3 Tips For Regaining Mobility After A Stroke

The mental and physical consequences of a stroke can range from problems with basic functioning to limited mobility, and everything in between. If you have physical limitations after a stroke, being proactive about your recovery can give you the best chance at adapting to changes and/or possibly recovering some functions.

Address Depression

When a stroke leaves you with changes in your mobility or other aspects of your life, depression is a common occurrence. It is imperative to speak with a mental health professional about changes in your mood. Addressing any new or changing concerns with your mood can minimize the chance of depression spiraling into helplessness and hopelessness. Both feelings can make you less proactive in your rehabilitation and prevent recovery.

Speaking with a therapist and taking medications, if needed, can make keeping a positive attitude and staying hopeful easier. Support groups for stroke patients can give you an opportunity to talk about your concerns with others who have similar experiences.

Seek Outpatient Rehabilitation

Many people have some form of rehabilitation in the acute phase after a stroke, but if you are released from the hospital to your home, instead of a rehabilitation center, it is imperative to follow up with outpatient physical therapy services. If you are severely limited in your mobility and do not have adequate transportation, many rehabilitation services can come to your home for treatments.

Whenever possible, try to go to your physical therapy appointments, even if it means you need specialized transportation services. It can be mentally beneficial to go outside and travel to your appointments if you are newly confined to the house. An added benefit of traveling to physical therapy instead of doing it at home is you can participate in a wider range of activities since there are different types of equipment, such as the option for aquatic therapy.

Continue At Home

Even if you have physical therapy one or more days each week, there are usually ways you can make progress at home. If you have someone available to help, just passive movement of paralyzed limbs can keep joints from becoming stiff and minimize muscle wasting in those areas. Furthermore, passive movements can encourage the nerves to regenerate. Although the nervous system has a limited capacity to regenerate, sometimes damaged nerves can slowly heal. Usually paralysis after a stroke occurs on one side of the body. In addition to using the unaffected side of your body to perform tasks, use that side to help move the affected side. You might take your unaffected hand and bend the wrist and fingers on your affected side to keep your fingers limber.

Although there is no way to predict the long-term ramifications of a stroke, being as engaged as possible can give you a chance at improved mobility.