Wednesday, May 22, 2024

Does Massage Help Stroke Recovery

Massage Also Relieves Neck And Shoulder Pain

Massage Mondays – Direction of Stroke – Sports Massage and Remedial Soft Tissue Therapy

Many patients wake up in hospital complaining of high levels of neck and should pain. This pain and discomfort can make it hard to sleep, recover, move around, and can be a factor in increased levels of stress and even panic.

It is easy to think that this is the least of your problems, but with massage therapy can be a relatively easy symptom to make a little or a lot better, a study was done in Hong Kong Polytechnic University Department of Nursing and Wong Chuk Hang Hospital, in Hung Hom, Kowloon, Hong Kong. Authors: Esther Mok and Chin Pang Woo, with 672 patients indicated that long slow gentle back strokes decreased back pain in nearly every patient. And in some cases was a substitute for pharmaceutical intervention

Will I Fully Recover

Because every stroke is different, there is no set pattern for recovering from one.

The quickest recovery takes place in the days and weeks after a stroke. But recovery can continue for months and years after a stroke.

Stroke survivors tell us that it can take a lot of effort and determination to keep going with rehabilitation. It can be very hard work, physically and mentally, but many people find it helps them make vital progress with speaking, walking and other key skills.

Some people find it helps to get their family members and friends involved. Having help from other people can make it easier to practise regularly.

Therapists work with you to set achievable goals. You can keep a record of your progress and celebrate your successes.

You might not be able to cope with much rehabilitation in the early days. When you feel stronger, you can do more.

How To Recover From A Stroke Quickly

There is no set timeline for recovery. Some people go through rehab and are able to resume normal activities in a matter of months, while others may take a year or more to regain some of their functioning. Here are some ways to help speed up the recovery process.

There are also compensation techniques that can be helpful. These are methods to help a stroke victim adapt to any deficits he or she may have. For example, a Kindle compensates for holding and reading a book or a cane compensates for impaired balance.

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Acupuncture For Stroke Recovery

Strokes are quite common. In fact, strokes are the leading cause of long-term disability in the U.S. Approximately 795,000 people suffer a stroke each year. A stroke results from an acute lack of blood supply to a portion of the brain. Because brain cells are very dependent on oxygen, a few minutes without proper blood flow can be quite damaging. Symptoms of a stroke may include numbness or weakness of the limbs, difficulty swallowing, headache, mental confusion, paralysis, problems with coordination, sudden visual loss and slurred speech. Modern imaging such as MRIs can help detect how bad the brain damage is following a stroke.

Typical post-stroke care in starts with seven days of hospitalization followed by a couple weeks of physical therapy, occupational therapy and speech therapy. Unfortunately, even after all of this, most stroke victims still have deficits and disabilities. Acupuncture can help with stroke recovery.

Recovering From A Stroke

Aromatherapy for stroke patients

Stroke recovery time is different for each individual. Full recovery can take weeks, months, or years to accomplish.

In some cases, patients can have long-term or even lifelong disabilities after a stroke.

Some of the post-stroke problems that may persist are:

  • Inability to move specific body parts
  • Difficulty with awareness, thinking, learning, attention, and memory
  • Issues in understanding or forming speech
  • Trouble expressing or controlling emotions
  • Chronic pain in the hands and feet that gets worse with movement
  • Bower and bladder control problems
  • Depression

Stroke rehabilitation can include working with physical, occupational, and speech therapists. Medicine and therapy may help people deal with depression or other mental conditions after a stroke.

Taking part in a patient support group can be beneficial for stroke survivors to help them adjust.

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Stretching Exercises Improve Range Of Motion

Stretching exercises promote blood flow and make it easier to move your arm. Your therapist will start by gently stretching your hand, arm, and shoulder in a full range of motion. They can also show you how to use your unaffected hand to gently stretch the wrist, fingers, and thumb on your opposite hand.

Bounce Back From The Dreaded Plateau

Quick tip: The stroke recovery plateau is a well-documented phenomenon, but it does not mean that recovery is over!

Stroke recovery tends to slows down around the 3 month mark. This plateau often causes patients to be discharged from inpatient therapy, and it does not mean that its the end of the road.

In fact, its a sign to remain consistent with your home exercise program in order to keep recovery going. Without inpatient rehab to keep you engaged, it becomes more important to stick with a daily rehab regimen at home to recover from stroke as quickly as possible.

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Herbal Supplements May Improve Neurological Function

Herbal supplements, also called botanicals, have been used for thousands of years for medicinal purposes.

After evaluating 28 trials that included over 2,000 patients, in a meta-analysis published in December 2017 in the journal Medicine, researchers found that some patented Chinese herbal supplements Shuxuetong, Mailuoning, Xuesaitong, and Buchang Naoxintong may improve neurological function and the ability to participate in activities of daily living in stroke patients.

