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Why “One More Time” Matters in Stroke Rehab

telerehabilitation for stroke

Recovering from a stroke can seem more like a marathon than a sprint. Recovery is a gradual process that unfolds one repetition at a time. Whether you are involved in traditional or telerehabilitation for stroke recovery, the mantra of “one more time” can be the difference between lifelong dependence and becoming independent again. 

Every attempt made and each movement you make, no matter how small, is a step on the road to recovery. In this article, we will discuss why “one more time” is so important in both traditional and remote stroke rehab and how it can help you or a loved one recover.

This is the final article in a 3-part blog series exploring telerehabilitation for stroke recovery. 

Be sure to check out the entire series to learn more about what telerehabilitation is and how it works: 

The Power of Repetition in Stroke Rehabilitation 

Years of research have shown that one factor repeatedly stands out in stroke recovery: the power of repetition. After a stroke, the brain has the miraculous ability to reorganize itself, thanks to a process called neuroplasticity. High repetitions of task-specific movements fortify this rewiring process and form new neural connections.

By repeatedly practicing specific movements and tasks over and over again, you strengthen the new neural connections being formed in your brain. The more an exercise or activity is repeated, the more it reinforces those new pathways.

For stroke survivors, doing the same rehabilitative exercises and practice activities many, many times is key to rewiring the brain and regaining abilities. The power of repetition harnesses the brain’s neuroplasticity to maximize recovery.

Here’s what the research says about the importance of repetition in stroke recovery.

The Science of Repetition in Stroke Rehabilitation

A notable study published in the American Journal of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation (2018) found a strong positive correlation between the frequency of upper limb exercises and motor recovery in stroke survivors. Another study in the  Journal of NeuroEngineering and Rehabilitation (2019) highlighted the effectiveness of high-intensity, repetitive task training for improving arm function.

The underlying message from this research makes it clear that doing more repetitions helps improve recovery outcomes.

Bringing Research Into Practice 

Meta-analyses and reviews from sources like the Cochrane Library and the European Journal of Physical Rehabilitation Medicine consolidate numerous studies. This research reinforces the importance of repetition, as highlighted in Steve’s story below. The research concludes that high-repetition, task-oriented therapy significantly enhances upper limb motor function.

What does this mean for stroke survivors? It emphasizes the necessity of integrating the affected side into daily activities to create a living rehabilitation environment. 

Research suggests that between 300 and 600 repetitions of challenging functional tasks per day are needed for tangible neuroplasticity. The formula for recovery is clear: Engage in intentional, repetitive movements incessantly.

Everyone has a unique stroke recovery journey. Though each experience is distinct, learning how others overcame their challenges can be inspiring and reassuring. 

Here is Steve’s stroke recovery story through telerehabilitation.

Steve’s Story of Repetition Through Stroke Telerehabilitation 

Real-life examples show the power of repetition and further validate what the research suggests. Take Steve, a stroke survivor who faced the common challenge of learned nonuse. For years, Steve had stopped using his affected hand. He primarily relied on his unaffected side to complete everyday tasks. 

But things changed when Steve decided to start using his affected hand again in daily routines. Steve’s commitment to repetition was anything but easy. 

At first, even holding a water bottle was hard for Steve. Through perseverance and regular, intentional practice, he learned to control his grip and became adept at using his once-dormant hand. 

Today, Steve has not only regained control to open a bottle smoothly but can also sign his name legibly. These were tasks he couldn’t do for 15 years after his stroke! 

This is the kind of progress that comes from doing things “one more time.”

Repetition Through Telerehabilitation for Stroke Recovery

Sometimes it can be difficult for stroke survivors to access rehabilitation services. This may be due to problems with transportation, getting around, or living far away from hospitals and clinics.

With telerehabilitation, patients can meet with a skilled therapist from their homes for assessment and therapy visits through secure videoconferencing platforms. Physical therapy, speech-language pathology, and occupational therapy can all be performed in this virtual format.

