A stroke is defined as damage to the brain from interruption of the blood supply. According to WHO, 15 million people suffer strokes worldwide each year. Of those 15 million, 5 million die and another 5 million are left permanently disabled.

The different types of strokes are:

  • Ischemic Stroke: sudden loss of blood circulation to an area of the brain, resulting in a corresponding loss of neurologic function. Accounts for 87% of all strokes
  • Hemorrhagic Stroke: when a weakened blood vessel in your brain ruptures or breaks, spilling into the surrounding tissues. (aneurysm and AVM). Accounts for about 13% of all stroke cases
  • Transient Ischemic Attack: caused by a temporary clot. Often called a mini-stroke. 15% of all strokes are heralded by a TIA.

Some of the risk factors of strokes are:

  • Gender
  • Ethnicity
  • Lifestyle Factors:
    • Smoking
    • Diet
    • Physical inactivity
    • Alcohol abuse
    • Drug Abuse
  • Medications and Medical Conditions
  • Age: 65 & older

Symptoms of a stroke can include:

  • Loss of feeling and movement to one side of the body.
  • Slower processing of information than normal.
  • Loss of vision or awareness on one side of the body.
  • Urinary Incontinence
  • Loss of strength in different areas of the body

What can a Physiotherapist do after a stroke?

  • Task Specific Training: techniques used to help the individual who has had a stroke get back to doing what they love.
  • Working on flexibility, endurance, strength, and cardiovascular fitness to enhance the individual’s ability to function long term.
  • Implementation of pain management techniques.
  • Prescribe equipment and mobility aids to assist in improving function and ability to walk.

If you have any further questions about stroke rehabilitation and how Physiotherapy can help then please call 1300 122 884.

Written by William Brown (Dr. of Physiotherapy)

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