Every year, more than 795,000 people in the United States have a stroke, which is the leading cause of serious long term disability. Those affected by stroke are commonly left with severe deficits in mobility and function that affect their ability to perform even the most simple of daily tasks. Due to these staggering statistics there have been large amounts of research performed on the best strategies for patients affected by stroke to recover from its devastating effects.
One of the most promising and successful strategies for stroke rehabilitation is enhancing neuroplasticity. This is done by retraining the surviving neuronal cells to compensate for stroke-related impairment through brain reorganization, sprouting and rewiring of neurons. Essentially, neuroplasticity is the formation of new functional connections between neurons as a result of experience, which results in improved function. Because the structure of the brain is constantly changing through neuroplasticity, we are able to continually learn throughout the course of life both in health and disease; however for this process of making new connections and networks to take place it requires ‘activity.’ It is easy to see the importance of enhancing neuroplasticity and on one of the best ways to accomplish this is through cortical stimulation with task specific training.
Task specific training uses repetition of typical daily tasks, such as drinking from a glass, and breaks that task into the smaller parts required to complete it successfully. The individual is then taught small components of the movement required to complete the task. This treatment is performed with guidance from a physical therapist, with the goal of regaining the movements lost due to stroke through reorganization and sprouting of neurons.
If you or someone you know has suffered a stroke and are having difficulty performing everyday functional tasks, you could benefit from physical therapy to enhance neuroplasticity through task specific training. Hohman Rehab specializes in treating patients that have suffered a stroke – whether it was recent or many years ago. We see patients in the Clermont 34711 area. Call today for a free screen!