Stroke is the number four killer in Hong Kong. For every sixth second around the globe, a person dies of stroke. Stroke is the cause of over 3000 deaths in Hong Kong per year on average with patients being over 50 years old, but recent numbers indicate stroke patients are getting younger.
The severity of sequela after a stroke varies, but most stroke patients are left with certain disabilities, sever cases may result in hemiparesis or even death. Some patients lose motor due to brain damage, some affecting muscle coordination in the face, mouth, tongue, and throat thus hindering speech and communication.
In the unfortunate event of a stroke, early rehabilitation is as important as treatment to regain functions prior to the stroke. Passive exercises, such as massage and stretches to prevent muscle spasticity, are beneficial in early stages of rehabilitation, and should be capitalize in the first six months of golden hour for stroke recovery. The first three months after a stroke was formerly considered golden recovery hour by the medical community. As the conditions of ischemia, cerebral edema, intracerebral haemorrhage, and intracranial pressure improve, recovery is sped up in the first three months. However, many areas can still be improved after the three months, with focus on assisting the restructure and recoordination of brain functions, and relearning motor skills. Even serious stroke patients, with more time and training, show significant improvements.
Stroke rehabilitation surrounds the patient’s motor functions, swallowing function, cognitive function, and self-care ability. Physiotherapy plays a crucial role on the road of stroke recovery by helping patients regain motor functions and regain limb control, that progresses to walking and other motor skills, ultimately rehabilitating the patient back into society and the workforce.
Some physiotherapists state 85% of stroke patients with lower limb disabilities can only sit or need assistance standing up before therapy and training. After three months of rehabilitation, 95% of patients can walk on their own. Studies also show rehabilitation trainings with continuous goals can stimulate the brain, improving its functionality and recovery. Thus, stroke rehabilitation exercises should be done daily and continuously. Post-stroke rehabilitation is a long battle that affects work and daily life. When choosing critical illness insurance, take an extra step in checking if relevant rehabilitations are covered in additional monthly reimbursements for up to 6 months, and a rehabilitation program can be tailored for your needs. To learn more, visit the link below.
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