Health Watch: Stroke Recovery

Rapid City, S.D. (KEVN) A lot of people think stroke rehabilitation happens in that acute and subacute phase of healing at the hospital with in a patient and outpatient physical therapy shortly thereafter. But the effects of stroke often last long after that. Research shows most stroke recovery happens within that first 3 to a 6-week window of time. Improvements have been shown also to last up to five years and management of your stroke symptoms can certainly be a life long process. Repetitive and task-centric training has been shown to be effective in managing chronic stroke, aerobic training can be helpful as well. A physical therapist can prescribe a very specific exercise routine and help facilitate continued recovery of that affected limb well into that chronic phase of healing. Increasing your cardio endurance can also help decrease your risk of having another stroke as well. I tell my patients who've had a stroke to come in for their annual tuneup. Freshening up or progressing your home exercise program, checking equipment and re-evaluating your function formally is imperative. You are certainly now alone in your journey of stroke recovery. A physical therapist, occupational therapist or speech therapist would love to walk this journey with you. Feel free to ask your doctor for a physical therapy doctor order at your next visit. I or another member of our therapy team would love to help maximize your function. This is Brooke Foley with Healthwatch.