Walking After a Stroke

Walking After a Stroke

Walking After a Stroke

Regaining movement following a stroke is typically one of the most significant and important obstacles that patients face during rehabilitation. The autonomy that comes from being able to walk on one’s own not only results in an improvement in one’s quality of life. It also boosts the odds of the body recovering in a wider variety of ways.

 

Hemiplegia, as well as other common neurological disruptions that occur after a stroke. Hemiplegia can also occur in conjunction with other common neurological disruptions that occur after a stroke.

As a result of this, many survivors will need the assistance of a loved one, a carer, or the appropriate tools and support systems. Their help is crucial to make it through the period of time until these imbalances have been adjusted.

 

When it comes to encouraging the reintegration of mobility into day-to-day life, there are many activities, medical treatments, and even surgical procedures that can be utilized. This is especially true when various aspects of recuperation are taken into consideration.

Post-Stroke Walking Impairments

A survivor’s ability to walk can be impacted in many different ways by a stroke, including the following:

 

  • Loss of equilibrium: Those recovering from a stroke frequently deal with decreased equilibrium. This makes it dangerous for them to walk without the assistance of a caregiver or gadget.
  • Alterations in gait: Changes in gait can occur due to the weakening of several of the lower extremities as well as disruptions in the neurological system. These can contribute to the different imbalances that can arise in joints and muscle strength.
  • Loss of spatial awareness: Stroke victims frequently suffer from decreased depth perception. It is essential that they steer clear of areas that contain stairs that are poorly lighted, small objects, or any other potential trip hazards.
  • Muscle fatigue: The consequences of the stroke, as well as the process of transitioning into rehabilitation, can cause muscles to grow progressively weaker over time. As a result, the process of getting back to walking after a stroke normally will be a gradual one.
  • Coordination problems: As the body re-learns how to communicate more effectively with itself, it is common for messages to become jumbled while traveling from the brain to the affected body part. This can result in coordination problems.

Leg and Toe Recovery After a Stroke

Walking after a Stroke

It is heartening to be aware that a variety of information and rehabilitation technology concentrates specifically on the lower extremities.

Canes, walkers, and support braces are all wonderful aids that can be utilized during the recovery process. The rehabilitation procedure can be completed very quickly. These are the many different types of therapy available to strengthen the legs.

The Role of Toes

The question now is, what about the toes? They may be an indicator of how the health of the rest of the leg is progressing. This is despite the fact that they are frequently the first part of the leg to be ignored when rehabilitation first begins. However, the rehabilitation of these areas will significantly help walking and the overall moving process.

 

For instance, one of the most prevalent problems connected with foot drop is the loss of dorsiflexion. It refers to the inability to point the front of the foot upwards or bend it higher. Because the toes and foot are unable to receive messages from the brain when a person has this particular impairment, the foot is unable to move normally. The foot will also continue to drag on the ground even when the person is walking.

Toe Impairments Caused by Stroke Include:

Claw Toe

Sometimes the four small toes will take on a curled appearance, either bending upward at the proximal joint or knuckling downward toward the sole of the foot in the middle joint. This can be caused by a condition known as hammertoe.

This results in the four smaller toes appearing more like claws. In turn, it causes pain in the foot. Because of their design, the knuckles are susceptible to developing corns or calluses when they rub against neighboring socks or shoes.

The use of physical therapy techniques to re-extend the toes has several benefits. This includes the reduction of foot pain and pressure and an improvement in the likelihood of greater mobility.

Hammer Toe

Hammer’s toe differs from claw toe in that it only affects the middle joint of the toe, while claw toe affects all three joints of the toe. Hammer’s toe is characterized by a steep curve in the middle joint, which prevents the toe from straightening out.

The capacity to move the affected toe while it is in the hammer-like position is one factor that determines whether or not a person has a flexible or rigid hammer toe. It is possible that tendon surgery will be necessary once the joint has become rigid in order to liberate the toe from its grasp on its position.

Having a flexible hammer toe, on the other hand, is a sign that the condition is still in its early stages and has a better prognosis for recovery.

Surgery Treatment Options

Walking after a Stroke

In circumstances in which orthotics, physical therapy, and stretching exercises are ineffective, medical professionals may advise patients to undergo surgical procedures such as nerve sutures, tendon transfer, grafting, or decompression.

 

Tenotomy is an example of a type of surgery that could be advised for those who have severe spasticity.

This strategy entails cutting the tendon that is being impacted in order to extend it, which both reduces the amount of discomfort experienced and makes it possible to move more freely.

When other treatments, such as physical therapy and stretching exercises, have been unsuccessful in treating club toes, surgery is frequently the next line of defense.

 

One variation of this surgery is minimally invasive, requiring only a small incision and a miniature camera to complete the procedure.

The damaged neurological region can also be rehabilitated with the use of tendon transfer. It serves as an additional alternative for surgical treatment. This treatment involves relocating the posterior tibial tendon.

Rehab

Regaining one’s independence after suffering a stroke is a process that is never complete and calls for tenacity and patience. When devising a plan for the rehabilitation of an individual, it is common practice to find the greatest level of success when incorporating the performance of these exercises alongside other forms of treatment.

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Rehabilitation for Arthritis

Rehabilitation for Arthritis

Rehabilitation For Arthritis

Welcome to the Topic “Rehabilitation for arthritis”

 

Arthritis is also known as a rheumatic disease. These diseases are inflammatory, which means that they cause an individual’s immune system to inflict pain on the joints, bones, muscles, and organs. Arthritis is characterized by pain, swelling, and issues with moving freely and easily. 

 

Contrary to popular belief, arthritis is not only a disease that occurs in old age. A specific type of arthritis known as osteoarthritis is the most common among the aged. However, arthritis is merely an umbrella term used to refer to hundreds of its varieties, so the disease can affect individuals of any age. The condition is chronic and long-lasting. People diagnosed with arthritis may not recover from it throughout their lives, but it progresses at an extremely slow pace. 

 

The cause of the disease cannot be attributed to age, as both young people and old can be affected by the disease. Research shows no attributable reason for the illness, so rehabilitation for arthritis patients does not differ significantly. However, the programs may still be designed per the patient’s needs, the severity, and the type of arthritis. 

