Stroke / Mild Stroke Rehab Can Be Boring But It Doesn’t Have To Be!
Which would you rather do for your stroke / mild stroke recovery program?
Early on in (mild) stroke recovery, it can be difficult to use the small amount of emerging movement a person has to engage in something that allows for a high intensity, high repetition program in order to continue to improve range of motion and function. The tools that have long been used in therapy, like the arm skate, can be mildly effective, but can also leave patients wishing there was something more exciting and engaging to keep them moving.
The Neofect Smart Board is a new rehab tool that can help both clinicians and home users translate the movement that a person has to engaging games like ping pong and games that mimic activities of daily living like feeding pets.
Here are four ways to spice up your stroke / mild stroke rehab program:
- Find options like the Smart Board, Smart Glove or Smart Pegboard that turn your rehab into a game. Beating your score, trying to get more repetitions in less time and using your motion as a controller for these games keeps your mind engaged while your body is moving, providing increased motivation for improvement.
- Do your stroke rehab with a buddy. Working out with someone is a good way to stay motivated. Is there someone that you’ve met in a stroke support group, a friend or caregiver that might be able to join you for your therapy exercises? Accountability is one of the greatest ways that involving a buddy can help keep you on track.
- Connect with a local OT program to see if they offer any opportunities to come into classes or programs that they offer for adapted sports, recreation or pro-bono clinic options. Students often have fresh ideas and may be able to learn as much from you as you can from them. To find a school that might be near you go to: https://www.aota.org/Education-Careers/Find-School.aspx.
- See about clinical trials that might be happening in your area. If you want to freshen up your stroke recovery, consider joining a trial for a new device or approach to therapy. There are always new pieces of technology coming out, new drug trials and other things that may help to reinvigorate your stroke rehab progress. http://www.strokecenter.org/trials/
- Lauren Sheehan, OTD, OTR/LLauren is an occupational therapist, adjunct professor, therapy community builder and product manager based out of San Francisco, CA. Lauren works as a Field Clinical Manager for Neurolutions.