For some of the supplements, it is important to note that these are not FDA-approved and therefore do not undergo the rigorous screening requirements of prescription medications, Dr. Ishida says. This means you cant be as certain about the purity or quality of the ingredients and there may be differences across brands or even batches within the same brand.

Ishida recommends always speaking with your doctor before using supplements because there could be risks or interactions with other drugs.

What To Do After Stroke Recovery

Physical Therapy for Stroke Recovery

Once you have gotten through the majority of your stroke rehab recovery, its more important than ever to focus on the risk factors that are within your control. Reducing the risks that tend to cause strokes, such as managing high blood pressure and diabetes, quitting smoking, and incorporating more exercise and movement into your life can make a significant difference in your quality of life and help you prevent another stroke from occurring.

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Types Of Physical Change After A Stroke:

Muscle weakness

Nearly three-quarters of stroke survivors in the UK have leg weakness, and over three quarters have arm weakness. If your muscles are weak you could have difficulties with walking, moving your arms or holding things.

Weakness on one side of the body is often referred to as hemiparesis . Paralysis on one side of the body is called hemiplegia . If you have weakness or paralysis, you may need help with everyday activities.

If you have weakness in your leg you may be more likely to slip, trip or fall. For example, your ankle might turn over when you put weight on it. Read more about falls and balance problems.

Foot drop

This is a condition where your toes catch on the ground when you step forward, and you may lift your foot higher than usual when walking, or swing the leg outwards. It is due to weakness in muscle groups in the foot and ankle that lift your foot. It can lead to difficulty walking, and a higher chance of falling.


After a stroke, many people have fatigue or tiredness that does not get better with rest. You can also find that physical activities become tiring more quickly. For instance, you may find that objects slip from your grasp, or you may struggle to use your cutlery towards the end of a meal.



Spasticity can develop within a week of a stroke, or sometime later. It can be treated to help avoid problems like contractures. If you are having problems with muscle tightness, visit your GP and ask for treatment.


How To Recover From Stroke Quickly In 11 Speedy Steps

Kayla Covert, PT, DPT Flint Rehab

On the road to recovery, it can be tempting to look for methods on how to recover from stroke quickly. Fortunately, there are ways to maximize your potential but its also important to acknowledge that there are no quick fixes for healing the brain.

Every stroke is different, and every recovery is different as a result. This means that all patients recover at different rates, based on their own unique factors.

Fortunately, there are tips that can help you improve the effectiveness and efficiency of your recovery. This post will provide insight into those tips.

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Can Essential Oils Help Post

Before we get into the oils, we want to emphasize that stroke paralysis cant be cured with essential oils because they dont promote neuroplasticity.

Neuroplasticity is the brains ability to rewire itself so that it can recover functions affected by traumatic events like stroke. The rewiring process is promoted through massed repetition.

The more you move, the more your brain understands that theres a demand for that function, and the stronger the neural pathways for that function become.

Essential oils wont perform the repetitions for you, butthey can help ease some of the psychological and physical effects of stroke.

Focus Your Attention On The Most Important Thing

Portable hand exercise massage equipment palm massager ...

Quick tip: Stimulation and repetitive practice are essential for recovery.

Repetition is a critical ingredient during recovery from stroke. Repetition activates neuroplasticity, your brains mechanism for rewiring itself and creating efficiency. This is how you can rebuild your skills and overcome the side effects of a stroke.

During inpatient therapy, you will spend many hours each day practicing various exercises to rebuild lost skills. This helps activate neuroplasticity and improve your ability to perform daily activities.

For instance, practicing leg exercises can improve your ability to walk after a stroke.

Practicing these skills on a daily basis will promote a faster recovery and provide the stimulation your brain needs to recover.

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Massage Therapy For Stroke Recovery

Stroke can result in changes to mental, emotional and physical function. A wide spectrum of treatments can be used to improve disability after stroke, including physiotherapy, occupational therapy and massage therapy. After the initial acute phase of stroke, massage therapy can be used to help treat the effects of a stroke, including:

  • paralysis or weakness of one side,
  • swelling and pain in the affected areas due to the above symptoms,
  • and stress and anxiety.

With an aging population, greater life expectancy, and younger people having strokes, the amount of care needed is growing. There are more than 400,000 Canadians living with long-term disability from stroke, and this number will almost double in the next 20 years. In this article, we discuss how some of the symptoms of this neurological injury can be treated with massage therapy for stroke.

How Does The Brain Recover After A Stroke

Recovery after a stroke requires patience and commitment. Medical scientists dont know exactly how the brain recovers, but they do have some possible explanations for how brain rehabilitation happens. Research and anecdotal evidence suggests that the brain may be able to function after a stroke by changing the way different tasks are performed. If blood flow to the affected area of the brain is restored, some of the brain cells that are damagedas opposed to completely destroyedmay be able to resume functioning at some point. One area of the brain may take control of functions that used to be performed by an affected area.

