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Massed Practice: Why High Repetition Is Excellent for Stroke Recovery

how massed practice helps with stroke recovery

Massed practice is extremely important during stroke recovery.

In fact, we consider massed practice the #1 stroke recovery treatment.

Because when the brain becomes damaged by stroke, massed practice helps the brain rewire itself and heal from the damage from stroke.

To understand how to use massed practice to recover from stroke, read on!

We’ll share specific examples of massed practice and explain how many repetitions you need to recover as quickly as possible.

Let’s dive in.

Why Massed Practice Is the Best Remedy during Stroke Rehabilitation

After stroke, a chunk of the brain becomes damaged, and those brain cells are unable to carry out their normal functions.

This creates stroke side effects like hemiplegia, paralysis on the affected side, for example.

In order to heal from this damage, the surrounding areas of the brain need to rewire themselves to pick up the slack.

This is possible through neuroplasticity after stroke.

massed practice helps rewire the brain through repetition and exercise

Neuroplasticity is the mechanism that your brain uses to rewire itself and form new neural connections.

Each time you practice something, you strengthen those neural pathway. The more you practice, the stronger those skills become.

“Neurons that fire together, wire together.” –Donald Hebb, neuropsychologist

That’s how massed practice helps recovery after stroke.

How Repetitive Action Helps Rewire and Heal the Brain After Stroke

Looking at habits can help illustrate the importance of massed practice during stroke rehabilitation.

A habit is something that you do with little effort because you’ve done it hundreds of times before.

Your repetitive action created very strong pathways in the brain for that specific habit, which is why habits become “mindless.”

In contrast to this, a stroke can cause a patient to exert more effort to perform the basic activities of daily living, like getting dressed.

That’s because the stroke damaged the previously well-reinforced neural pathways that once controlled those skills.

Luckily, the brain can rewire itself to rebuild those neural pathways again.

Which Stroke Side Effects Can Be Healed Through Massed Practice?

Most stroke side effects can be treated through massed practice.

By practicing the skills that you need to rebuild, you can recover from stroke.

Here are some examples of stroke side effects that you can treat through repetition:

repetition of exercise helps stroke rehabilitation

Impaired movement can be treated through massed practice of stroke exercises.

The more repetitions you perform during physical therapy, the more your brain rewires itself.

As a result, mobility improves.

massed practice improves stroke

Impaired speech (a condition known as aphasia) can be treated through massed practice of speech therapy exercises.

The more you practice, the more control you will regain over your speech.

massed practice of exercise after stroke

Impaired senses (like difficulty feeling hot/cold) can be treated through massed practice of sensory reeducation exercises.

Essentially, by practicing feeling different textures and temperatures, you’ll get better at feeling.

This is how massed practice can help you recover form almost every stroke side effect!

How Much Repetition Do You Need to Recover from Stroke?

So, massed practice helps reverse stroke side effects. But how much repetition is enough?

Let’s look at the studies.

In animal studies on neuroplasticity after stroke, it was shown that 400-600 repetitions per day of challenging functional tasks can lead to changes in the brain.

However, most therapies for upper arm and hand rehabilitation only require about 40-60 repetitions per session.

That’s far below what the brain needs, which can explain why stroke patients hit a plateau about 3 months after stroke.

So, dozens of repetitions is good, but hundreds of repetitions is best.

That’s the beauty of high-tech rehab devices, like Flint Rehab’s FitMi home therapy. It helps you accomplish 400 or more repetitions per session.

This massed practice helps you rewire the brain faster and reverse the effects of stroke.

Recover from Stroke with Massed Practice

And there you have it!

One of the best methods for stroke recovery is massed practice.

Repetition helps activate neuroplasticity and rewire the brain to compensate for the damage from stroke.

The more you practice, the stronger your skills will become!

Keep It Going: Download Our Stroke Recovery Ebook for Free

Get our free stroke recovery ebook called 15 Tips that Every Stroke Survivor Should Know by signing up below!

You’ll also receive our weekly Monday newsletter that contains 5 articles on stroke recovery.

We will never sell your email address, and we never spam. That we promise.

Take the Quiz: Which Flint Rehab Tools Can Help Your Recovery?

We’ll ask you 2-3 questions about your unique goals and conditions. It’ll take less than a minute. Click the button below to take the quiz on Typeform

See how Steve is recovering from post-stroke paralysis

“My husband had a massive stroke in Feb 2018. He was released from the hospital in April 2018, however after he left the hospital he was unable to get therapy for over a year.

In August 2019 we purchased the FitMi, because his right side is paralyzed quite often he must use both hands and feet to do the suggested exercises… and the most amazing thing is… He IS making progress.

The doctors are astonished because he is now able to move his his right leg, foot and toes. As well as his arm and wrist. His wrist had spasticity. Very bad but the program is truly helpful.

I am so happy with this purchase. It’s working! Still a long way to go but Steve is making improvements!”

FitMi is our best-selling home therapy tool because it helps patients see REAL results, just like Steve.

To see how FitMi works, click here »

More Ways to Recover with Flint Rehab:

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