What is a stroke
A stroke or cerebrovascular accident (CVA) results from an interruption of the blood supply to part of the brain. This can be caused by a blocked or burst blood vessel. Without a rich blood supply and oxygen, the brain cells can become irreversibly damaged.
There are two main types of stroke, ischemic and haemorrhagic:
About 80% of strokes are ischemic and result from a clot or blockage forming in the blood vessel, causing a lack of oxygen to the brain cells. The clot can occur at the site of the blockage, or it can travel from other blood vessels in the body and become lodged in the arteries that supply the brain.
These result from blood vessels in and around the brain rupturing and causing bleeding in the surrounding areas. This causes a build up of pressure which damages the delicate tissues. The disruption of the blood supply also results in the cells in the surrounding areas being starved of oxygen.
Transient Ischemic Attacks (TIA) are often known as mini strokes. These are brief episodes where some brain function is temporarily lost due to short disruption of the blood supply. Symptoms, such as limb weakness, last less than 24 hours as the cells in the brain have not been permanently damaged.
The effects of stroke are determined by the type of stroke, area of the brain affected and the extent of the damage to the brain tissue. The brain is an incredibly complex organ, with each area having the responsibility for a specific function or ability.
Although every individual is different, some of the common effects of stroke are:
– Reduced mobility
– Muscle weakness (usually on one side)
– Increased tone or spasticity
– Decreased sensation
– Decreased balance and coordination
– Difficulty with swallowing
– Speech and language difficulties
– Difficulties with spatial and perceptual abilities
– Changes in behaviour, such as becoming more impulsive
– Memory difficulties
– Mood changes
At Hooley and Tuke Rehabilitation our specialist physiotherapists will complete a detailed assessment identifying problems and goals. We aim to maximise recovery following a stroke using a variety of different treatment techniques to address common problems such as muscle weakness, decreased mobility and reduced hand function. Our physiotherapists are able to offer stroke physiotherapy encompassing both traditional treatment approaches (Bobath / Normal movement and Movement Science) and the use of innovative technology such as functional electrical stimulation, SaeboFlex and SaeboReach to maximise your recovery post stroke.
We also offer in conjunction with the Stroke Association in Suffolk two exercise classes for people who have had a stroke one based in Haverhill and the other in Great Barton. Following an individualised assessment the classes offer an opportunity to access a stroke specific exercise class. Please see HTFitness for further information.