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Dressing Mobility After A Stroke

Dressing aids comprise a wide variety of products all geared to provide support with getting dressed or undressed independently. Post-stroke patients will often need these assistive devices as they recover, and before more functional manual dexterity gains are realized. Long-handled shoe horns, dressing sticks, sock donning aids, and leg lifters are just some examples, along with devices that are specially designed for one-handed use, such as a one-handed button aid.

Enhanced Endorphin And Serotonin Levels

How to Thai massage for stroke or partial paralysis

One of the most commonly found effect of continuous massage therapy which works best among stroke patients is that of the increase of both Serotonin and Endorphins within the anatomy. The rise in Serotonin works with reducing the risk of suffering from further Vascular related issues and problems.

The addition of both Endorphins within the body as well as Serotonin aid with efficiently alleviating depression alongside reducing anxiety being felt within the body by stroke patients.

Alongside depression, anxiety is also decreased within the anatomy as a result of regular massage therapy sessions. Although the reduction of stress itself cannot directly determine physical recovery of patients yet, improved well-being via reduced anxiety can result in an enhanced psychological system which will encourage the healing capabilities of the anatomy.

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Touch Therapy Helps Brains Recover Following Stroke

Recovering from a stroke is harder for those who have been exposed to stress in the womb, but massage-like treatment can improve the odds.

New research out of the University of Lethbridge has found that rats exposed to prenatal stress that then experienced a stroke in adulthood suffered more severe motor disabilities compared to rats that experienced only a stroke.

However, applying tactile stimulation massage-like touching to the twice-stressed rats helped to promote their stroke recovery. The study was performed by researchers at the Universitys Canadian Centre for Behavioural Neuroscience and Department of Biological Sciences, and also included post-doctoral students. The study is published in the free, open-access, online scientific research journal Plos One.

We now know that stress in early life will change the stress response throughout the lifetime, and that it can worsen the response to stressful events in adulthood, says lead researcher Dr. Gerlinde Metz, a neuroscience professor who is also an Alberta Heritage Medical Senior Scholar. It was encouraging to see the positive impact of tactile stimulation, because effective therapies for strokes is an area that has been very unsuccessful.

Metz says the research provides important and much-needed clues about the impact of stress on human health, particularly as it relates to both triggering and treating a stroke.

What Is The Standard Treatment For A Stroke

The stroke treatment of a patient begins as soon as they arrive at the hospital. From there, they may receive emergency medical attention, treatment to prevent future strokes, rehabilitation, or all three.

Patients that arrive at the hospital within three hours of experiencing initial symptoms of an ischemic stroke may receive a type of medication called thrombolytic. This drug aims to break blood clots.

Tissue plasminogen activator is known as a thrombolytic and has been shown to improve the chances of stroke recovery. However, many stroke victims fail to arrive at the hospital in time to receive such treatment.

For specific hemorrhagic strokes, endovascular procedures might be necessary. A tube is inserted through an artery and then guided to the site to repair the damage or stop the bleeding.

Surgery is needed to treat most hemorrhagic strokes. For a specific type of bleeding, a metal clip may be installed in place to stop blood loss.

Stroke survivors have a high risk of experiencing another stroke.

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Tip : Understanding Fatigue

Feeling tired is a normal part of life for everyone, but for stroke survivor, fatigue is a very common symptom that can be frustrating to deal with. About 40 to 70 percent of stroke survivors experience fatigue, which can make recovering feel even more difficult. Post-stroke fatigue is draining both physically and emotionally/mentally, and rest may not be the only solution.

It is important to discuss the fatigue with a doctor so they can rule out potential medical causes or determine if fatigue might stem from current medications. By speaking with the proper medical professionals and taking time to squeeze in a nap or rest as often as possibleand by maintaining a positive mindsetyou can help yourself or a loved one combat the constant drowsiness of fatigue and work on returning to pre-stroke energy levels. The key thing to realize is that some level of post-stroke fatigue is normal and that survivors need to be proactive about treating and working around it.

Tip 1: Working After Stroke

Portable hand exercise massage equipment palm massager ...

Since the brain is a major organ affected when it comes to strokes, chances are that some of its functions may have trouble performing like they did before. After a stroke, learning new things, or even just recalling information can be a challenge, and working through thoughts may suddenly be difficult.

After rehabilitation, many stroke survivors do find themselves able to return to work, but preparing for this transition can come with a lot of questions. Are you physically going to be able to perform your job? Will your disability benefits lapse? What do you need to communicate with your employer? These can be tough questions, but they do have answers. Some may not ever be able to go back to the same work, but for others, just a little assistance is needed.

When you are ready to return to work, it is important to know your rights and what your employer is, and is not, legally required to provide to employees with disabilities. Keep in mind that if you are unable to perform the essential functions of your job even with reasonable accommodation, your employer is not obligated to offer you a different position or create a new role for you. They might be willing to anyway, but it is not a requirement.

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