Advances in stroke recovery are an enormous part of medical progress. Stroke is the third-deadliest disease worldwide, and many survivors face a steep uphill battle. Stroke victims are a large percentage of rehab facility inpatients, and much of their day revolves around therapies of various sorts to get them back in shape.
The challenge in stroke recovery
The faster a stroke victim is treated, the better chances of recovery he has. Time is crucial, because brain cells continue to die each second. Once the patient has been stabilized, the process of recovery begins. Some people escape without any damage, and the amount of damage for each individual will vary, from superficial disturbances to the inability to walk or talk.
Strategies for success
There are many types of therapy that rehabilitation experts use in their exertions to facilitate recovery for stroke patients. These range from typical therapies like speech and physical, to more innovative efforts such as electromagnetic therapy and robotics. There has been great success with many of these attempts, but stroke recovery remains slow for many patients.
Zero gravity and stroke recovery
A new approach to stroke recovery involves creating a zero gravity environment for stroke therapy. The theory is very logical: when a person’s limb is damaged, repeated movements with the limb help the person gain greater mobility. A rehab approach to practice makes perfect. However, the repeated movements can become difficult and tedious for patients who are already limited, which greatly impedes the process. In a zero gravity environment, the patient does not have to fight against gravity to use his limbs, making the process much easier and effective.
New technology allows therapy to take place in an environment that tries to mimic a spaceship in space, where people float around, weightless. In this type of environment, people are more free to move their limbs and practice repeated movements without feeling weighed down or worrying about balance. Anti-gravity machines are also safer than traditional equipment, since patients don’t have to worry about falling. In fact, patients using the equipment have reported feeling much more motivated using the equipment, since safety concerns are accounted for, and it’s much easier to do the exercises.
The structure of the system uses a lightweight body suit that the patient puts on, similar to a harness, that is attached to a track system in the ceiling. The amount of support the body suit provides can be changed depending on the patient and his needs. With this setup, the therapist can give the patient training exercises that the patient can do easily.
At Sinai, we offer the latest advances in stroke recovery, as it’s one of our specialties, with a range of therapies to match each patient’s unique, individual needs. We have a full staff of expert and professional therapists and other clinicians who will assess each patient’s needs and create an individualized plan to meet each person’s unique goals.