 

One crucial part of rehabilitation for arthritis patients is the cooperation and contribution from the family members, particularly for the older patients. The disease is a slow, progressive one, so the goal of the treatments is not to eliminate the pain, which is impossible, but rather to return the patient closest to their previous level of functioning. This means that rehabilitation will involve physical exercise, mental wellness, and emotional healing. 

Physiotherapy

Physiotherapy or physical therapy is a crucial part of rehabilitation for arthritis. The physiotherapist team will involve physical therapists with the certifications and clinical experience to help patients improve their movements and physical functioning. For arthritis, physical therapists may aim to improve the patient’s mobility, restoring the strength in their affected joints, maintaining muscle mass, and helping them perform daily activities. 

 

For starters, physiotherapy for arthritis may require a personalized plan for the patient, depending on their condition, their age, and the level of retraining or assistance they need. Physical therapists will then teach the patients the proper techniques for basic movements, such as sitting, posture, walking, and balancing. These techniques will be conducted in ways to minimize pain and improve functioning. 

 

Alternatively, if the arthritis is too severe, the patient may require other treatment options, such as braces to support joints. Be it braces, ergonomic chairs, or some other modifications, it is the responsibility of the physiotherapist to recommend accurate options and devices to ease the patient’s pain and aid their functioning.

Occupational rehabilitation

Rehabilitation For Arthritis

An occupational therapist for arthritis rehabilitation will aim to improve the patient’s abilities to partake in regular activities and improve the quality of their life. The job of an occupational therapist seems similar to that of a physiotherapist. While the goal is the same – to make life easier for the patient despite their condition – the methods are different. 

 

People with arthritis struggle with more than simple muscle and joint pain that affect their ability to perform tasks such as walking – these areas will be covered with physiotherapy. However, more micro-level tasks such as undoing the buttons on one’s shirt may also be something arthritis patients struggle with. These day-to-day tasks will be the focus of occupational therapy for the rehabilitation of arthritis patients. 

 

Occupational therapy aims to improve self-management, independence, and the patient’s confidence in their ability to perform seemingly simple tasks perfectly. Furthermore, as mentioned earlier, some patients may require additional devices or aids. Adjusting to these new devices and items may not be easy to get used to. Patients need to learn the basics of these devices, how to use them, and what makes them effective. The occupational therapist will target all these areas.  

Psychological rehabilitation

No matter the disease or medical condition, the side effects of the medicine or knowledge of the diagnosis often result in increased anxiety regarding one’s illness or a depressive outlook on life. Depending on the severity of the disease, the patient can begin struggling mentally as well as physically. Similarly, depending on the type and prognosis of arthritis, anxiety and depression may be common conditions among patients. 

 

Mental instability lowers an individual’s pain threshold, while chronic pain like arthritis increases the chances of anxiety and depression. Often, it feels like an endless cycle of despair, hopelessness, and stress. This cycle can aggravate the symptoms and make it more challenging for the rehabilitation to effectively aid the patient. The patient’s healing process may also be negatively affected by the diagnosis. 

 

Because depression further adds to the patient’s pain, it is essential to make psychological treatment a part of the patient’s rehabilitation. Group therapy, personal counseling, and a focus on mental wellness are crucial. Patients need to learn how to deal with their new condition and come to terms with their diagnosis; accepting their diagnosis is a necessary first step to healing. Without acceptance and understanding, the patient may not even be motivated to participate in their own rehabilitation actively.

Manual treatments

One of the techniques used for arthritis rehabilitation is Manual Therapeutic Technique; according to this technique, a certified massage therapist may administer a soft tissue massage and stretching to improve the mobility of the patient’s limbs. Alternatively, therapeutic exercises such as flexibility and strengthening may also be considered; these aim to reduce the stress in the limbs, so the patient struggles with less pain. Lastly, Neuromuscular re-education refers to the process of retraining movement techniques to regain stability and balance prior to diagnosis.

Family education

Rehabilitation For Arthritis

Family and caregivers are essential to rehabilitation for arthritis patients, particularly the elderly. Equipping them with the knowledge and skills needed for arthritis patients in their life is highly vital. A patient with severe arthritis will likely require constant watch and care, even after the occupational therapy ends. The family members or caregivers responsible for the patient must know what treatments the patient is undergoing and what extra help they require to make life easier for the patient. 

 

Have any questions regarding the topic Rehabilitation for arthritis  feel free to comment below.

Also Read:  Sciatica rehabilitation

 

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Sciatica rehabilitation

Sciatica rehabilitation

Sciatica Rehabilitation

Welcome to the Topic “Sciatica rehabilitation”

 

Sciatica is a medical condition relating to the sciatic nerve branching from your lower back. The sciatic nerves branch throughout the lower half on both sides of your body. Therefore this medical condition only affects one side of your body. 

 

The onset of sciatica occurs when the sciatic nerve is compressed, consequently causing inflammation, intense pain, and numbness in the affected side of the body. Sciatica can be quite a painful condition, and most patients struggle severely. However, rest assured; most patients quickly heal within a few weeks.

What to know before rehabilitation

As mentioned earlier, sciatica cases are usually severe, but it is possible to treat them entirely in the span of a few weeks. The good thing about rehabilitation for sciatica is that treatment options are almost exclusively nonoperative. This means that the recovery path is generally focused on more natural treatments rather than surgeries.

 

That said, treatment may be necessary for specific situations. For instance, sometimes sciatica is not caused by any regular source, such as overworking oneself. In cases where the pain is caused by accident or injury, and it is basically impossible to perform essential functions such as walking or controlling your bladder, the condition may be severe enough to be operated on. Most of the time, specific treatments and rehabilitation therapies are more than enough to get the sciatica patient back on their feet. 

 

Discussing the condition’s level with your health professional is crucial. Depending on the cause of sciatica, the treatment is likely to differ significantly. Sciatica caused by accidents is more of a concern and will likely involve operations. The patient must consult the details of the procedure with the professional at length, its pros and cons, its necessity, and what the process will involve. 

