Stroke motor therapy
A stroke can be a life-changing event and may cause significant difficulties in performing everyday tasks and movements. Stroke motor therapy can help you at every stage of your recovery journey.
Stroke motor therapy, also referred to as stroke motor rehabilitation, is an approach to stroke recovery that focuses on the recovery of muscle function and movement.
It involves assessment, input, treatment and therapy from a physiotherapist and an occupational therapist, who work closely with one another to ensure your benefit from the therapy is maximised.
At Circle, your therapy will involve a number of different aspects, including exercise, specific movements and the use of specialist equipment and technologies.
A stroke happens when blood is cut off to part of your brain. Depending on the area(s) of your brain affected, you may experience weakness or a loss of sensation in parts of your body, often a shoulder, arm or leg.
Muscle weakness: You may experience a significant weakness or numbness in the muscles on one side of your body (hemiparesis), reducing your ability to move safely and efficiently.
Contraction/spasm of muscles: As well as causing muscle weakness, a stroke can also cause your muscles to contract or go into spasm for long periods of time. When this occurs, it is referred to as muscle tightness or muscle spasticity. If these contractions occur in the muscles of your leg, it can significantly affect your ability to move.
Acquired ataxia: Used to describe a collection of disorders that affect balance, speech and co-ordination, symptoms can develop after a stroke.
The aim of stroke motor therapy is to strengthen your muscles and to retrain your brain (neuroplasticity) through a series of different exercises, so that you can move safely again and regain as much independence as possible.
Your stroke motor therapy at Circle will be overseen by our physiotherapist and occupational therapist. After assessing the extent of any loss of function, a comprehensive rehabilitation exercise programme will be created, tailored specifically for you. Everybody recovers from a stroke in a different way, and our approach is mindful of the need to provide tailored care.
Physiotherapy: our Circle physiotherapy team will help you to maintain function in your body through the use of treatments such as exercise, deep massage and therapeutic machines. Experts in the function and movement of the body, they will help ensure your muscles are exercised, even where you have little to no feeling in them.
Muscles that are not exercised can end up permanently shortening, a real risk for a stroke patient suffering loss of sensation or functional movement.
Occupational therapy: our occupational therapist will help you as you adapt to any loss of mobility, showing you how to learn and develop new skills in order to carry out everyday tasks and activities.
Some of the technology and equipment that may be used by our physiotherapist or occupational therapist include:
Treadmills: Being able to gradually build up your capacity to walk again is a big achievement towards regaining independence following a stroke. As well as traditional treadmills, we are also able to offer:
- AlterG anti-gravity treadmill: driven by technology from NASA, this can help to shorten recovery time, improve mobility and reduce injury.
- Hydro Physio: this is a walk-in unit with an integrated treadmill which can be filled with water from calf- to shoulder-height. The buoyancy of the water helps to cushion weak muscles and reduce the load on painful or weak joints. If you are unsteady on your feet, this is a safe way for you to regain muscle strength in your legs and to gain confidence in standing and moving again.
Gym equipment: From free weights to exercise bikes, we have a range of functional equipment that can help you with your stroke motor therapy.
Mind Motion: Combining neuroscience and technology, this state-of-the-art equipment can help with both upper and lower limb rehabilitation.
Functional Electrical Stimulation (FES): This advanced technology can be beneficial for upper limb and shoulder rehabilitation. It applies a small electrical charge to muscles that have become weakened or paralysed due to a stroke. This electrical charge stimulates the muscle, leading to movement.
Every person is different, and part of the challenge in providing effective stroke motor therapy is to tailor it to the individual. At Circle Rehabilitation we have a multi-disciplinary team of experienced healthcare experts who specialise in helping people recovering from a stroke.
The aim of stroke motor therapy is to help you get better and able to live life as fully and independently as possible. As an inpatient with us you will receive three hours of personal therapy a day as standard.
We review your progress with you and with each other regularly to ensure your treatment is helping you.