How to Use Feedback to Recover from Stroke Faster

How to Use Feedback to Recover from Stroke Faster

Today, we’re talking about the importance of feedback…

…and although it’s not the most exciting topic, this stuff is really important for your recovery.

Because without proper feedback, you will seriously slow down your recovery from stroke.

Luckily, the opposite is true.

If you find a way to incorporate feedback into your rehabilitation regimen, then you can really help speed your recovery along.

In this post, you will learn what feedback is and how to incorporate it into your regimen so that you can start seeing better results from your rehab exercises.

Although this topic is simple, do not underestimate the impact that it can have on your recovery.

Feedback Is Critical to Recovery

Feedback is a cue that lets you know if you’ve succeeded or failed.

While no one really wants to be told that they’ve failed – your brain actually loves it.

Your brain is constantly learning and adapting and reshaping itself (through the process of neuroplasticity, which is its own super-important topic).

Your brain essentially molds itself based on the feedback that it gets.

In order to mold your brain faster, it needs to be told when you’re doing something right or wrong, otherwise it can’t learn and rewire itself nearly as well.

And since rewiring your brain is the entire goal of stroke rehabilitation, having proper feedback is important!

What Does Feedback Look Like?

Here’s an example of what good and bad feedback looks like.

Let’s say that Jenny, a stroke survivor, is trying to improve her hand function. To help achieve this goal, Jenny’s therapist gives her a sheet of hand therapy putty exercises to practice at home.

During the exercises, Jenny sees clear visual feedback based on what the putty looks like. If the putty looks like the picture in her exercise guide, then her brain knows she is successful – and her brain starts to mold itself based on that feedback.

The putty is her visual feedback. And with this feedback, her brain starts to rewire itself and her hand function starts to improve!

On the other hand, if jenny was watching television while squishing the putty in her hands without really looking down at what she’s doing, then her brain won’t have the success/failure cues that it needs to learn.

Without feedback, she isn’t rewiring her brain nearly as much as she could be, which slows down her recovery a lot.

So whatever form of therapy you choose – make sure that there’s really good feedback to help speed your recovery along.

Different Kinds of Feedback

There are many different kinds of feedback that you can incorporate into your regimen.

The easiest one to incorporate is visual feedback. Anything that you do that gives you clear, visual signals that you’re successful or unsuccessful is visual feedback.

There’s also auditory feedback, which includes feedback that you hear that let you know when you’re doing something right or wrong. Your therapist at the clinic probably gave you lots of auditory feedback during your sessions.

And lastly, there’s also haptic feedback, which involves stimulation to your sense of touch. Our rehab tool FitMi uses haptic feedback by vibrating each time you perform an exercise correctly.

While visual feedback is the most common form of feedback in stroke rehabilitation, you get the best results when you get multiple forms of feedback at once.

So as you look into new therapy options, look for options that incoporate multiple forms of feedback.

Because the more feedback there is, the faster you will heal.

Summary: Get Good Feedback or Bust

In order to get the best results from your rehabilitation regimen, you need to make sure you’re getting good feedback.

Good feedback involves clear success/failure cues that stimulate your brain and activate neuroplasticity.

And the more types of feedback you incorporate into your therapy, the more fuel your brain has to rewire itself.

So whatever form of therapy you’re doing, make sure that you’re getting good feedback.

It stimulates a better, faster recovery.