Get Back to Optimal Health: Treatment for Stroke Recovery
Strokes are the leading cause of long-term disability in the United States. Acute treatments have improved dramatically in recent years, especially intravenous drugs that can remove blood clots and mechanical expulsion.
Nevertheless, given that 87% of strokes are ischemic (strokes caused by artery or vein blockage), most patients suffer long-term functional impairments. These can range from paralysis, speech difficulties, sensory malfunction, and visual deficits to a host of other cognitive dysfunctions. Many stroke patients are individuals who have had a stroke before—roughly one in four survivors have already suffered at least one stroke.
Rest assured, there are multiple treatments for stroke recovery available, which are provided below. Keep in mind, as each person’s medical condition and background are entirely unique, speaking with a physician about treatment options is an essential first step to getting back to optimal health.
What Treatment Options Are Available for Stroke Recovery?
Stroke recovery treatment generally entails working with a diverse medical team of physicians, nurses, and therapists. This support team may recommend one or more of the following treatment options:
1. Speech therapy: Stroke patients can experience difficulties speaking or understanding people (aphasia) due to damage that occurred in the left side of the brain that controls speech and language. Cases like this often merit speech therapy.
Patients work with speech-language pathologists to relearn techniques such as:
- Controlling mouth and throat muscles to speak more clearly and adequately swallow
- Participating in cognitive language exercises to restore communication and comprehension skills
Research illustrates early speech intervention with aphasia patients can lead to better communication skills at the 12- and 26-week mark. Patients could speak better and exhibited less difficulty finding and using the right words.
2. Physical therapy: A physical therapist (PT) engages patients in movement exercises to help them reacquire motor skills. PTs generally help stroke patients relearn activities such as walking, sitting, standing, and/or switching from one movement to another.
Medical experts believe consistent PT decreases the risk of hospital readmission, because it helps patients:
- Restore movement and accomplish tasks
- Plan for the next step of post-acute care (e.g., patient rehab facility, skilled nursing facility, or home care assistance)
3. Occupational therapy: Occupational therapists help patients carry out everyday activities. Their objective is to help stroke patients live as independently as they can. OTs work with post-stroke patients to assess how the stroke has impacted their lifestyle.
For those who have difficulties dressing, cooking, or bathing, the OT will find solutions to help carry out these activities of daily living to the best of their ability. Studies indicate OT programs focused on impairment and basic living activities can help patients progress to more advanced activities later on. Over half—61.5%—of stroke patients receive PT and OT care.
Research indicates the key to succeeding in a post-stroke treatment plan is consistency. The more patients engage in focused and repetitive practices, the more they will succeed in getting back to optimal health.
HBOT’s Groundbreaking Therapeutic Approach
An up-and-coming therapy that has shown promise in clinical research is Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy (HBOT). HBOT has evident indications of brain-cell rehabilitation in patients suffering from post-stroke disabilities. HBOT and its apparent benefits for post-stroke patients were studied and reviewed in an article published in the peer-reviewed Journal, PLOS One:
- The participating patients were exposed to a unique protocol including daily HBOT sessions over two months. All the patients demonstrated dramatic improvement in neurological functions and abilities, leading to improved quality of life.
- Noticeable recovery included restoration of speech, ability to write or read, and renovation of motor function of a paretic limb. Even in patients with less dramatic results, life tasks such as bathing and dressing became possible unaided by the end of the treatment period. While observable external improvements were evident, these were not the only positive results.
- Patients were further assessed using brain metabolism imaging (SPECT scans) to examine brain activity during the HBOT treatment. The imaging demonstrably showed that brain metabolism lesions previously observed in specific brain areas had disappeared.
- The study concluded with the indication of a link between oxygen and stroke—“increasing the plasma oxygen concentration with hyperbaric oxygenation is a potent means of delivering to the brain sufficient oxygen for tissue repair.”
Not only did the study determine significant improvements in patients treated with HBOT, it crucially found that the progression occurred in patients even many months after they had the stroke-event. All the patients were in the late chronic phase, enduring their strokes between six and 36 months prior to the HBOT treatment.
The Aviv Medical Program: The Road to Post-Stroke Recovery
Backed by over a decade of research, the Aviv Medical Program can include HBOT along with cognitive training, dietary coaching, and physical performance training to help you recover even long after a stroke.
The goal of the program is to offer patients a customized, coordinated, and multidisciplinary health plan to address their specific goals. As the aging process affects every person differently, each Aviv plan is individualized based on a patient’s post-stroke recovery needs.
Here’s how our process works:
- Assessment: Our dedicated team will run a thorough assessment to gain a holistic understanding of your health and craft a personalized health plan.
- Treatment: Under the supervision of the medical staff, the treatment plan will entail a variety of health programs that are meant to get you on the road to recovery.
- Analysis: We will track data on how your treatment plan is progressing and make the necessary adjustments along the way.
- Follow-up: Upon conclusion of the treatment, our team will continue to check up on you via an Aviv Wearable Device. This will allow us to send you reports on your health and performance.
Read our client success stories to learn more about what we can help you achieve with the Aviv Medical Program.
Learn More about Post-Stroke Recovery
If you need help finding a stroke recovery plan, contact Aviv Clinics. Our diverse team of medical professionals are experienced in crafting customized treatment plans that have brought significant and fulfilling results for our patients. Improving your quality of life begins here.