Physical rehabilitation

Sciatica Rehabilitation

Considering the fact that pain caused by sciatica mainly results in physical issues, such as free and easy movement, it is not surprising that physical rehabilitation is the top priority for sciatica patients. Physiotherapy comprises the essential part of rehabilitation for sciatica patients with the goal of relieving them of their pain and preventing further symptoms. The main symptoms of this condition include pain across the body and even numbness in the lower part of the body; exercise, therefore, becomes a crucial part of treatment for sciatica. 

 

 

Physiotherapists may focus on a variety of exercises that aim to lessen the patients’ pain and condition their muscles to withstand the condition. Extension and back exercises aim to relieve that pain by focusing on the movement of the spine. Additionally, the physiotherapist may facilitate the patient with strengthening exercises and joint mobilization to help them keep the lower part of the body active. While some doctors prescribe bed rest, it is best to counter this condition with activity and exercise. Exercising and moving according to the physiotherapist’s directions is the best path to recovery from sciatica.

 

 

One area where patients may struggle is with walking. For this, the physiotherapist may focus on gait and balance training. Once the muscles are strong enough to support the patient’s weight efficiently, the physiotherapist may help the patient train and relearn previous patterns for movement and walking.  

Dry needling

One therapy that is increasingly gaining more traction among health professionals is dry needling. Dry needling is a technique in which a small needle is used to pinpoint the area in a muscle that promotes movement. This technique is particularly beneficial if the patient is struggling with contracted muscles. Targeting the trigger point helps the muscle release the tension, and it ultimately reduces the pain. It must be noted that this form of therapy must be carried out by a certified health professional to ensure accurate needling and minimal side effects. 

Chiropractic therapy

Sometimes, the symptoms of sciatica may prevail, and the patient may have difficulty moving on their own for fear of pain. In such cases, the patient may require intensive care. A chiropractor may be involved in the recovery process. Chiropractic therapy involves manually manipulating the patients’ limbs to improve their spine’s alignment. 

 

Chiropractic therapy is beneficial if the sciatica is not a result of injury or accident but instead caused by a herniated disc. It improves muscle strength, flexibility, and the range of the patient’s movements – all these are areas where a sciatica patient typically struggles. This therapy aims to prime a patient’s body to work at the best of its ability.

Occupational therapy

Sciatica Rehabilitation

Considering the repercussions of sciatica, it is not surprising that patients with sciatica struggle so much with daily activities. Even though the pain may be quite severe, it is recommended that the patient does not confine themselves to the bed for their recovery. Laying around all day will simply aggravate the symptoms because the body is not receiving the exercise and movement it desperately needs to keep the joints in working condition. 

 

 

That said, it is also essential to keep in mind that despite the direction to continue daily activities and exercise as is, patients with sciatica will struggle more than other people to carry out these simple tasks. Therefore, they will likely require an occupational therapist to help them with their daily tasks and guide them to move accurately so as not to aggravate their symptoms and cause further pain. An occupational therapist may teach the patient specific techniques to move safely and helpful sleeping and resting postures to ease their pain. 

Massage therapy

Because sciatica is mainly a physical condition, massages are reasonably helpful in easing the patients’ pain. Massages are relaxing enough as is, but certain types of massages may be used for sciatica patients to relieve their pain and bring movement back into their numb limbs. Massages will facilitate blood circulation, leading to a higher healing rate within the body – this acts as a natural pain reliever. Furthermore, sciatica is also characterized by tightness and soreness in the muscles, for which massages will be ideal. Certified massage therapists should be involved in the process to ensure the patient’s highest level of care and safety. 

 

Have any questions regarding the topic “Sciatica rehabilitation” feel free to comment below.

Also Read: Rehabilitation for epilepsy

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Rehabilitation for epilepsy

Rehabilitation for epilepsy

Rehabilitation For Epilepsy

Welcome to the Topic “Rehabilitation for epilepsy ”

 

Epilepsy is a brain disorder that results in multiple seizures. Due to the sudden change in the electrical impulses within the brain, the affected person may experience a sudden behavior change. Typically, these electrical impulses follow a specific pattern that helps the brain function and relay communication throughout the rest of the body. However, with the onset of epilepsy, these electrical impulses lose their mark and become imbalanced. 

 

Even the slightest change in the pattern of electrical impulses can significantly affect the body. In epilepsy, these electrical impulses become imbalanced enough to cause recurring seizures. The sudden bursts of electrical impulses may result in the affected person struggling with their consciousness and having difficulty performing basic movements.

 

Simple seizures are a more common medical condition, but experiencing one seizure throughout your entire life is not enough evidence to be diagnosed with epilepsy. An individual is generally diagnosed after undergoing at least two seizures that cannot be attributed to some other cause, such as low blood sugar. 

 

Physiotherapy

Repeated seizures cause great exertion, so learning to control seizures is crucial for patients with epilepsy. While the primary goal of physiotherapy may be to aid the patient in managing their attacks, the physiotherapist may also consider some other areas. For one thing, physiotherapy may not only be used for attempting to control seizures but also for non-seizure-related behaviors. Physical health comprises a vital part of an individual’s mental health, and ensuring the patient receives that physical stimulation is an integral part of their rehabilitation. 

 

 

Physical exercises may be prescribed to limit the movements within a seizure but also to improve mental health. People with epilepsy may also struggle psychologically since the chemistry of their brain is basically altered, and they have to adjust their life to this diagnosis. Therefore, the rehabilitation team should incorporate physical exercise and training programs to keep their patients active and energetic throughout their prognosis.

Vagus nerve stimulation

Rehabilitation For Epilepsy

Vagus nerve stimulation is one of the most common procedures used for epilepsy. A small device is attached to the patient’s chest and connects to a wire inserted under the skin. The device connects with the vagus nerve, which sends electrical impulses to the nerve. 

 

 

It is a common misconception that this procedure is a cure for epilepsy. However, that is not the case in reality. Vagus nerve stimulation aims to lessen the severity and frequency of the seizure rather than attempting to eliminate them, which is impossible. Patients may use the device for ten years with minimal side effects besides sore throat and coughing.

