A physiotherapist, Oladunni Ladipo, has advised stroke patients to ensure constant physiotherapy and rehabilitation to prevent further deformity of the body.
Ladipo gave the advice in an interview with the press in Abuja.
She described stroke as a condition where partial or full paralysis of a person’s body occurred due to lack of blood supply to the brain.
She said that the rehabilitation involved physical activities that would get patients back to normalcy after a stroke.
Ladipo said that rehabilitation should start immediately a person suffered a stroke depending on the blood pressure of the patient.
“Passive exercise should be done continually to remind the brain to send signals to the paralysed part of the body.
The need for such therapies cannot be over emphasised because patients unconsciously move their body while the paralysed part of the body develops muscle atrophy and weakens.
The body works on a principle of use it or lose it and muscle atrophy is the wasting away of muscle due to misuse.
The patient should be positioned properly on the bed to avoid deformities depending on how bad the stroke is, while the blood pressure is stabilised to avoid reoccurrence.
The recovery normally comes gradually, but the physiotherapist is needed to help preserve the muscles in order to get the best recovery,” she said.
Ladipo said that a physiotherapist should teach patients proper breathing patterns “while the limbs, ribs, shoulders and fingers are massaged and exercised using passive movements on both the affected and unaffected parts”.
She said certain positions should be encouraged as careless positioning of a person who had had stroke might lead to further deformity.
She explained that the patient’s hands should be placed behind the head and carefully positioned and supported with pillows, especially around their shoulders.
Ladipo said that caregivers and family members should be taught some level of physiotherapy to handle patients appropriately.
She advised patients to join group treatment and support groups as such groups would help them psychologically and encourage them in their recovery process.
The physiotherapist said that patients could further consult the services of a psychologist to help manage their emotional setback, how best to stay strong and live positively again.