Getting Your Life Back After a Stroke

Stroke can strike at any age. But what is stroke? Stroke, also called brain at­tack, occurs when blood flow to the brain is disrupt­ed. Disruption in blood flow is caused when either a blood clot blocks one of the vital blood vessels in the brain (ischemic stroke), or when a blood vessel in the brain bursts, spilling blood into surrounding tissues (hemor­rhagic stroke). Medical illustration of a brain with stroke symptoms

The brain needs a con­stant supply of oxygen and nutrients in order to func­tion. Even a brief interrup­tion in blood supply can cause problems. Brain cells begin to die after just a few minutes without blood or ox­ygen. The area of dead cells in tissues is called an infarct. Because of both the physi­cal and chemical changes that occur in the brain with stroke, damage can continue to occur for several days. This is called a stroke-in-evolution.

A loss of brain function occurs with brain cell death. This may include impaired ability with movement, speech, thinking and memo­ry, bowel and bladder, eating, emotional control, and other vital body functions. Recov­ery from stroke and the spe­cific ability affected depends on the size and location of the stroke.  Therapy after a stroke is critical to a successful recovery.


Getting Your Life Back Af­ter a Stroke

Physical Therapy

Many patients need to retrain their muscles after a stroke. The physical therapy staff at Methodist Therapy begins this process with an evaluation and a personalized treatment plan. Exercises may not only help strengthen and re-educate your weak­ened muscles, but also stretch tight muscles, increase your range of motion, improve balance for sitting, standing and walking, and help you become more mobile.

Occupational Therapy

Occupational therapy of­ten enables patients to relearn many of the skills needed for daily living. If your dominant right hand was damaged by a stroke, for example, you may learn to use your left hand for eating, getting dressing, cook­ing, and performing other daily tasks. Splints and adap­tive equipment may also be recommended.

Speech Therapy

Speech therapy helps many patients improve their spoken and written language skills. You may perform oral-motor exercises to strengthen weak muscles, work on swal­lowing, and make changes in your diet so that you can eat more safely. Some people also need voice therapy to increase vocal loudness.

Getting Started

Methodist Therapy is a service of Methodist Medi­cal Center of Oak Ridge. A doctor’s referral for services is required and most insur­ance, including Medicare, is accepted. For more infor­mation, click here or call (865) 835-3370.

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