Deep brain stimulation

Another popular procedure for epilepsy is deep brain stimulation. Similar to VNS, an electrical device is used. However, this particular device is placed in the chest and connects its wires directly to the brain. Electrical impulses are sent to the brain through these wires in an attempt to lessen the frequency and severity of the seizures. It must be noted that this procedure is relatively new for the rehabilitation of epilepsy and must be used with caution; however, health professionals may recommend this procedure for the sake of trying and further research, ensure that they explain the process in full detail and make the patient aware of the benefits and risk associated with this procedure. 

Responsive neurostimulation

Responsive neurostimulation is a technique that is being increasingly used for the rehabilitation of epilepsy patients. Similar to the two previous procedures described, responsive neurostimulation also uses a device similar to a pacemaker. This device analyzes brain activity and the frequency and patterns of the electrical charges. If the device detects a severe change that indicates an oncoming seizure, it automatically delivers an electrical charge or prescribed medicine to eliminate the threat of the attack. This procedure is widely used to decrease the frequency of seizures; however, it is always good practice to consult the doctor at length and consider all details and factors before agreeing to the procedure. 

Ketogenic diet

Rehabilitation For Epilepsy

Epilepsy does not only occur in adults. For children, rehabilitation may include changes in diets. A ketogenic diet is one that comprises more fats rather than carbohydrates and protein. For children with epilepsy, such a diet is said to help reduce the frequency of seizures. That said, such a diet may not be feasible for adults with epilepsy, as it may lead to severe medical conditions such as diabetes. For this part of the rehabilitation, a dietician may need to work in conjunction with the epilepsy specialist to ensure that such a diet will provide beneficial results for the child.

Occupational therapy

Severe changes in the electrical impulses within the brain can severely damage it, and besides the seizures, there are several other symptoms a patient may face. Some patients may need to alter their behaviors to incorporate their diagnosis and treatments into their lifestyle. Such a change is not easy to deal with on their own, so it is essential that they receive professional care while adjusting back into their life or learn strategies that will make their life easier. 

 

Epilepsy is a long-lasting, life-altering disease, but if the patients are well-adjusted to their diagnosis and new life, they are mostly able to live reasonably normal lives. An occupational therapist may aid in performing essential functions such as driving, jobs, going to school, and other activities or tasks that require coordination and control over one’s movements.

Vocational therapy

Contrary to popular belief, being diagnosed with epilepsy does not mean you must completely change your lifestyle. It is often possible to control these seizures and receive treatments that reduce the frequency. Therefore, most patients are likely to stay at their current jobs or even prefer to take a different job. Depending on the job, patients with epilepsy may also require vocational rehabilitation, so they know what changes they need to make on the job and how they can inform their authorities. Vocational rehabilitation will involve finding the right job, adjusting work-life routine to account for the diagnosis and learning strategies that will aid the patient in their career.

 

Have any questions regarding the topic “Rehabilitation for epilepsy “ feel free to comment below.

Also Read: Rehabilitation for Alzheimer’s

 

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Rehabilitation for Alzheimer’s

Rehabilitation for Alzheimer’s

Rehabilitation for Alzheimer's

Welcome to the Topic “Rehabilitation for Alzheimer’s”

 

Alzheimer’s disease is a type of dementia that is well-known but often mistaken for dementia itself. While dementia is an umbrella term for any condition that damages an individual’s ability to remember, think and behave, Alzheimer’s disease is a bit more specific. Patients of Alzheimer’s disease do not only struggle with memory loss and higher executive functions but may also have difficulty in essential functions such as speech, balance, disorientation, and performing specific familiar tasks. 

 

As a progressive disease, the symptoms may appear gradually in the affected individual rather than all at once. It is usually diagnosed at an older age; over time, the degenerative effects worsen and cause a slow decline in one’s mental capacity and quality of life. However, the possibility of a younger onset also exists.

Choosing treatments for rehabilitation

If Alzheimer’s disease is diagnosed at the right time, it can slow the disease’s course. There is no cure for it, as the condition results from the death of brain cells. However, given that the disease was detected at a suitable time, rehabilitation teams can work to improve whatever remains of the patient’s life and slow the progression of the disease. 

 

Medical professionals use some common rehabilitation treatments for such patients, but the program will have to be based on the patient’s individual diagnosis and information. The treatments chosen may be catered to the patient’s age, general physical health, medical history, the severity of Alzheimer’s disease, incorporation of rehabilitation into their lifestyle, and personal preference or caregivers’ concerns. All these aspects will be factored into the types of treatments a patient with Alzheimer’s disease may receive and what their rehabilitation will comprise.

Psychological treatments

Rehabilitation for Alzheimer's

One of the main concerns regarding patients with Alzheimer’s disease is their behavioral and mental changes. As their brain cells are rapidly dying, they may experience extreme changes in their thinking and mood. On top of that, the knowledge of such a diagnosis takes a toll on an individual’s mental health, even if the disease itself has not progressed enough to be mentally damaging. Another reason for these changes in the patient’s mental health may be a negative response or side effect of the medication course they may need to partake in for rehabilitation. 

 

People with Alzheimer’s typically struggle with depression, anxiety, insomnia, irritability, and volatile moods. Hence, it is crucial to aid and facilitate these patients by helping them identify their damaging behaviors and thoughts and work with them to overcome this difficult part of their life. 

Occupational therapy

A disease that causes memory loss alters the patient’s life forever. If a person is independent prior to their onset and diagnosis, they may require extra help and care to adjust to their life. Their life before the diagnosis likely needed a higher level of physical and mental functioning. Therefore, it is vital to help them figure out strategies and techniques that will help them adjust to their current condition but will not alter their life too drastically. This is where occupational therapists come in. 

 

Depending on the age they are diagnosed and the onset of the disease, some patients may require extra help to remember how to perform even the most basic functions. The occupational therapist may introduce practical strategies such as creating new routines, writing down everything, and using specific equipment. Memory impacts all areas of a person’s life, so an occupational therapist helps the patient redefine all their systems to live independently.

