A cerebrovascular accident (CVA), more commonly known as a stroke, is the result of the stoppage of blood flow within the brain. It can occur in multiple different vessels all resulting in differing symptoms. Depending on the length of time the blood flow was stopped, the severity of a stroke varies widely. A full recovery from stroke depends on the severity and length of time the blood flow has been stopped. A transient ischemic attack (TIA) is a warning sign of future stroke. These occur with no lasting effects and are often referred to as “mini-strokes.” If you notice yourself or a loved one having symptoms of a stroke including severe headache, droopiness of the face, or impaired motor coordination, contact your physician immediately.
After stroke care and rehabilitation includes regaining strength about the affected musculature, improving balance, regaining the coordination lost due to poor signals from the brain to the affected limbs, and consultation on proper orthotics necessary to maximize function. In physical therapy post-stroke, our entire purpose is to maximize function and allow for independence in all mobility whether that be for wheelchair mobility, using assistive devices, or return to independent function. Your physical therapist will consult with you on how to address your new lack of function, and work with you through specific exercise tailored to you so that you can return to living an independent and happy life.