When the blood flow that supplies the brain with oxygen and nutrients is interrupted, it can affect a person’s bodily movement and motor skills. The disruption in the blood flow is most commonly known as a stroke — or cerebrovascular accident (CVA).
Stroke is prevalent in Australia, surpassing the 100 cases-a-day mark in 2020. It is more common among men than women, and more prevalent among older Australians, mostly in the 65 and above age group.
What is stroke rehabilitation and why is it important? Rehabilitation following a stroke is comprised of different programs of therapies intended to help you relearn the skills you may have lost after a stroke. Rehabilitation can assist in helping you recover speech, movement, strength, as well as the skills involved in daily living to improve your quality of life and allow you to be more independent. Various treatments are required to rehabilitate after a stroke to regain function and adapt to any changes. Depending on what body part or abilities may be affected by the stroke, these may include any of the following: mobility training, exercises for motor skills, therapy for increasing your range of motion, therapies for cognitive and communication disorders, and psychological treatment.
Ongoing treatments, such as Remedial stroke massage therapy are an effective form of rehabilitation in conjunction with exercises that help recovery by stimulating the nerves of the affected area immediately after a stroke. To understand the importance of massage therapy for stroke patients, it may be best to explore the prognosis of a stroke and the role of remedial massage therapy in stroke recovery and rehabilitation.
Massage Therapy for Stroke Patients
It is important to note what happens to someone who has suffered from a stroke to understand why massage therapy rehabilitation is beneficial. Following a stroke, people may experience the following:
- Weakness or paralysis of limbs, facial muscles, or even the entire side of the body
- Vision impairment
- Coordination and balance problems
- Chewing, swallowing, and speech issues
- Memory loss
It is always recommended to seek professional help when you or someone you know has had a stroke to apply a more accurate prognosis and treatment plan. The treatment of stroke varies depending on its severity and may include other remedial processes such as speech therapy, occupational therapy, and in some cases, surgery.
Massage therapy helps improve circulation, which is frequently reduced when a body part has been rendered immobile. It is important to consider that massage therapy can be effective after proper treatment and diagnosis has been performed. It helps promote the flow of new blood and oxygen to the affected part of the body among patients recovering from stroke, eliminates toxins, and eventually aids in increasing mobility.
Massage Therapy Benefits for Stroke Rehabilitation
After a stroke, a patient goes through a lot in the process of achieving recovery, and it can affect both their mental and physical states. Massage therapy can help to alleviate both physical and mental trauma. Here are some of the known benefits of massage therapy for stroke rehabilitation and recovery:
- Increased Serotonin Levels: Suffering from a stroke is a traumatic experience and can often result in a depressive state. Massage therapy helps to alleviate depressive symptoms by increasing serotonin levels. This is also instrumental in reducing vascular problems — issues related to blood vessels — which can be an effective form of an antidepressant and helps minimise the risk of a heart attack. A higher serotonin level also reduces the possibility of an individual experiencing another stroke.
- Improves Mobility and Blood Circulation: Stroke patients ultimately suffer from mobility and posture issues due to stiffness in the muscles and disruption of their blood circulation. Massage therapy benefits stroke patients by manipulating the affected muscle and stimulating blood flow that allows muscle tissues to recuperate and develop a patient’s muscle coordination and range of motion. Remedial massage can also increase joint mobility and flexibility.
- Development of Physical Strength: If there is one thing that a stroke patient may lose significantly, it is muscle strength and coordination. Remedial massage sessions help stroke patients keep track of and be in tune with their bodies. Most athletes employ massage therapy to improve their physical abilities and help relax the body. Relaxation of the body reduces muscle inflammation and helps develop physical strength, further contributing to faster recovery.
- Reduces Pain: Stroke patients may go through an extensive amount of pain during and after treatment due to swelling and inflammation of the body. Massage therapy eases pain by touching pain points which helps reproduce mitochondria.
The powerhouse of the cell, mitochondria is instrumental in reducing inflammation in the body and generating extra energy, assisting in the rehabilitation and healing process.
Prevention is always better than cure. Suffering from and experiencing a stroke is not a pleasant experience which is why exercising regularly and eating healthfully are among the best ways to reduce the risk of injuries and chronic diseases.
Remedial Massage Therapy in Bexley
At Healthstin, we have accredited remedial massage therapists who perform comprehensive assessments of the areas of concern to determine the most efficient and accurate treatment techniques most suitable to your individual needs. Our remedial massage applies to anyone who may be suffering from a sports-related injury, chronic pain, arthritis, and other forms of disability which includes stroke rehabilitation.
However, disruption in the bloodstream can happen anytime, and anywhere to anyone. If you think you are experiencing symptoms, it is best to consult a professional as soon as possible.
Our Allied Health Clinic in Hurstville can provide you with tried and tested methods of rehabilitating different forms of injuries, such as stroke, through our Exercise Physiology, Physiotherapy, and Remedial Massage services. Reach out to us today via 1300 090 931 or email@example.com to know how we can help you.
There is life after a stroke. Remember that the sooner you start your rehabilitation, the greater the likelihood of regaining the skills and abilities you have lost. Remedial massage can be an excellent treatment to support other therapies to help boost your mobility and flexibility and get you back on track to more independent living and a better quality of life.