Physiotherapy

Physical activity and exercise are widely known to reduce the severity of the mental decline. Research shows that incorporating physical activity into rehabilitation for Alzheimer’s patients can help to slow the eventual progression of the disease. Furthermore, at a later stage, patients with Alzheimer’s may even have trouble walking. Alzheimer’s patients are also prone to walking in their sleep, and learning how to prevent falling through physiotherapy may also be a crucial skill for them. These facts highlight the importance of physiotherapy within the rehabilitation program for Alzheimer’s patients. 

 

Some ways to incorporate physical activity include at-home exercise, supervised training, and group activities. These would differ depending on the patient’s condition, age, and ability. For instance, an elderly patient may require supervised training, while a physically strong patient may be prescribed at-home exercise. Besides helping with slowing the progression of the disease, physical activity can also aid in bettering one’s mental health and may be used in conjunction with psychological rehabilitation as well. 

Caregiver education

Rehabilitation for Alzheimer's

Although Alzheimer’s can also be diagnosed in younger individuals, it is primarily a disease that affects the elderly. Most elderly individuals are under supervision or additional care at that stage. Alternatively, family members might be keeping a watchful eye on them. Due to this responsibility, they are likely interested in learning how to take care of their new patient. Even if they were seemingly looking after the patient just fine before onset, they need to be more informed and careful after the diagnosis. 

 

Caregivers may be interested in helping with occupational therapy, as assisting the patient in with daily life functions is where they will be most needed. In addition, patients with Alzheimer’s disease will likely be taking additional medication, so it is the responsibility of the caregiver to administer the correct doses at the right time. Besides that, caregivers must also know what activities to refrain from and what to be mindful of regarding the patient.

Group therapy

Regardless of the pathology, group therapy is almost always a welcome addition to rehabilitation. When an individual is diagnosed, dealing with their pathology feels like an incredibly personal and lonely process. However, group therapy helps them realize that there are others like them who they can turn to for comfort and care. Although caregivers are readily available for these issues, people struggling with Alzheimer’s may find that they cannot share all their worries with them, as able caregivers will simply not be able to empathize with them. In contrast, joining group sessions with other patients will likely give Alzheimer’s disease patients a sense of belonging, community, and friendship with people like themselves.

 

Have any questions regarding the topic “Rehabilitation for Alzheimer’s” feel free to comment below.

Also Read: Stroke rehabilitation

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Stroke rehabilitation

Stroke rehabilitation

Stroke Rehabilitation

Welcome to the Topic “Stroke rehabilitation ”

 

Strokes are very common medical issues, but few are aware of the exact symptoms, causes, or treatments. Strokes are basically attacks on your brain that may be caused due to a ruptured artery or a blocked artery within your body. Essentially, the blood supply meant to reach the specific part of the brain does not, leading that part to be damaged or, in more extreme cases, die. The consequences of a stroke are relatively severe and last throughout the patient’s life, making it a painful condition. 

 

The brain is responsible for movements, memories, motor coordination, higher executive function, and controlling any communication between itself and the body. Therefore, any part of the brain being damaged also damages the body’s functions. Depending on the part that is damaged or dead, patients may experience several of the following common symptoms: 

  • Perception difficulties 
  • Confusion 
  • Difficulty seeing 
  • Severe headaches 
  • Difficulty in walking, talking, or moving as usual 
  • Slurred or grossly disorganized speech and movements

What to know before rehabilitation

Any of these symptoms may occur immediately as the patient suffers the onset and well after the stroke has passed. There are several treatments and strategies for rehabilitation for stroke patients. However, for the most part, strokes prove to inflict long-lasting and irreversible damage on the patients. Rehabilitation for stroke patients begins immediately during the stroke, and the medical team may administer intensive care for the first few days. Afterward, rehabilitation teams may focus on easing the patients back into their lives and helping them adjust to their new condition seamlessly.

 

There is no time limit on recovery from a stroke; while some may recover within weeks, others may take months or may never fully recover. The path to recovery may differ for all stroke patients, so it is essential to be mindful of the patient’s prognosis when detailing rehabilitation treatments and therapies. Depending on the type of stroke and the recovery time, rehabilitation could look very different for the patients. 

Physiotherapy

Stroke Rehabilitation

Physiotherapy is one of the essential parts of recovery treatments after a stroke. It is generally recommended that patients complete at least an hour of physiotherapy every day after their stroke – provided they are strong enough. However, most of the time, doctors may have higher expectations from patients who actually require more assistance than they first thought. Physiotherapy will tackle the patient’s issues with balance and stability, along with strength and flexibility training. 

 

The stroke may have caused damage to neural connections, and to rebuild those connections, it is crucial to go back to step one and learn the most basic of functions, such as walking, standing, and moving your limbs at will with precision. Furthermore, stroke survivors may also have to deal with paralysis; most of the time, one side of the body is affected. Another part of physiotherapy is learning how to move and go about life even without using those paralyzed limbs. 

Occupational therapy

Occupational therapy in stroke rehabilitation will aid the patients in learning the skills needed to adjust to their new life and relearn some aspects they no longer remember. The most important task of an occupational therapist is to aid survivors in managing personal tasks independently; these include but are not limited to bathing, washing, feeding, using the bathroom, and everyday tasks. Further down the recovery path, occupational therapists may aid the patient in performing more complex tasks such as relearning to drive, cleaning their room, or preparing basic meals. All these tasks require perfect motor coordination, and the therapist is responsible for ensuring that the patient regains that coordination, strength, and balance to perform daily life functions. 

Speech therapy

As mentioned in the list of symptoms, stroke patients may also suffer from disorganized speech and difficulty in articulating. Stroke patients may also have trouble understanding other people. Here, speech therapists will be essential to their rehabilitation and recovery. Such issues with speech may also be categorized under “aphasia,” which speech therapists are equipped to treat. They may begin the treatment of the patient with the most foundational knowledge of pronunciation and phonics. Being patient with stroke survivors is essential because they will have varying times and levels of success. Eventually, stroke survivors may be able to regain their previous abilities to communicate through speech therapy.

