What is stroke and brain injury rehabilitation?

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Aug. 11, 2017

You've probably heard the term "stroke" in reference to a medical condition. You may not know exactly what a stroke is, but you should familiarize yourself with this incredibly common condition. According to the National Stroke Association, every 40 seconds someone suffers from a stroke, and a stroke can strike at any age. The sooner a stroke victim gets medical treatment, the better his or her outcome.

What is a stroke?

You probably know what a heart attack is. A stroke is similar. Basically, a stroke is a "brain attack." During a stroke, blood flow to part of the brain is cut off. Blood carries oxygen that brain cells need to survive. The longer brain cells are deprived of oxygen, the more damage occurs. Depending on the area of the brain affected, stroke victims may suffer minor problems like muscle weakness in part of their body, or major problems such as paralysis or losing the ability to talk.

Other types of brain injury

Stroke is the most common type of brain injury. Other types of brain injuries include:

  • Traumatic brain injury – damage to the brain resulting from a car accident, assault, or other traumatic force
  • Concussion – often caused by a direct blow to the head, such as impact that occurs while playing a contact sport
  • Anoxic brain injury – when the brain is entirely deprived of oxygen, due to a near drowning, for example
  • Hypoxic brain injury – when the brain is partially deprived of oxygen

Rehabilitation can often help patients regain function

With skilled rehabilitation, stroke and brain injury victims often make significant progress toward regaining their independence. Rehabilitation usually involves a combination of physical therapy, occupational therapy, and speech therapy.

Other types of brain injury rehabilitation include using electrical stimulation to re-educate muscles, using robotic devices to help regain limb strength and brain stimulation to help improve fine motor skills.

Help is available

If your loved one has suffered a stroke or other brain injury and suffers from residual effects, such as partial paralysis, muscle weakness, speech difficulty, etc., we encourage you to contact us at Paris Community Hospital/Family Medical Center. We offer a wide variety of rehab services, including speech, occupational, and physical therapy, designed to help brain injury patients improve their quality of life. A doctor’s order is needed for rehab services. For more information, call the PCH/FMC Rehab Department at 217-466-4244.

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