Stroke treatment at home is challenging yet empowering because you’re in charge of your success.
Although you might still be going to outpatient therapy, the majority of your results will happen on your time – and it’s up to you to make the most of it.
There are three primary areas that need to be treated during stroke recovery at home: physical, cognitive, and emotional side effects.
Treating the Physical Side Effects of Stroke
The most common physical side effects of stroke include:
- Hemiparesis and hemiplegia – weakness or paralysis on one side of the body
- Foot drop – inability to lift the front of your foot
- Spasticity – stiff, tight muscles
There are two ways to treat these side effects: by treating the symptom or treating the root cause.
As you can guess, treating the root cause is always best. But sometimes you need to fix the symptom before you can move on to anything else.
Treating the Symptom
Here are common ways to treat the symptom of physical stroke side effects:
- Hemiparesis and hemiplegia can be ‘fixed’ with the use of compensation techniques, which are like shortcuts that help you get the job done.
- Foot drop can be compensated with the use of an AFO, which are inserted into your shoe to prop your foot up. Sometimes this can cause learned nonuse, though, a condition where you completely forget how to use neglected muscles.
- Spasticity can sometimes be treated with Botox, which helps loosen your muscles temporarily. Unfortunately, this cannot be done at home and will require regular trips to the clinic.
These are all effective treatments for the physical side effects of stroke, and if they’re recommended to you, then please listen to your doctor.
Also understand, however, that these treatments lead to temporary gains. If you want to regain movement in your body for good, then there’s a better way…
Treating the Root Cause
All physical side effects of stroke are caused by brain-muscle miscommunication.
Because stroke causes brain damage, the damaged parts of the brain can no longer communicate to the rest of your body.
The reason why you might have difficulty with moving your arm isn’t because your arm is damaged; but because your brain is having trouble telling your arm to move.
The way to treat the root cause of physical impairments is to restore your brain-muscle communication through neuroplasticity.
Neuroplasticity to the Rescue!
Neuroplasticity is the mechanism that your brain uses to rewire itself.
After stroke, neuroplasticity is especially important because it allows your brain to rewire itself and dedicate more brain cells to controlling your muscles.
You can activate neuroplaticity through repetition. Each time you repeat something, you create and strengthen neural pathways in your brain.
The more you repeat, the stronger your skills become.
Permanent Treatment for Physical Impairments after Stroke:
In order to rewire your brain and regain movement, you need to repetitively practice rehab exercises.
Exercising your muscles with repetitious movements is the #1 way to treat the physical side effects of stroke at home.
This is how you will activate neuroplasticity and get better at moving.
- Hemiplegia and hemiparesis can both be treated with rehab exercises. The more you move, the more your brain rewires itself, and the better you will get at moving.
- Foot drop can be permanently treated through foot drop exercises that help improve the mobility in your foot.
- Spasticity can be permanently treated through rehab exercises. As you train your brain to move those muscles, the brain-muscle communication will improve and your muscles will learn how to relax.
So if you’re trying to improve your stroke side effects after discharge from the clinic, then find a home therapy program that helps you get your reps in.
Get Your Reps In
Most rehab exercises require you to complete about 30-40 repetitions per session, which is good.
But the more reps you complete, the more results you will see, which is where rehabilitation tools can help you out.
For example, our FitMi home therapy tool can help you achieve at least 12x more repetition than traditional therapy.
It activates neuroplasticity to the max so that you see the fastest results possible.
To learn more, see what our patients are saying about FitMi home therapy.