Stroke survivors can work on repetition and rebuilding skills affected by their stroke, such as:

  • Motor Skills and Movement: Home-based physical and occupational therapy programs can help stroke survivors regain strength, flexibility, and motor control in their arms and legs. Therapists will guide you remotely through personalized routines that incorporate repetition into exercise and performing activities of daily living.
  • Communication: If you’re struggling with aphasia or other communication disorders after a stroke, telerehab provides access to speech-language pathologists and virtual support technologies that encourage practice and high repetition of communication skills.
  • Cognitive and Speech Rehabilitation: Telerehabilitation for stroke recovery can deliver interventions targeting cognitive impairments like memory loss, problem-solving difficulties, and speech disorders.

Understanding Why “One More Time” Matters in Stroke Recovery

As we have outlined, the evidence is clear that “one more time” matters in stroke recovery. Are you ready to take a step toward empowering yourself with the support, expertise, and technology you need to maximize your recovery?

Stroke rehab shouldn’t feel like an insurmountable hurdle. You will want to work together with your physical and occupational therapist to create a plan that uses repetition as your stepping stone to reclaim independence, one movement at a time.

If you or a loved one seeking to regain movement and function after a stroke, you can explore more about remote rehabilitation with Imago Rehab below. 

Telerehabilitation for Stroke Recovery With Imago Rehab

High-intensity, high-repetition telerehabilitation results in functional changes and marries the convenience of at-home therapy with the cutting-edge technology of telerehabilitation. Every fork, cup, and clothing stitch transforms into a therapeutic tool when your living space becomes a rehab clinic.

The committed therapists at Imago Rehab, take a “life is therapy” stance, teaching stroke survivors to utilize their affected limbs in daily life to achieve practical goals and ensure that every “one more time” leads to improvement. Imago rehab offers remote occupational, physical, or speech therapy to empower patients to use their recovery sessions as a springboard into an active, engaging lifestyle where therapy is seamlessly woven into everyday activities.

Want to learn more about Post-Stroke Remote Rehab with Imago Rehab? Get Started Here.
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Get Inspired with This Stroke Survivor Story

Mom gets better every day!

“When my 84-year-old Mom had a stoke on May 2, the right side of her body was rendered useless. In the past six months, she has been blessed with a supportive medical team, therapy team, and family team that has worked together to gain remarkable results.

While she still struggles with her right side, she can walk (with assistance) and is beginning to get her right arm and hand more functional. We invested in the FitMi + MusicGlove + Tablet bundle for her at the beginning of August.

She lights up when we bring it out and enjoys using it for about 20 to 30 minutes at a time. While she still doesn’t have enough strength to perform some of the exercises, she rocks the ones she can do! Thanks for creating such powerful tools to help those of us caring for stroke patients. What you do really matters!”

-David H.

FitMi is a neurorehab device that you can use from the comfort of home. It works by motivating you to accomplish high repetition of therapeutic exercises.

As you work through the program, you’ll unlock more difficult exercises when you’re ready. It’s like having a virtual therapist available anytime you need it.

See how quickly Sudhir was able to notice improvements:

Saw results within a few days

“I bought FitMi about a month and a half ago. Quite impressed with the range of exercises for hand, arm, leg and foot. I suffered a stroke about 2 years ago which paralyzed my right side. I do walk now with a cane or walker, but my right hand curls up and my right arm is also weak. Within a few days of trying it out, I could note a distinct improvement in stamina before tiring. So, I am looking forward to continued improvement.”

-Sudhir

Not only is FitMi approved by survivors, but it’s also approved by therapists, too. FitMi is used in some of the top clinics in the world, including the Shirley Ryan Ability Lab, the #1 ranked rehab hospital in America. Plus, two PTs on YouTube with over 3 million subscribers (you may know them as Bob & Brad) gave FitMi the thumbs up, too.

To learn more about this motion-sensing, game-changing recovery tool, click the button below: