you find that stroke is among a laundry list of diagnoses that a particular location serves, you will want to ask if there is a stroke specialist on the staff who would work with you. You will set yourself up for better progress if you are working with someone who has chosen to specialize in stroke. They will have done more training and seen more clients with your issues and should have a better handle on how to move your forward. You may find that the clinic that is closest or most convenient does not have this type of specialist. If you choose to go there, you may not make the progress you desire, or you may become stuck in your recovery. At Dedicated Therapy, we have therapists that have more than 300 hours of stroke specialty treatment approach and many years working with stroke survivors.
If you want to learn more about working with our stroke specialists Click Here to set up a phone consultation to speak with one of our Physical Therapists and learn more that we can help you do to boost your recovery after stroke.