Stroke Physiotherapy in London and Essex

What is a stroke?

A stroke is a medical emergency. It happens when the blood supply to part of the brain is cut off. Urgent treatment is essential.

What are common stroke symptoms?

The acronym FAST (Face, Arms, Speech, Time) helps family and friends understand the signs of stroke. Call 999 immediately if you see any of these signs or symptoms.

A major stroke survivor could end up with paralysis on one side of the body and need a hoist to transfer. A minor stroke survivor may have difficulties using the arm in everyday activities. The severity of stroke and ability to recover varies from person to person.

What are the main causes of a stroke?

There are two main causes of stroke:
Ischaemic, which accounts for approximately 85%, is as a result of a clot in the brain.
Haemorrhagic, which accounts for approximately 15%, is where blood accumulates and compresses the surrounding brain tissue. This happens because of weakened blood vessels which burst.

There is also a condition called a transient ischaemic attack, it is the same as a stroke, but the symptoms resolve quickly. This is also often due to a clot , which blocks the blood supply to the brain. The clot moves on quickly so the stroke symptoms resolve. It is essential to get medical help straight away, even if the person feels fine after. Having a transient ischaemic attack is a risk factor for having a stroke.

What are other key risk factors for a stroke?

High Blood pressure
High cholesterol
Atrial fibrillation

It is essential people work closely with their healthcare team to manage these conditions.

Diagram of FAST test for stroke

How can I recover from a stroke?

Evidence supports early, high intensity, rehabilitation. In the early stages, a minimum of 45 minutes of Physiotherapy, five days a week is recommended. Rehabilitation begins whilst in hospital. Some clients also attend a period of inpatient rehabilitation to help them return home. This may be followed by community rehabilitation, which is where Estuary Physio can help.

What if I need private Physiotherapy in my own home?

Following a stroke, a Physiotherapist works closely alongside other health professionals to help a client relearn skills they have lost. Physiotherapists work closely with clients, families and the healthcare team to set client-centred goals.

This helps guide our treatment, to improve independence, build confidence and improve quality of life. Treatments may include: Soft tissue massage, functional practice, passive mobilisations, exercise prescription including Pilates, respiratory techniques, constraint-induced movement, functional electrical stimulation, orthotics, weight management, and gait re-education. A general consensus is that the most important element is a carefully directed, task-specific, repetitive programme.

How can I prevent another stroke?

Clients who have already had a stroke are at greater risk of having another. We work closely with other members of the healthcare team to ensure our clients are taking the prescribed medication to manage their risk factors, change behaviours such as taking regular exercise and eating healthy as well as supporting with smoking cessation and reducing alcohol consumption, as needed.

What is the stroke recovery timeline?

Rehabilitation is a lifelong process for most people. We work with our clients to find a way to build it into their life and find a way to make physical activity something that they love and can continue life long. We will help stroke survivors work towards their maximum potential but, there is no quick fix and we do not have a magic wand. Overall, rehabilitation takes time, patience and dedication.

Young physiotherapist holding hand of elderly patient

Will I benefit from Physiotherapy?

A stroke survivor will be assessed in the hospital by a multidisciplinary team. A consultant will make a recommendation as to which healthcare professionals would be beneficial for recovery. At Estuary Physio, our initial assessment lasts one hour, following this session we are able to make a recommendation as to whether Physiotherapy would be beneficial.

Clients and their family may find it encouraging to read stroke survivor stories, it can feeling isolating and lonely after having a stroke. It can be helpful to read stories of those who have reclaimed their lives.

Booking an Appointment

If you would like to find out more about Estuary Physios stroke service, please get in touch with us today and speak with one of our clinicians.

Helpful resources:

Medical Review

The information on this page has been reviewed for accuracy by Barry Ford BSc MCSP, Physiotherapist

Other conditions we treat:

We understand that our clients often have a range of medical conditions. Our therapists have a broad range of backgrounds. For example, following a stroke, clients may find that their chronic lower back pain is worse. We have specialist musculoskeletal therapists who can work alongside a Neurology Physiotherapist to get the best results. Here are some other conditions we treat here at Estuary Physio:

Young physiotherapist with elderly man exercising with band