A simple guide to arm recovery after stroke.
If you’d like to regain movement in your arm after stroke the most efficient way possible, then you need to understand the root cause of the problem and the best treatments to try. It’s really quite simple, so let’s get to it.
The Root Cause of Arm Impairments After Stroke
In order to understand how arm recovery after stroke works, you need to first understand why your arm won’t move like you want it to. This goes all the way back to the basics of understanding what a stroke is.
A stroke occurs when the supply of blood to the brain is compromised, causing damage to certain areas of the brain. When the part of the brain that controls arm movement is damaged, it impairs your ability to move your arm.
This means that the problem is not in your arm. Rather, the problem is in your brain’s inability to communicate with your arm. And if you can restore your brain-muscle communication, then you can restore your arm movement.
Now, how exactly can you do that?
The Best Treatment for Arm Recovery After Stroke
The best way to restore your brain-muscle communication and regain arm movement after stroke is with arm exercises.
But not just any exercises. They have to be repetitive.
Repetition helps activate neuroplasticity, the mechanism that your brain uses to rewire itself. When neuroplasticity is activated, new neural connections start to form in your brain.
The more you repeat your arm exercises, the stronger these new pathways become. As these pathways become stronger and stronger, your brain and arm start to communicate again.
Eventually, these connections will become strong enough that when your brain says “move” your arm will hear the command and move the way you want it to!
This is why we stress the importance of repetition so much. It’s the #1 thing that will help improve movement in your body after stroke.
Other Treatment Options for Arm Recovery
Repetitive practice is the core principle behind effective movement recovery after stroke, and there are many ways to apply it to your rehabilitation. Let’s discuss three of them.
First, there’s a therapy known as Constraint Induced Movement Therapy (CIMT) where your ‘good’ arm is restrained and your affected arm is forced to be used. This can be very difficult, but it’s also very effective.
Mirror therapy involve placing a tabletop mirror over your affected arm so that you create the illusion of having two unaffected arms. Although you know that it’s just a reflection, your brain actually thinks that you’re moving your affected arm! This activates neuroplasticity and helps improve movement.
FitMi Helps You Improve Arm Movement Faster
The third treatment option that we’d like to share is our very own rehabilitation device called FitMi, an interactive home therapy tool that helps you achieve a high number of repetitions of full-body movements, including arm exercises.
FitMi is especially helpful during stroke recovery because it helps you achieve at least 12 times more repetition than traditional therapy, which helps you activate neuroplasticity to the max and see faster results.
Some of our patients have seen improvement in as little as 3 days, which shows just how important high repetition is during recovery.
If you’d like to learn more and see what other users have to say about FitMi, please click here.