What is a stroke?
A Stroke can happen to anyone at any time in their life. Stroke occurs when the blood flow to an area of the brain is cut off and the brain cells are deprived of oxygen. The long-term side effects that a stroke causes will depend on the area of the brain that is affected. Common symptoms include memory loss, reduced muscle control and paralysis. It is possible to totally recover from a stroke, but a large number of survivors will suffer from some type of disability.
There are two main types of stroke, with different causes, and these will affect the brain in different ways.
- Ischaemic Stroke
- Haemorrhagic Stroke
An ischaemic stroke cuts off the blood supply to your brain due to a blood clot or lump of fat. Your brain will be starved of oxygen and nutrients, which damages the brain cells. This is the most common type of stroke and the sooner you receive treatment, the less damage will occur.
If you have an Ischaemic Stroke, it will be caused by Arterial Thrombosis or Cerebral Embolism. Arterial Thrombosis is when a blood clots occurs in an artery which directly supplies blood to the brain, blocking your blood supply. A Cerebral Embolism will occur when the blood clot forms elsewhere in the body and travels to your brain, blocking the blood supply.
You are at higher risk of having an Ischaemic Stroke if you smoke, drink alcohol excessively, have high blood pressure or high cholesterol levels, and if you are obese.
A Haemorrhagic stroke will occur when a blood vessel bursts and haemorrhages into your brain, blocking the oxygen supply, thus damaging the brain.
There are two main causes of Haemorrhagic stroke: Intracerebral haemorrhage and subarachnoid haemorrhage. Intracerebral haemorrhage is caused by bleeding from a blood vessel inside your brain, while Subarachnoid haemorrhage is caused by bleeding from a blood vessel on the surface of your brain.
You at higher risk of having Haemorrhagic stroke if you have high blood pressure, as this can weaken the arteries, causing them to rupture. High blood pressure is caused by being overweight, drinking too much alcohol, smoking and stress.
Rehabilitation following a stroke can require a multi-disciplinary team and will often begin in the hospital and continue for months, and sometimes years after the initial stroke. Physiotherapy is an essential part of stroke recovery, as weakness, muscle spasms, balance problems, joint pain and paralysis can be common for survivors.
Physiotherapy will define specific goals and outcomes, aimed at keeping you moving and encouraging functional movement and relearning normal patterns of movement.
At Flex Health, our team of experienced neurological rehabilitators will be able to do a comprehensive assessment of your needs. This will result in a set of patient specific goals and outcomes which we will then work on with you in regular appointments. We aim to treat you consistently, with regular contact hours so that you are able to get the most out of your stroke rehabilitation.
Depending on your injury, our aim will be to encourage functional movements, and relearning normal patterns of movement, while also promoting a good level of health and fitness. We will work closely with you, your family and your carers to ensure that you are moving as much as possible when at home to continue to stimulate the muscles and in order to avoid being sedentary, which can be counterproductive for recovery. Our team will be able to advise on equipment and support you may need when at home to ensure you able to move around safely.
Our aim is to support you as you return to optimum function. After a stroke, you may feel as though your quality of life isn’t as good as it was. At Flex Health, our team want to make sure you are independent, healthy and happy. Being able to move and carry out functional tasks will have a huge impact on this.
What will my treatment involve?
Your treatment will involve a combination of manual therapy such as massage and physical therapy. This could mean using some of our equipment or practising functional movements.
What equipment will I be using?
At our facility, you will have access to the latest rehabilitation technology. This includes:
FES cycle •
Anti-gravity treadmill •
Vertimax machine •
Exercise-assisted hoist •
Do I need a referral?
At Flex Health, we will take referrals from doctors and self-referrals, so if you are interested in finding out more about how we might be able to support you then please call us on 01482 966066.