Have you been let down by therapy? 3 signs you need to switch
Did you know that the CDC reports that less than 1/3 of those who had a stroke in South Carolina received outpatient therapy? That is despite the recommendation by the American Heart Association/Stroke Association, for survivors of stroke to have assessments for both inpatient and outpatient rehabilitation. (Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report by CDC May 25, 2007) Some times a person may be getting outpatient therapy, but may end up at a therapy provider who is not an expert in treating survivors of stroke.
If you are seeing a Physical Therapist right now and are feeling stuck in your progress, there are some things you can ask yourself to see if it is time to switch.
Has your therapist addressed your whole person? Your stroke affected your brain- not your leg. Has your therapist addressed your whole body? It is important for a therapist to have a whole body approach to restoring movement and function. Very little that we do requires only movement in one body part, so a comprehensive assessment and rehab program to target deficits throughout the body and restore those movements and function is what an expert would do.
Also this person should consider other systems that may be affected and make referrals to professionals that can help address these things. Physical Therapists who are stroke/brain injury experts know that they are not the only professionals that can be beneficial for a survivor to see. Psychologists, Neuro Optometrists, Speech and Occupational therapists are often an important part of the recovery process.
Speaking of the whole body, has your therapist ever taken your shoes off and looked at your feet? At Dedicated Therapy, I always look at what is going on with a person’s foot when they are standing up and when they are not. It is often necessary to do targeted treatment to promote more normal alignment for a person to use their more affected foot to stand and walk. Also, is there a plan to progress your foot brace (if you have one). A therapist should be working to help you gain more mobility and control in your foot. And, if there are positive changes here, that often means that your foot brace should be looked at to be changed to meet your improvement.
You always have a choice in your physical therapist. If you have not had a chance to have your whole person assessed, or you feel like having us take a look at your current braces, you can contact us. We offer free phone consultations and are happy to speak with you to directly answer any questions that you have.
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