Stroke therapy is the collective term used to describe a number of different therapeutic treatments that are employed when recovering from a stroke. As with all types of rehabilitation, the therapy seeks to help the stroke victim recover as much of his or her former mobility and ability to speak as possible, while also equipping the patient to effectively deal with any lingering effects that appear to be permanent. Depending on the severity of the stroke and the after effects that are present, the therapy may be short term or last for an extended period of time.
One of the more common stroke symptoms that must be addressed through stroke therapy is the impairment of the ability to speak. Because the stroke may negatively impact the muscles of the neck and face that come into play in the process of enunciation, the speech of a stroke victim may be slurred. Speech therapy can help to compensate for part of this issue by helping the victim learn how to retrain the muscles to produce the desired sounds. Therapy of this type can often take several months or longer.
Stroke rehabilitation may also involve the use of physical therapy aimed at recovering the use of an arm or leg. This type of stroke therapy can be grueling and requires close supervision by a trained therapist. Often, the therapy begins in the hospital before the patient is released, continues at a rehabilitation facility, and is augmented with exercises that the patient does at home in between sessions.
Stroke therapy also addresses other aspects of the stroke victim’s life as well. Therapists help patients learn how to deal with everyday issues such as personal hygiene and eating. In the event that the ability of the individual to function in his or her profession is impaired, occupational therapy helps to recover at least a portion of those lost skills, making it possible for the stroke victim to seek gainful employment.
At times, stroke therapy also includes ongoing psychological care. Therapy of this type can help the patient deal with the emotional trauma that came along with the stroke, as well as come to terms with the aftermath of the episode. Counseling is often extremely important if the stroke victim is depressed after the stroke and experiences feelings of worthlessness or being a burden to loved ones. With the right psychological care, the stroke victim can come to see he or she still has much to offer and is in fact valued by loved ones.