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Physiotherapy for Bed-Bound Stroke Patients: An Introduction

When stroke strikes, it often leaves patients bed-bound. Physiotherapy is an integral part of healing from a stroke and becomes a beacon of hope through this recovery journey. Physiotherapy is especially essential during the early stages of a stroke. This is where you can lay the foundation for faster healing, even when the challenges seem daunting.

Our program for early physiotherapy of stroke patients keeps the needs of the patient as its central focus. Your needs at this vulnerable stage of recovery will be unique to you. That’s why our primary focus isn’t just on your muscle strength or joint mobility—it’s about your overall well-being. We believe in a holistic approach that extends far beyond simple exercises.

One of our priorities is promoting good circulation if you are bed-bound. Many complications, such as clotting and long-term joint tightness are risks after you suffer from a stroke. Proper blood flow is essential for healing and preventing these complications.

Our physiotherapists use gentle, targeted strategies to stimulate circulation. This helps ensure vital nutrients and oxygen reach all parts of your body. Similarly, maintaining muscle tone and focusing on respiratory care are other main goals of initial physiotherapy after a stroke.

For anyone navigating the aftermath of a stroke, engaging in physiotherapy can be key to reclaiming their health and vitality. PT forms a critical cornerstone of the multi-faceted approach towards your post-stroke healing. It’s about reclaiming your dignity, and quality of life.

Read on to see how customised PT helps you lay the groundwork for future independence.

Physiotherapy for Bed-Bound Patients

Recovering after a stroke isn’t easy, especially if you’re bed-bound. Our trained physiotherapists help you better navigate your recovery. They make sure all interventions are tailored to your condition. After a thorough examination, our therapists craft a plan to maintain and improve your current physical status.

The role of our expert professionals extends beyond mere assessment. We also try to establish a trusting relationship with you, which is crucial for effective therapy. Your physiotherapy plan adapts over time as you progress or new challenges arise.

The objectives of each regimen we design differ. They might include goals like enhancing bed mobility, improving respiratory function, or preparing for eventually getting out of bed.

Let’s look at some essential elements of early physiotherapy for stroke survivors and the role they play in your overall recovery.

Promoting Circulation with Basic Exercises

Stroke occurs as a consequence of blocked or ruptured blood vessels. That means, the arteries leading to and within your brain get severely affected. Enhancing circulation is mission-critical after you’ve experienced a stroke. It’s vital for preventing further blood clots and ensuring nutrients reach all body parts.

That’s why the exercises we prescribe often include ankle pumps, leg lifts, or arm circles. These exercises increase circulation by “pumping” blood and reducing the risk of vascular issues.

Preventing Muscle Atrophy

If stroke has left you bed-bound, then loss of muscle mass (atrophy) and strength is a significant risk for you. Our targeted physiotherapy exercises help mitigate these risks. We incorporate passive range-of-motion exercises in your physiotherapy to gently stretch all major joints.

We later incorporate active-assisted and active exercises as you progress in your rehab and gain the power to move independently.

These exercises expand beyond just limb movements and ensure that each part of the body receives attention. This approach helps you maintain muscular and joint health while remaining in bed. It’s also a great way to reduce the risk of contractures and manage immobility-related pain.

Another set of exercises called isometric exercises helps you target specific muscle groups. To preserve muscle mass, we customise these movements to suit your mobility level. These exercises might be as simple as pushing against an immovable object or tensing muscles against resistance. These simple movements provide a stimulus for muscle maintenance without needing to move your joints.

Respiratory Physiotherapy for Enhanced Lung Function

Maintaining lung function is critical if you’re immobile after a stroke. In our respiratory physiotherapy regimen, we use specific techniques designed to keep your lungs clear and functional.

Reduced mobility puts you at a higher risk for pneumonia. To prevent this common complication, we integrate techniques such as assisted coughing to help clear your lungs of mucus. Deep breathing exercises are another cornerstone of respiratory physiotherapy. These simple movements help maintain lung capacity and adequate oxygenation of your body.

Educating the patient is another way our PT programs differ from other run-of-the-mill PT protocols. The “why” behind these techniques is simple: keeping the lungs active and clear prevents serious complications and contributes to overall health.  It’s the best way to ensure optimal oxygen delivery and carbon dioxide removal.

Strategies to Prevent Pressure Sores

One of the risks of spending most of your time in bed is developing pressure sores. These sores can lead to severe infections and significantly impact your recovery trajectory. Here are three ways our physiotherapists help nip bed sores in the bud:

  • Regular repositioning: Changing your position regularly is a simple strategy to prevent pressure sores. This helps relieve pressure on vulnerable areas and promotes healthy circulation while reducing the risk of skin breakdown.
  • Skincare and monitoring: Regularly inspecting the skin helps identify early signs of pressure sores. Our therapist teaches you how to check your skin and keep it clean and dry. Sometimes, we recommend specialised cushions or pressure-relieving mattresses to reduce your risk of sores developing significantly.
  • Gentle mobilisation techniques: Even minimal movements can enhance blood flow and minimise your risk of pressure sores. Our physiotherapists use gentle mobilisation techniques to adjust your position and promote circulation. These movements also lay the groundwork for future PT and eventually, getting you back on your feet.

PT is pivotal in maintaining your well-being, preventing complications, and increasing activity. All our PT regimens are systematically designed to address the various aspects of your physical health while you’re bed-bound.

Our strategy is to keep you as comfortable as possible while maintaining lung function, muscle tone and skin integrity. That’s how we strive to maximise your chances of making a full recovery

Patient testimonial for rehab at Clearcut Physiotherapy in London.

Adapting the Physiotherapy Plan

A key component of our approach towards physiotherapy for bed-bound patients is the consistent reassessment and adaptation of your treatment plan. Why does physiotherapy for stroke-bedbound patients require this customisation and meticulous planning? Because timely adjustments help ensure optimal recovery outcomes. As you progress in your recovery, your needs change.

Regular reassessment allows our physiotherapists to better track your progress and identify any new challenges or improvements. This ongoing evaluation makes early interventions possible so that your physiotherapy plan remains aligned with your health status.

As you regain strength, mobility, and function, we adjust the intensity or type of exercises in your regimen to match. Conversely, the plan can address these issues if you experience a setback or complication.

Your Next Steps

Time is of the essence when it comes to making a full recovery after suffering from a stroke. We understand how regaining mobility contributes to your overall well-being and quality of life during this challenging phase.

Worried about getting the right PT care after your stroke? Then you’re in the right place. At our clinics in Eltham, Battersea and Norbury, physiotherapists are ready to help.

Custom-tailored PT programs are how we ensure that you continue to receive the most effective post-stroke care possible. Reach out to us today to see how we can guide you better through post-stroke recovery.