Use physical therapy to recover from a stroke by talking to your doctor, working with a physical therapist and practicing your muscle movements and motions as often and repetitively as possible.
First method: Using Physical Therapy While in the Hospital
1. Talk to your doctor. Your healthcare provider will probably recommend occupational therapy (learning to feed yourself, get dressed, etc.) as well as physical therapy for your mobility.
2. Start moving as soon as you are directed to. Most hospitals begin to rehabilitate stroke patients as soon as they recover from the stroke.
Change positions frequently in your hospital bed. Sit up if you are able to. This will help to remind your weakened muscles how to move.
Work with a therapist on passive movements. The therapist will move your limbs repeatedly if you are paralyzed and not able to move them yourself.
3. Discuss any disabilities with your doctors and medical staff. Strokes can cause disabilities such as paralysis, sensory problems, trouble speaking, trouble with thinking or memory and emotional trauma.
4. Talk to your health insurance company about your benefits. Medicare usually pays for physical therapy after a stroke, and most insurance plans will over some coverage.
Find out what costs you will be responsible for before beginning physical therapy. Budget the best you can for your treatment.
Second Method: Using Physical Therapy After Discharge
1. Meet with your physical therapist to discuss goals and treatments. You may continue working with the therapist you had in the hospital.
Look for a therapist who specializes in stroke rehabilitation if you are discharged without a referral or plans to continue seeing the same physical therapist.
Evaluate the problems the stroke has caused for your muscles and movement.
2. Follow the exercise program created by your physical therapist. The program will be designed specifically for you to address your challenges and areas of weakness.
Perform the required movements with assistance if necessary. Depending on the damage caused by the stroke, you might need help doing some of the exercises. Use your physical therapist and any other supports that are available to help you increase your strength and ability.
3. Involve your family and close friends. Physical therapists like to meet with family members who will be supporting you during your recovery.
Allow your family and friends to be educated on what you will need as you recover. The people closest to you will need to know your limitations, and your physical therapist can help explain them.
4. Develop a regular schedule of physical therapy. Continued therapy is the best way to fully recover from a stroke.
Meet regularly with your physical therapist. Continue to challenge yourself with new movements and exercises.
Practice your therapy at home as well. Your physical therapist will give you exercises to do on your own between sessions.
For similar articles, read Physiotherapy.