If you or a loved one has had a stroke, you likely know that there can be some misinformation or misunderstandings about the facts surrounding stroke and stroke recovery.
The 4 Most Misunderstood Myths About Stroke and Stroke Recovery
- The window of recovery for motor function is limited to 6 months and then “what you have is what you’ll get”. It’s amazing that even as we know more about brain science and neuroplasticity, there are still some medical professionals that believe that there is a hard stop to motor recovery at a certain time. Cortical reorganization is at its peak shortly after a stroke, and that window of prior to 12 weeks is most promising for spontaneous recovery, however, improvements have been shown with engaging, intense and repetitious programs, including the Smart Glove, after as many as 15 years!
- Watch out, you might “overdo” it when doing your rehab, take it easy! While it’s true that fatigue can be a factor in stroke recovery, we do know that there is more evidence that supports a dose-response relationship of motor recovery. Typically, the more repetitions and intensity that a stroke recovery program entails, the better motor outcomes and more improvement you’ll see, particularly in your hand and arm function. That said, do listen to your fatigue as well as any discomfort as part of your program. Report any new aches and pains to your therapist and physician.
No pain, no gain! While this might apply to body building or heavy workouts, it does not apply in the same way to stroke recovery. Listen to your body’s signals that it might be in distress. Pain, particularly pain in the upper extremity, including the shoulder, is important to be aware of to avoid any tissue damage. Use the range of motion exercises and activities from your therapists in order to stay flexible and avoid activity related pain or discomfort.
Strokes only happen to “old” people. Stroke doesn’t discriminate and people of any age can have a stroke...from babies in utero, to young children, adolescents, adults and older adults as well.
The Neofect Smart Rehab programs are designed to work with and for individuals at any age and stage of recovery after stroke, from our Smart Kids device for little ones, Smart Glove for older adolescents and adults, Smart Board for shoulder and reach retraining and Smart Pegboard for fine motor training, we have a solution to fit your home rehab needs. Check out all the Neofect rehabilitation tools HERE to see how they might benefit you or a loved one!
- 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.