The main goal of physical therapy is mobility so you can return to your roles at home, in the community and at work. Physical therapy gets stroke patients to use limbs that have been weakened or paralyzed so they can walk, sit, stand, and get in and out of bed, a chair, and a car safely and all on their own.
After examining you and evaluating your condition, your physical therapist will develop an individualized plan to help you work toward goals and achieve the best quality of life you can. Your goals will broken down into smaller, more manageable tasks that build your confidence and abilities.
For example, your goal may be to play tennis like before the stroke. That’s the goal, but that’s not what we start with. We’ll start with “Can you safely get out of bed? Can you safely go to the bathroom? How far can you walk safely?” All of that would come before we work on the levels of activities you did before the stroke.
How much recovery you will make after a stroke, and how long this takes, is different for everyone. It depends on the amount of damage done by the stroke, on your general health before the stroke, and how you apply yourself to your rehab program.
At EvergreenHealth outpatient rehab, you’ll be working with your therapist on state-of-the-art equipment. If your movement is impaired, we have standing frames, ceiling lifts and parallel bars to help with balance and mobility – things you would not have in a home therapy program.
Other specialized equipment includes:
MotoMed Movement Trainer. This movement therapy machine combines arm and leg therapy and can be used passively, actively or assisted.
GAITRite Gait Assessment System. Provides an objective measurement of the patient’s cadence, step length, and velocity to objectively quantify walking function and fall risk while documenting treatment outcomes.
Computerized Dynamic Posturography. This system measures how well patients can maintain their balance under different circumstances and environments.
Functional Electrical Stimulation. Mimics the action of healthy muscle to improve function and aid in retraining weak muscles and normal movement in the arms or legs.
Nu-Step Bicycle. The swivel seat makes this arm/leg workout easily accessible to any mobility.
Parallel bars. Helps patients progress in a stationary environment with two hand-holds before progressing to a walker that moves.
It’s possible for weakness in a limb to develop into other orthopedic issues. For example, weakness in your knee could result in hyperextending the knee, leading to an unstable knee. Your physical therapist will look what type of splinting might work best, and will help your order and get the appropriate size.