Tips and Exercises for Faster Recovery in Stroke Patients
Domlur, Bengaluru Feb 9, 2017
Surviving a stroke is a major achievement. However, every stroke impairment that occurs afterwards has its own set of physiotherapy and rehabilitation techniques. Stroke recovery is an integrated effort that requires the support and cooperation of family and near and dear ones.
Your fitness and wellness professional will advice you on what course of action you should take. One has to be prepared for the fact that it takes a lot of time and patience to actually perform all these exercises daily, without ever losing hope or getting tired. The key to faster recovery is to visualize your goal every single day and to work harder towards it with an equal amount of fervor.
Apart from those crucial tips, here are some others that would help you during recovery, after a stroke:
- Experiences are Subjective: All stroke impairments are unique. Thus, your stories, experiences and feelings regarding your impairment and about the way it makes you feel will be different from any of the others’.
- Do not seclude the impaired part: If it is your arm that is impaired in some way, try to perform constantly physiotherapy and exercises, to make it recover faster. Do not treat it as an injured wound that needs to be covered up. Rather, use it as a muscle that needs more exercise.
- Have Fun: Do not forget the better things in life. There is a lot to do apart from falling into depression and being gloomy about your impairment. Do the things you loved doing even before the stroke and feel the difference.
- Exercise: Follow a proper diet that is nutrition enough to facilitate your treatment. Make sure you perform all activities and exercises prescribed to you by your physician. They are important and frankly without them, you won’t make much progress in recovery.
- Sleep Well: The body heals and rejuvenates itself while you sleep. You get up in the morning feeling fresh and active a good night’s sound sleep.
- Rewards: Keeping up the good spirits takes as much exercise and patience as does your treatment. To reward yourself after every small or big achievement makes sure you accept the fact that you have moved a few steps forward, rather than back. Pair this with a material gift or reward for a special dinner or a favorite movie to feel even better.
Exercises for Faster Recovery
Some of the best upper extremity exercises for faster recovery in stroke patients are those of the shoulder, the arm and the hand. These exercises when followed and performed regularly help you stand a higher chance of almost complete recovery from your stroke impairment in a considerably short span of time.
Even if you have partially lost control of one hand or one side of your body, you still have the most important tool for recovery, that you will ever require- your other side. Research studies show that exercising the impaired portion of your body, with the help of the unimpaired portion, actually helps you bring back the impaired portion.
Here a few such exercises that will fasten the process of recovery of a post-stroke impairment in any individual:
The Towel Slide Shoulder:
Bring a towel and then be seated at a table or a desk or any other flat surface. Spread or fold your towel and then make sure that it is on the table absolutely facing you. Next, place your affected hand on the towel and your unaffected hand right on top of it. Apply pressure to keep your hands together and then use your hands to slide away from the towel from you, towards the center of the table
As your hands start to move forwards, your shoulders will also begin to stretch forwards with the towel reducing the amount of friction faced, permitting your shoulder muscles to strengthen and stretch. If you feel comfortable enough to lean forward with your upper body, doing so to slide the towel even further will get you better results. If you can perform this exercise until your arms are nearly parallel to your body, the extra movement by your arms will allow you to stretch your shoulders at the shoulder level itself, making it easier for you to tap into a greater range of motion.
Behind the Neck Cup Pass:
Sit beside a table and stack up cups right in front of you, on the table. This will not be an easy exercise, and you need to stay in a positive mindset to actually achieve the task you are set to perform. Look forwards to a specific point ahead. To begin, pick up the first cup from the stack. While continuing to look forward, pass the same cup behind your neck, while using your other hand to retrieve it. Then, set it back down with your second hand on the table itself. Continue performing this exercise, until you have managed to pass the entire heap of cups from one of your hands to the next and back on the table.
Arms Exercise (Basic):
Perform simple hand exercises for better recovery after a stroke. For example, perform a couple of these every day to make sure you speed up your treatment and recovery.
- Pick up a soap bar in your affected hand and then place it on the table or desk in front of you. Then, try turning it over and over again more than once.
- Hold the handle of the refrigerator or the washing machine. Try to pull and open the door with your affected or impaired hand and then close it again Repeat this for a few times in a row.
It is important to note that even if you are unable to perform all exercises in the initial stages of stroke recovery, never lose hope. The road to recovery may appear long drawn-out, yet you will emerge successfully if you persist with your exercise regimen with a positive attitude.