Some degree of physical disability is to be expected when a person experiences a stroke. Strokes occur when blood flow is restricted to an area of the brain, either from a clot or from a brain bleed, resulting in the death of brain cells. Whatever functions these cells perform must be relearned by the person who suffered the cerebral-vascular event.
Physical therapy is required for the vast majority of stroke sufferers. Therapy is used to regain lost motor skills with the goal of returning to the same quality of life experienced before the event. There are a variety of therapies a person might be prescribed. Mobility training is often one of the first types of physical therapy for stroke victims. Maximizing mobility is important for retaining and regaining quality of life. Wheelchairs, canes, and walkers are all utilized to help the patient redevelop the balance and strength necessary to move around their environment.
Motor skill exercises and range of motion exercises are used to enable patients to perform daily living skills. These can include relearning how to eat, drink, manipulate small objects, and reach items outside the immediate vicinity of the patient. The degree to which these skills must be relearned is different from patient to patient.
Strokes often affect one side of the body more than others. In these situations, the side of the body that is more affected needs to be retrained. But many patients will compensate by using the unaffected side of their body, causing the other side to atrophy. To combat this, physical therapists will use restraint therapy, limiting the use of the less affected body part and requiring the patient to use the other side until they become proficient.
The extent to which physical therapy is needed is based in large part on how quickly the stroke was identified and treated. If a physician missed the diagnosis, the likelihood of significant brain damage is much higher, and the amount of physical therapy needed is drastically increased. If a doctor missed a stroke diagnosis for you or a loved one, please retain an experienced attorney to help you push for the compensation to which you are entitled so all the necessary therapies can be justified.