Psychological rehabilitation

Stroke Rehabilitation

Strokes can cause irreparable damage to the brain, and besides affecting the rest of the body, they mainly impact the higher executive functions of the affected individual. How a person forms thoughts, strings together concepts, plans, and organizes are all functions that are affected by the onset of the stroke. Rehabilitation must therefore include psychological counseling and treatment as well. Psychological rehabilitation may involve facilitating the patients dealing with depression and anxiety. Both these mental states will affect how the patient responds to the rest of the treatments. It is crucial to ensure that the patient is mentally healthy and motivated enough to handle the recovery process.

 

Electromechanical assisted training

With the constant improvements in technology, it is not surprising that robots are being used for the rehabilitation of patients with various medical conditions and diseases. Similarly, electromechanically assisted or robotic gait training is used for stroke patients to aid their overground gait. These devices are much more effective for both the patients and the therapist due to their automated nature. However, more research needs to be done, and the devices need to be more reasonably priced and readily available to benefit the medical industry as a whole. 

Cardiorespiratory training

Because the stroke results from a lack of oxygen for the brain, stroke survivors may require cardiorespiratory training following the attack. A stroke significantly damages the blood circulation and fluid levels throughout an individual’s body, so it is crucial to help the patient return to their previous blood circulation levels. This particular treatment involves a host of exercise programs, including overground walking, treadmill training, virtual reality training, and much more. The goal is to regulate blood flow and oxygen throughout the body and regain the blood flow and fluid levels prior to the stroke.

 

Have any questions regarding the topic “Stroke rehabilitation” feel free to comment below.

Also Read: Ataxia rehabilitation

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Types Of Spinal Cord Injuries

Types Of Spinal Cord Injuries

Spinal cord injuries are commonly seen in traumatic incidents such as gunshot, motor vehicle accidents, falls, etc. These injuries can result in various symptoms ranging from sensory symptoms such as pain, numbness, tingling, etc., to motor control deficits such as paralysis.

To understand the specific types of spinal cord injuries, you should first know the structure and function of the spinal cord.

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Spinal Cord – What is it?

The spinal cord is a structure made up of neurons (cells) that connects your brain to the rest of your body. It lies within the center of your body and is present inside your spinal column (vertebral column).

It is the continuation of your brain and starts from the point where the brain ends (beneath the skull). It then runs down in your spinal column and transmits signals from the brain to the rest of your body.

So if you want to move your hand to pick up a glass, your brain will generate a motor signal that would travel down the spinal cord and ultimately reach your muscles via nerves originating from your spinal cord.

Not only this, but the spinal cord also serves the function of carrying sensory signals to your brain. You can feel pain only when this sensation is conveyed to the brain via sensory nerves to the spinal cord to your brain.

This helps to understand that signal transmission is affected if the spinal cord is damaged, resulting in several sensory and motor symptoms.

Types of Spinal Cord Injuries

There are two types of spinal cord injuries which are as follows.

  • Complete Spinal Cord Injuries   

As the name indicates, this type of spinal cord injury results in complete damage to the spinal cord at the affected level. Transmission of signals (sensory and motor) between the brain and body parts below the involved level is interrupted.

Both sensory and motor deficits are seen below the affected level. The higher the injury level, the more significant is the damage to the body. The symptoms depend upon the level at which the spinal cord is injured.

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  • Incomplete Spinal Cord Injuries

In this type of spinal cord injury, the damage to the spinal cord is not complete, and some part of the spinal cord at the affected level is spared. Transmission of signals (motor and sensory) is affected but not completely interrupted.

 

As the injury is incomplete, the symptoms vary from person to person. The symptoms that a person may experience depend upon the part of the spinal cord that is injured. If the motor area of the spinal cord is damaged, the affected individual may feel weakness or paralysis of muscles.

Spinal Cord Injury Levels

The symptoms that result from spinal cord injury depend on the type of spinal cord injury and the level at which the spinal cord is injured.

There are three levels at which the spinal cord can be injured.

  1. Cervical Level
  2. Thoracic Level
  3. Lumbar Level

Let’s have a look at each level one by one.

Cervical Level

If the spinal cord is injured at the cervical level, the communication between the brain and the rest of the body (below the neck) is interrupted. This can result in tetraplegia. Complete spinal cord injury at the cervical level affects all four limbs, and there is complete paralysis of the arms and legs.

This occurs because the brain and limb muscles’ pathway is completely damaged, and the brain cannot control these muscles, leading to muscle paralysis.

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Sensory loss is also present in the whole body except the face and neck. The persons having this type of spinal cord injury have no control over their urination and defecation. Affected individuals are wheelchair users and cannot walk on their own. They also need assistance in daily activities because they cannot move their arms.

Thoracic Level

If the spinal cord is completely injured at the thoracic level, it paralyzes lower limbs (legs). When the spinal cord is damaged at the thoracic (upper back) level, the pathway between the brain and the lower limb is interrupted, and the brain cannot send signals to the lower limbs (legs).

An individual with spinal cord injury at the thoracic level cannot move their legs because the motor signals generated in the brain cannot be conveyed to the muscles in the legs as the spinal cord is completely damaged.

Sensory disturbances are also seen in the legs. The affected individual may or may not have control over his urination and defecation.

Lumbar Level

Complete spinal cord injury at the lumbar level leads to significant weakness in lower limbs but not complete paralysis. This happens because some of the nerves that control lower limb muscles are spared. Sensory deficits are primarily present at the back of thighs and legs.

The affected individual may or may not have control over urination or defecation. The affected individual can ambulate using braces/orthotics. The symptoms of spinal cord injury at this level vary from person to person.

Hemiplegia – Can it result from Spinal Cord injury?

Hemiplegia is a term used for paralysis of half of the body that commonly involves the ipsilateral arm and leg. The term “hemiparesis” is used if there is the only weakness of one side of your body (not paralysis). This is mainly seen in incomplete spinal cord injury.

This can result when only one-half of the spinal cord is affected at the cervical level. This type of injury causes sensory and motor disturbances only at one side of the body. The other half of the body usually functions because one-half of the spinal cord is not affected in this type of spinal cord injury.

