The Benefits of Rehabilitation After Stroke

Stroke is a leading cause of death and disability in the United States. This is because both types of stroke damage the brain in key ways.

Two Types of Stroke

  • Ischemic stroke: a blood clot cuts off the flow of oxygenated blood to the brain, causing damage to the brain because it’s deprived of oxygen. 
  • Hemorrhagic stroke: A blood vessel in the brain bursts, causing damage to brain cells as the excess blood in the brain puts pressure on those cells.

Post-Stroke Rehabilitation

Each year, more than 795,000 Americans experience a stroke, and the vast majority require post-stroke rehabilitation to regain abilities and optimal health.

“Most stroke patients require some level of rehabilitation,” says Dr. Sujani Bandela, a neurologist at University Health. “Some require outpatient therapies, and some require inpatient or extended rehabilitation. Inpatient is the highest level of care, including at least three daily hours of therapies for five to seven days a week.”

Benefits of Rehabilitation after a Stroke

Following a stroke, every patient’s experience is unique. Because of this, rehabilitation is personalized, including activities and therapies that are well-suited for the person’s abilities and needs. This can include multiple types of rehabilitation, with each geared toward improving abilities of a specific type.

“We have a number of different therapies available post-stroke, including physical, occupational and speech therapies,” Bandela says. “Physical and occupational therapies work on mobility and strength exercises. They can be very helpful with the healing process and preventing further stroke-related complications.”

While the physical signs of a stroke are often most visible, other health issues after a stroke may be just as challenging. Speech therapy can be particularly helpful.

“Speech therapy can be helpful for patients with the inability to say words or comprehend a conversation,” Bandela says. “This type of therapy not only helps with speech comprehension, sound production, fluency, and expressing words, but it also helps with swallowing difficulties, which are one of the more common causes of stroke disability.”

Regardless of the type of rehabilitation required, patients who participate in post-stroke rehab benefit in tangible ways. Rehabilitation can help them regain abilities and achieve a better quality of life.

“Rehabilitation post-stroke helps greatly in recovery,” Bandela says. “Patients who have any sort of rehabilitation do better in terms of lesser disability than the ones who do not receive any therapies.”

Stroke Rehabilitation at University Health

Learn more about stroke care and rehabilitation at University Health in San Antonio. We provide inpatient and outpatient stroke rehab, including facial nerve therapy and speech therapy. As a certified comprehensive stroke center, we are able to provide the best stroke care, from intake through rehabilitation.

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