Stroke Rehabilitation Service
What is stroke?
Cerebral Vascular Accident (Stroke) is the brain damage caused by reduced blood supply to brain cells. There are two main types of stroke: ischemic (70-80%), due to blockages of arteries in brain, and hemorrhagic (20-30%), due to ruptures of arteries.
Why physiotherapy is important for stroke rehabilitation?
Our brain has the ability to heal itself through neuroplasticity. The feature of neuroplasticity allows the brain cells to rearrange neural connections via training and stimulation. Physiotherapy can boost the process of neuroplasticity, guide stroke patients to regain muscle control and walking ability via motor relearning, thus improving patients’ independence in daily living.
Neurological rehabilitation in physiotherapy
A wide range of treatment techniques and approaches are utilized in neurological rehabilitation by physiotherapists, e.g.
Gait analysis and training
Many stroke patients may develop hemiplegic gait (circumduction gait, Trendelenburg gait, ataxic gait etc.) as a compensatory gait pattern due to poor control of lower limbs and muscle spasticity.
Physiotherapists provide gait re-education to correct their hemiplegic gait, using:
-Weight bearing training
-Part-practice of components of gait
-Stairs training, etc.
Functional Electrical stimulation
In conjunction with motor training, functional Electrical stimulation can be used to deliver electrical shock to the affected muscles, activating the motor nerves and facilitating muscles to move. The result is improved motor control and muscle movement.
Different treatment approaches from different philosophical backgrounds are used by physiotherapists to promote motor control in stroke patients, such as:
Passive stretching, vibration, brushing etc. to reduce muscle tone and spasticity
Proprioceptive Neuromuscular Facilitation (PNF) to improve motor control by a combination of stretching, resistance, traction, approximation and audiovisual cues