What is a Stroke?
A stroke occurs when the blood supply to the brain is stopped. It is a life-threatening medical condition, which needs urgent medical attention. The quicker an individual receives treatment for a stroke, the less damage to the brain is likely to happen.
If you suspect you or someone else is having a stroke, call 999 immediately and ask for an ambulance.
Strokes affect people in different ways depending on the area effected and the severity.
It can lead to:
- Cognitive problems
- Visual problems
- Emotional changes
- Speech problems
- Swallow problems
- Muscular weakness
- Gait disturbances
- Sensation loss
Certain health conditions increase your risk of having a stroke, these include:
- High blood pressure
- High Cholesterol
- Irregular heartbeats, also known as atrial fibrillation.
What are the signs and symptoms?
Remember to act F.A.S.T.
F – Face, the face may have dropped on one side, the person may not be able to smile, or their mouth and eyes may have dropped.
A – Arms, The person may not be able to lift both arms and keep them there, due to weakness and numbness of one arm.
S – Speech, speech may be slurred, or the person may not be able to talk at all despite being awake. They also may not understand what you are saying to them.
T – Time to act, call 999 if you see any of these signs.
What treatments are available?
- There are many treatments for a stroke which are decided upon by a neurology consultant, this include:
Medication – Clot dissolvers and anticoagulants
- Surgeries and procedures
For more information about the treatments for strokes see the NHS website
Stroke – Treatment – NHS (www.nhs.uk)
Preventing a stroke
You can significantly reduce your chance of having a stroke with some simple and health changes to your lifestyle. These include:
- Eating balance diet
- Regularly exercises – See the Department of Health’s physical activity recommendations.
- Reduce alcohol consumption – less than 14 units per week
- Stop smoking
How can Physiotherapy Help?
Physiotherapists often work within a multidisciplinary team or with other professionals to help patients who have suffered from a stroke. There are specialist neuro physiotherapists with the NHS, who provide specialist treatment and rehabilitation for people who have had a stroke. Neuro physiotherapists can help with improving function, balance, initiating movement and mobility.
If you have had your initial rehabilitation with a specialist neuro physiotherapist and are looking for further improvements in strength, balance or mobility, we can help you by providing you with exercises for strengthening, manual therapy to relieve muscle tightness and pain, and can reassess your mobility so you are confident with you mobility and not at risk of a fall.
It is recommended you have a free telephone triage call with one of our physiotherapists to discuss what we can do for you.
As musculoskeletal specialists, we are also here to help with your musculoskeletal injuries. Just make sure we are aware of the treatment you have received in the past.
Contact us today