Stroke Treatment

Every year around 150,000 people in the UK have a stroke. This summary will help you understand some of the causes and show how physiotherapy can help.


What is a stroke?

A stroke is a sudden ‘brain attack’ that occurs when the blood flow to part of the brain is cut off. If brain cells do not receive enough oxygen, they can be damaged or destroyed. This may make it difficult for the person to move their facial muscles and limbs, to speak and swallow, or to understand what is happening around them.


What causes it?

A stroke is usually caused by a blood clot blocking part of one of the arteries carrying blood to the brain, or a blood vessel within the brain bursting, resulting in bleeding into the brain. Stroke is more common in men than women, and in people over the age of 55, although it can occur at any age. A family history may increase the risk, as can lifestyle factors such as diet, drinking alcohol, smoking and lack of exercise, but sometimes there is no obvious cause.


How can physiotherapy help?

Physiotherapists play a key role in the healthcare team within hospital specialised stroke units, which also include doctors, nurses and occupational therapists, and in home after care services. As the ‘movement expert’ on the team, the physiotherapist’s main aim is to help the person regain their movement and mobility.


What will happen when I see a physiotherapist?

If you cannot move after a stroke, the physiotherapist may help to position you. With time they will help you develop movement in any affected limbs or other muscles. Once you can participate in your own treatment, they will develop a personal programme, which may continue at your home once you are discharged from hospital.

The physiotherapist will work with you to help you become as physically independent and fit as possible. To help them do this they will ask lots of questions, watch your movements and touch the affected areas.


Are there physiotherapists with extra training in this area?

Physiotherapists with a special interest in treating people following a stroke are likely to be members of the Association of Chartered Physiotherapists Interested in Neurology – ACPIN


Stroke Treatment at SPS Clinics

SPS Clinics have a Stroke Specialist; Audrey Bramford MCSP HPC (SRP). Audrey is a Clinical Specialist and is a member of ACPIN and has 25 years experience in treating Stroke.