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Physical Therapy for Stroke Patients at Home

Strokes can have significant physical impacts. From weakness or paralysis on one side of the body, it also leads to difficulties with balance and coordination.

This medical condition increases your difficulty with body balance and coordination. It also can interrupt your speech and language depending on which part of the brain it affects..

If you have any of these symptoms, this post is your sign to start with physical therapy for stroke rehabilitation.

It’s an important part of your recovery, helping improve movement and independence.

Let’s discuss stroke rehabilitation exercises you can do at home to improve your physical health and overall well-being.

Benefits of At-Home Exercises for Stroke Patients

The comfort of being at home can make therapy more convenient.

But if that’s not motivational enough, here are some other benefits of trying physical therapy for stroke patients at home.

  1. Convenience

One major benefit of doing stroke rehabilitation exercises at home is the convenience and flexibility it offers.

When you’re doing therapy at home, you’re in a familiar environment which can make you feel more comfortable and relaxed.

  1. Flexibility

Another great thing about stroke therapy at home is that you can easily integrate it into your daily routine.

You can perform exercises at a time that works best for you, whether early in the morning, during your lunch break, or in the evening.

This way, you don’t have to disrupt your routine too much.

  1. Time Saving

Because you don’t have to travel to a clinic for therapy, you also save time and money that would have been spent on transportation if you try physical therapy for stroke patients at home.

You don’t have to worry about getting stuck in traffic or finding a parking spot, which can be stressful and time-consuming. Instead, you can focus on your therapy in the comfort of your own home.

All in all, these benefits add up to make at-home physical therapy a great option for stroke patients who want to focus on their recovery while also maintaining their daily routines.

Importance of At-Home Physical Therapy for Stroke Patients

Physical therapy is very important for stroke patients because it can help them recover even if they’re on a busy schedule.

There are many strengthening, ROM (Range of motion) exercises, walking and other exercises that take less than 2 minutes to do at home.

At-home physical therapy is becoming increasingly popular as a convenient and effective option for stroke patients who want to focus on their recovery while maintaining their daily routines.

In addition to home exercises, physical therapists work with stroke patients to create custom treatment plans tailored to their specific needs and goals plus it offers faster recovery.

These plans often include exercises and activities to improve strength, flexibility, and coordination. Therapists may also use specialized equipment to help patients regain mobility.

If you cannot afford to go to a physical therapist or have less time on your hands, you can always try physical therapy for stroke patients at home.

Tools or Equipment You’ll Need:

The equipment or tools you need to try with stroke rehabilitation exercises at home can include:

  1. Exercise bands or tubing: These are stretchy bands that come in different resistance levels and can be used for various exercises to improve strength and flexibility.
  2. Hand weights: Lightweight dumbbells can be used for exercises that target the arms and upper body.
  3. Balance equipment: This can include a stability ball or balance board, which can improve balance and coordination.
  4. Therapy putty: This is a pliable material used for hand and finger exercises to improve grip strength and dexterity.
  5. Mobility aids: Depending on the patient’s needs, they may require a walker, cane, or other mobility aids to help with walking and balance.

It’s important to note that not all stroke patients will require these tools. The tools or equipment will differ depending on your particular case.

To know where you are with your stroke condition, it’s always best to consult a physical therapist or healthcare professional.

Precautionary Tips for At-home Physical Therapy

When doing stroke rehabilitation exercises at home, there are a few basic safety precautions and guidelines to keep in mind to help prevent injury and ensure that the therapy is effective.

Here are some tips to keep in mind for safe and effective at-home physical therapy for stroke patients:

  • Before starting any new exercise program, especially if you have a medical condition or are recovering from a stroke, consult a healthcare professional.
  • Create a clear and safe space to do your exercises. Remove any objects or furniture that could get in the way and ensure the floor is free of hazards like loose rugs or slippery surfaces.
  • Follow any recommended equipment or assistive devices, such as walkers or canes, as directed by your healthcare professional.
  • Start slowly and gradually increase the intensity of your exercises over time. Do not push yourself too hard; immediately stop if you experience any pain or discomfort.
  • Take breaks as needed and stay hydrated throughout your exercise session.

Following these basic safety precautions and guidelines can help prevent injury and ensure that your at-home physical therapy for stroke patients is effective.

Common At-Home Physical Exercises for Stroke Patients

Stroke patients often have physical challenges that require specific exercises and techniques to support their recovery.

We have listed some exercises for stroke patients you can try.

  1. Range-of-motion exercises

Range-of-motion exercises are a type of physical therapy often used to help stroke patients regain mobility and flexibility in their affected limbs.

  1. Strengthening Exercises

These exercises help to improve muscle strength and tone in the affected limbs.

  1. Balance and Coordination Exercises

These exercises help improve balance, stability, and coordination, which stroke can affect.

  1. Walking Exercises

These exercises help to improve walking ability, which can be compromised after a stroke.

  1. Stretching Exercises

The stretching exercises can help reduce muscle tension and stiffness, which can be expected after a stroke.

Before you get to these exercises, we recommend getting yourself checked with a licensed physical therapist.

They may use a combination of these exercises and techniques and specialized equipment to help stroke patients regain their physical abilities and improve their overall quality of life.

10 Physical Therapy Exercises to Do Under 2 Minutes

  1. Wall Push-Ups: This exercise involves standing, facing, and pushing against a wall with your hands. This helps to strengthen the chest, shoulders, and arms.
  2. Resistive Range of Motion: These exercises involve the patient moving the joint against resistance, such as with resistance bands or weights.
  3. Leg Raises: Lying on your back, raise one leg at a time towards the ceiling. This exercise targets the hip flexors and lower abdominal muscles.
  4. Resistance Band Exercises: Using a resistance band, stroke patients can perform exercises like bicep curls and shoulder presses, targeting upper body muscles.
  5. Active Range of Motion (AROM): These exercises involve the patient moving the joint through its full range of motion without assistance.
  6. Step-Ups: This exercise involves stepping onto a small platform, like a step or a low stool, and then stepping back down. This helps to strengthen the leg muscles and improve balance.
  7. Planks: Planks involve practicing holding your body in a straight line while supporting your weight on your forearms and toes. This exercise strengthens the core muscles, essential for good posture and balance.
  8. Active-Assistive Range of Motion (AAROM): This involves moving your muscles around a weak joint to complete exercises with the help of another person or equipment.
  9. Isometric Exercises: These exercises involve contracting the muscles around the joint without actually moving the joint, such as by pushing against a wall or holding a static position.

Doing these exercises for physical therapy at home can benefit stroke patients in many ways.

It’s more convenient and flexible. Physical therapy for stroke patients at home is easier to add to their daily routine. Of course, it’s important to have the right equipment, follow safety guidelines, and use exercises appropriate for stroke patients.

Conclusion

When stroke patients do physical therapy at home, they and their families can be more involved in recovery and potentially get better results.

Talking to a healthcare professional and a physical therapist is crucial to making a plan that fits the patient’s needs and goals.

With hard work and determination, stroke patients can progress and improve their physical abilities and overall quality of life through at-home physical therapy.

Dr. Phillip Carr

Dr. Phillip Carr

Dr. Phillip Carr PT, DPT, MS, PES, owner of BioFix Physical Therapy, boasts 20+ years of athletic training/coaching experience. His diverse expertise encompasses musculoskeletal issues, joint replacements, and more. With a 2018 Doctorate in Physical Therapy, he's a dedicated professional, family man, and youth soccer team assistant coach. Phillip Carr is your trusted source for holistic physical therapy insights.