Hand Therapy After Stroke – Hand Therapy And Physiotherapy Implications
Hand therapy after stroke is very crucial, and hand therapists often work closely with physiotherapists to provide a more holistic and comprehensive therapy program for the patient who had sustained a stroke.
All the hand therapy and physiotherapy after a stroke must begin as soon as medically viable, to start the rehabilitation and healing process. Why? It’s the reestablish the neural-brain-muscle pathway as soon as possible.
The physiotherapist after stroke starts with general mobilization and exercise interventions to increase the muscle strength, stamina and stability of the patient, whereas the hand therapist will focus mainly on the rehabilitation of the affect hand and upper limb of the patient.
Hand therapy after a stroke is not easy simple as the hand and upper limb is a very complex structure, plus, the damage from the stroke may affect the fine motor control of the patient’s fingers, and being very small muscles, retraining is often very tiring and draining, physically and psychologically.
The hand therapist would work closely with the physiotherapy department to coordinate rehabilitation timing as to not to clash, plus to have a more well rounded approach to therapy. Hand therapy after a stroke will often include Bobath’s approach to rehabilitation, where the hand therapy team will start with weight bearing, focus on symmetry, and facilitation of motor function inasmuch as possible. Later, they will focus on decreasing abnormal movements.
All in all, hand therapy after stroke is a long term process; oftentimes we provide hand therapy for patients for years, at least one year is minimum, but some patients we have seen for years, as healing from stroke takes a long and tedious time to recover, as long as patient doesn’t give up.