The ability to move the affected body side is not entirely lost because the spinal cord injury is not completed. The ability to feel sensations such as hot, cold, pain is affected on one side of the body, and this is because the sensory signals are not transmitted to the brain.

The affected individual is not completely paralyzed, and they can ambulate with some strength and balance deficits. As the spinal cord injury is incomplete, the symptoms of this type vary from person to person.

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Importance of movement big or small: How activity keeps people healthy

Importance of movement big or small: How activity keeps people healthy

Importance of movement

Movement is essential no matter how big or small it is. We keep hearing this line from people, but most of us do not know WHY this is important.

Let’s have a closer look at this WHY.

Though our bodies are very much different from cars, let’s assume for some time that they are like cars. What happens to a vehicle if you do not drive it for a while? What happens if it remains in a place and does not move for a certain period? You know the answer. The same thing happens to our body if we do not move regularly like:

  • Our body tends to stiffen.
  • We start feeling pain and aches in different parts of our bodies.
  • We get prone to many diseases.
  • We might feel weak. 

And the list goes on.

Movement affects our body as a whole. It generates signals in our muscles and bones. These signals are then transferred to our brain. Movement helps in building strength and keeping our body fit. It keeps our body flexible, and at ease.

Besides improving strength and flexibility, moving our body has several other beneficial effects.  These effects are unknown to most people.

Movement and Joints’ Health

Did you know that the large joints in our body have a covering around it known as the capsule? This capsule contains a fluid called synovial fluid. Synovial fluid acts as a nourishing agent for our joints.

Our movement enhances the function of this fluid. It helps in reducing friction on articular cartilage.

The movement also increases blood circulation. Thus, exposing this synovial fluid to a constant blood supply and nourishment. A healthy synovial membrane protects our bones from friction which in turn protects our joints.

Movement and Blood Circulation

We all know that blood circulates in our bodies. Our heart pumps blood to all parts of our body via arteries which then goes to the heart via veins. These veins in our legs are present between muscles. When the muscles contract, it has a squeezing effect on the veins that push the blood towards the heart. Owing to this effect, some people experience swelling in their legs if they sit for a long time.

Movement and Blood Pressure & Cholesterol

High blood pressure and cholesterol levels can increase the risk of heart stroke. Movement, however, can help in lowering blood pressure and blood cholesterol levels.  Carrying out small exercises helps us to keep these diseases under control.

Movement and Blood Glucose

Here’s another reason for which you might want to exercise: your blood sugar level. Most of us are unaware of the fact that high sugar levels can have harmful effects on our eyes, kidneys, nerves, etc.

Movement helps us to lower elevated levels of blood glucose and keeps you healthy.

There are several other benefits of movement so you can’t list them all here. All we need to do is to focus on the significant outcomes of moving to keep ourselves motivated. If you have not been moving or exercising for the past few days, months, or years, it’s time to do it now because

IT’S NEVER TOO LATE TO START

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Multiple Sclerosis – What to Eat & What to Avoid

Multiple Sclerosis – What to Eat & What to Avoid

We all know that managing multiple sclerosis is not an easy task. Everything from medications, performing exercises, and maintaining positive mental health becomes essential. However, while balancing physical activities, we often overlook the most important thing—our diet. 

Diet has a vital role in treating multiple sclerosis, which is why you must know what you should eat and what needs to be avoided. To understand the importance of diet in multiple sclerosis, you should first understand what happens in your body if you have multiple sclerosis.

What happens in Multiple Sclerosis?

Our body’s immune system is designed to fight the harmful organisms that attack our bodies, such as viruses, bacteria, etc. However, in Multiple Sclerosis, the body’s immune system mistakenly attacks its own body, especially the widely distributed nerves in your body.

This attack by your body’s immune system damages the covering of the nerves, i.e., Myelin, and the function of these nerves is disrupted.

These nerves are responsible for many functions such as movement, vision, balance, etc., and when the nerve gets damaged, its function is affected. As the name (Multiple Sclerosis) indicates, this damage occurs at multiple sites in your body; hence different symptoms are seen, such as muscle weakness, loss of balance, visual problems, etc.

The connection between Diet and Multiple Sclerosis

As mentioned above, multiple sclerosis occurs when your body’s immune system mistakenly attacks the outer covering of your nerves, i.eMyelin, a diet that affects your immune system, also affects the progression of this disease.

  • Some diets support and protect your nerves (or nervous system), and they can help minimize the relapsing episodes.
  • Some vitamin deficiencies can weaken your nervous system, and they can indirectly worsen your symptoms.
  • A healthy diet improves the overall well-being, and hence the ability to fight several diseases together with multiple sclerosis is increased.
  • Some bacteria are naturally present in your gut, and they play a beneficial role in your body in several ways. Both healthy and unhealthy diets have effects on these bacteria.

As diet is closely linked with multiple sclerosis episodes and symptoms, one must be very careful in choosing his/her diet if one has multiple sclerosis.

Foods you should eat.

Now, when you understand the importance of diet in multiple sclerosis, let’s have a look at the foods you should eat.

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Probiotics and Prebiotics

As mentioned earlier, there are some beneficial bacteria present in your gut. These bacteria are responsible for breaking up food and nutrients, and they also help in the digestion process.

Probiotics are foods that contain these beneficial bacteria. Eating these foods increases the number of these beneficial bacteria in your body. These foods include

  • Yogurt
  • Kefir
  • Sauerkraut
  • Fermented tea

A diet that promotes the growth of such beneficial bacteria in your gut is known as the probiotic diet. This type of diet mainly contains fiber. These foods include:

  • Garlic
  • Leeks
  • Onions
  • Asparagus
  • Artichokes

Fiber

The fiber in your diet helps nourish your gut bacteria, manages your blood cholesterol levels, and reduces the risks of obesity. Recommended foods for fiber are as follows.

  • Vegetables
  • Legumes (e.g. Lentils)
  • Nuts
  • Seeds
  • Brown Rice
  • Whole grains

Vitamin D

Vitamin D is essential for improving bone health in multiple sclerosis patients. Vitamin D can be achieved by appropriate exposure to sunlight, but certain foods can also help gain it.

