Rehab Select Blog

Stroke Rehabilitation: Using Technology for Modern Healing

Posted by Chris Schmidt

Nov 15, 2014 8:00:00 AM

Stroke_Rehabilitation_Using_TechnologyA stroke is one of the most serious medical conditions that a person can experience. During a stroke, blood clots or constricted vessels in the brain prevent its nerve cells from getting the nutrients they need: as a result, these cells begin to die off. Having a stroke can cause symptoms like vision loss, difficulty talking or walking, trouble with the use of muscles, and other serious conditions. In the worst cases, it can even mean death.

Given the severity of the stroke, rehabilitation is equally important. Proper rehabilitation may allow a stroke victim to eventually regain use of the body parts that were impacted. Fortunately for stroke victims, there are many great technologies available today that can help them recover from their stroke as quickly as possible.

Why Stroke Rehabilitation is So Important

A stroke can be extremely dangerous: in fact, it is the third leading cause of death in the United States, and the number one cause of long-term disability. More than 140,000 people every year pass away in the U.S. alone from strokes.

Strokes are also serious because they impact the way nerve cells in the brain work. These nerve cells are responsible for sending signals that control many areas of the body as well as the way that the senses of touch and sight work. They can also impact the way that people think, which is why the cognitive functions of stroke victims are often impacted.

How Technology is Changing Stroke Recovery Programs

There are many ways that technology is having a positive impact on the way people recover from stroke. These recovery techniques are designed to repair the brain by using a concept known as neural plasticity; the brain’s ability to repair itself after sustaining damage.

One of the most common kinds of stroke rehabilitation technologies is known as functional electrical stimulation, or FES. FES affects the way that nerve cells fire by treating them with electric currents, which can allow stroke victims to regain the functionality that they once had.

Another way that technology is impacting stroke rehabilitation is through the use of video games. Video games, especially ones that use motion sensing technology like the Nintendo Wii, are ideal for stroke recovery because they allow patients to practice some of the same motions they are attempting to regain ability in: lifting, swinging and grabbing. Video games also allow stroke patients practice their motor skills, as many of them require good hand-eye coordination in order to be completed properly.

Finding the Right Facility for Rehabilitation

If someone close to you requires treatment for a stroke, there are four common options: adult day healthcare, short-term rehabilitation, long-term rehabilitation, and home healthcare. Adult day healthcare is more of a social recovery, while home healthcare is where caregivers visit a patient’s home to provide care. Short-term rehabilitation is usually provided in a skilled nursing wing of a hospital or other medical facility, whereas long-term rehabilitation is sometimes provided by a long-term care or assisted living facility.

It is important that you look for a facility that incorporates technology into the stroke recovery process so that they can provide the best possible level of service. Talk to several places and ask them questions to get an idea of whether or not they are right for your needs. With the right rehabilitation techniques, provided by skilled caretakers, it is very possible to recover from the negative effects of a stroke.

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Topics: Stroke Rehabilitation