  • Fortified Dairy Products
  • Yogurt
  • Orange Juice
  • Egg Yolks

Vitamin B

Vitamin B or biotin has a vital role in minimizing the episodes of relapsing multiple sclerosis, and one can gain it by following foods.

  • Eggs
  • Yeast
  • Sunflower seeds
  • Almonds
  • Spinach
  • Whole-wheat bread

Others

Other important components of a beneficial diet for multiple sclerosis patients include fruits, vegetables, herbs, polyunsaturated fatty acids, antioxidants, etc.

Foods you should avoid

Just like some foods protect and support your nervous system, some foods have a terrible effect on your already compromised nervous system in multiple sclerosis patients.

Besides this, some foods are not suitable for your muscles and bone health, and as they are already weakened in multiple sclerosis, you should avoid these foods.

Let’s have a look at the foods you need to avoid if you have multiple sclerosis.

Saturated Fats

Unlike polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA’s), foods containing saturated fats are not suitable for health, especially for those already fighting neurological diseases such as multiple sclerosis. Foods with a high amount of saturated fats are as follows.

  • Butter
  • Cheese
  • Palm and coconut oil
  • Red meat, etc.

Sodium

A high amount of sodium in the body can result in elevated blood pressure (hypertension), and hypertension can increase heart disease and stroke risks.

A study done in 2015 showed that people with multiple sclerosis who have high sodium levels in their bodies are more prone to experience relapsing symptoms of this disease. [1]

Foods containing high levels of sodium are as follows.

  • Salted or canned meat
  • Fish
  • Chicken
  • Sausages
  • Canned entrees
  • Beets

Sugary Foods

Just like a high amount of salt is not suitable for your body, foods containing a high amount of sugar also negatively affect your well-being.

A high amount of sugar or glucose in your body can affect the nerves in your body (neuropathy) and decrease their function. As nerves are already damaged in multiple sclerosis, a high amount of sugar in the body can be damaging to your health.

Foods containing a high amount of sugar are as follows.

  • Ketchup
  • Yogurt
  • Chocolate
  • Cola
  • Fruit Juice
  • BBQ sauce

Fried Foods

Foods fried in a high amount of oil can also be damaging to the health of multiple sclerosis patients. In addition, when a person has a neurological disease and their body is busy fighting that condition, chances of getting affected by other diseases are also increased.

Oily and fried foods increase the amount of bad cholesterol in the body. This increased cholesterol can result in several heart diseases. It can also result in stroke if the blood supply of your brain is interrupted or blocked.

Most commonly used fried foods include fish, fries, chicken strips, and cheese sticks, but a person can deep fry any food.

Final Words

If you have multiple sclerosis, you should eat foods beneficial for your nervous and musculoskeletal (muscles and bones) system and avoid foods that can increase the risks of other diseases.

REFERENCES

1. Riccio, P. and R. Rossano, Nutrition facts in multiple sclerosis. ASN neuro, 2015. 7(1): p. 1759091414568185.

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What Is Footdrop And How You Can Treat It.

What Is Footdrop And How You Can Treat It.

Foot drop is a common word used in healthcare settings. But do you know what foot drop is?

Foot drop is a condition in which the foot is hanging downwards, and the person is unable to bring their foot up. It is not a disease itself but a consequence of an abnormality in the brain, spinal cord, nerves, or muscles.

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Two major movements that occur at your ankle joint are Dorsiflexion (when you bring your dorsum (uppar facing part of foot) of the foot towards your shin) and Plantarflexion (when you move your plantar surface (sole)  towards the ground).

In foot drop, the foot is constantly in plantarflexion and the person is unable to perform dorsiflexion movement

What Causes Foot Drop?

To understand the cause of foot drop, you must understand how movement occurs in your body. Muscles are responsible for moving our bodies. A network of wires (known as nerves) supplies messages to these muscles. These nerves originate from the spinal cord (in your spine). The major control center is your brain (in your skull).

So if you want to move the dorsum of your foot towards the shin, your brain generates a message that travels down to the nerve (common peroneal nerve) which is then supplied to the dorsiflexor muscles via the spinal cord.

When this nerve stimulates the dorsiflexor muscles present in your leg, your foot moves towards your shin (Dorsiflexion).

If you know how you are able to move your foot normally, you’ll also understand that any condition that affects your brain, spinal cord, nerve (common peroneal nerve), muscles (dorsiflexor) can cause foot drop.

Following are the major causes of foot drop.

  • Trauma to the common peroneal nerve (fracture of fibula, knee or hip replacement surgeries)
  • Conditions affecting brain and nerves (Stroke, Multiple Sclerosis)
  • Conditions affecting muscles (dystrophies)

Foot Drop and Gait

Foot drop can result in alteration of gait pattern of individuals. A person may lift his foot high in the air by bending their hip and strike their foot on the ground with a high force (Stepagge gait pattern).

Another commonly seen strategy is that the person swings their leg from the side to avoid dragging the foot while walking. This gait is known as the circumduction gait pattern.

Treatment Options

Treatment of drop foot depends upon the cause. If the major cause of foot drop is compression on the common peroneal nerve, it can resolve on its own when the compression is relieved. On the other hand, if this condition results from a complete tear of the common peroneal nerve or irreversible damage to the brain or spinal cord, foot drop persists and makes walking difficult.

Minor cases of foot drop (with the capability to resolve) can get better with physiotherapy, focusing on dorsiflexor muscles’ training and electrical muscle stimulation.

Surgical options include repair of the common peroneal nerve and tendon transfer of Tibialis posterior to substitute the action of Tibialis anterior.

The most commonly used option for managing foot drop is Orthosis or Bracing.

The orthosis or brace holds the foot in a neutral position. During walking, when a person’s foot touches the ground, the brace allows the foot to go down (in plantar flexion) and pulls it back into a neutral position when the person lifts his leg and swings it to take a step.

The suitable treatment option for each case of foot drop varies from person to person

Watch the foot drop recovery story of our patient MaryEllen Grage. Multiple Sclerosis has nearly immobilized MaryEllen with foot drop and balance/stability difficulties. She believes that with The NewGait, she can walk normally again.

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