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-   -   How to rehabilitate 5 years after... Please help!! (http://www.healthboards.com/boards/stroke/895422-how-rehabilitate-5-years-after-please-help.html)

Rozario 04-01-2012 09:47 PM

How to rehabilitate 5 years after... Please help!!
 
Hello everyone,

I'm really glad I found this forum. My step-father Joe had a near fatal stroke 5 years ago and lost quite a bit of function on the left side of his body. Right after the stroke he could still move his arm and open and close his hand and move his leg with quite a bit of effort.

We started his recovery at that time but over time we really didn't stick with it and we just became complacent with things. Over the past 5 years he actually lost quite a bit of the ability to move that he had after the stroke - it's way worse now after having not done anything, his hand is really siezed up. I rightfully am to blame for this and it has really been pressed upon me lately to help him recover - he was a second father to me and deserves to have a better quality of life. I know giving up on him was a really shameful thing to do. I'm absolutely determined to help him now but I just don't know where to start since he's five years into it.

I was thinking about applying heat to the tightened areas (maybe towels soaked in warm water) and massaging them / trying to slowly loosen them up over time / putting something in his hand to hold it slightly open and increasing it's size over time. Other than that - I really don't know what exersizes to do -

Thank you so much!!

Mulchie 04-02-2012 04:09 PM

Re: How to rehabilitate 5 years after ... Please help!!
 
Hello and welcome to our family.
It is very very hard being a caregiver you really should not be so hard on yourself. It is so hard to know what to do and difficult to find answers and help. I actually felt at one point like I should ask the doctor if he had hear of STROKE. Anyway you are here now and thats great and Im so glad you want to increase mobility for your step father. However, I would air on caution and try to find someone to help or at least to advice you. After a limb has been none functinal for 5 years some deteriation has occured in the muscle and joints. You may cause more problems by forcing it. I like the idea of the warm towels and gentle encouragement. I am a firm believer in "its never over till its over". Is there any way you can get advice from a physio therapist. I like to think there is something you can do to increase mobility its just a matter of knowing how and what exercises to do. My physio thereapist was great at pointing out what exercises I needed to do to focus on a specific muscle. He was also very good at setting up the program so you gradually increased and strengthened the limb.
When we are building ourselves back up I do know its tiny steps over a long period of time that gives us our greatest results and that takes patience on both your parts. Good luck and please let us know how your doing. It is my concern and my advice to you that you get some direction from a professional.
God Bless Mulchie

kellib23 04-02-2012 04:47 PM

Re: How to rehabilitate 5 years afte... Please help!!
 
hi,

i'm not sure if it helps. i myself am a 3 stroke survivor myself and it's been almost 4 years.

i don't know if i happened to get lucky...but there is a clinic for physical therapy students at my local college. insurance stinks and will only pay for minimal rehab. and i happened to stumble across it this is now my second year. it can't hurt to call and ask a physical therapy department if they have anything to offer or suggest.

good luck!

Rozario 04-02-2012 09:09 PM

Re: How to rehabilitate 5 years after... Please help!!
 
Thank you both for the warm welcome. That is an excellent suggestion - my town does have a University with a physical therapy department - and I just called and left a message with them. I will keep you updated with his progress.

Mulchie 04-14-2012 09:48 AM

Re: How to rehabilitate 5 years after... Please help!!
 
Hello
I was wondering how you and your step dad are doing? Did you manage to get him into physio and get some advice? Anxious to hear.
God Bless Mulchie

goingtorun 04-15-2012 03:50 AM

Re: How to rehabilitate 5 years after... Please help!!
 
g'day Rozario,
Hope you and all loved ones are well as can be. Sorry to hear about your dad. Being a carer is no easy task, you have to put your life on hold to look after a loved one, i know from experience what it all about.
Mate after 5 years of inactiveity theres bound to be a certain amount of muscle shorting and wasting. As Mulchie said your best bet is to see a physio that specialise in long term stroke patients. I'm recovering from a brain stem clot that happened on the 18/03/2010. recovery is slow, sometimes you take one step forward then two steps back, never give up on your dad.I know you won't. Just remember slow and steady, and be patient .
Keep in touch and may you have the strenght to carry on.

God bless and all the very best.
George

p.s. sorry took so long to write, hope was some help.

madfit 04-23-2012 10:09 AM

Re: How to rehabilitate 5 years after... Please help!!
 
Hi,
I had a stroke 9 years ago. Totally paralyzed on the right side. Within 3 years, my only disability now is to walk with a cane. I was also driving and still am, thanks to great therapy and the gym.

After the first 9 months with excellent rehab, and since the medical plan didn't pay for any more, my Doctor suggested joining a gym for 3 times a week, about 1-2 hours a day.
That's what really got me back. If your father cannot afford a gym membership or get to one, I will give you some geat exercises I developed myself at home.

Here they are, and I hope they work:
1. Take your arm, and with the other hand massage the affected arm, trying to loosen the muscles. If you keep doing this, eventually it will loosen up. In rehab this method is called “Miofacial Release”. The therapist did for me and I continued to do it at home. It really worked on me. Ask at Rehab if they offer it.

2. Stengthen your whole arm including your fingers, by taking a plastic grocery bag and put a few groceries, adding more and more weight when you think you can. You'll be surprised, by carrying the bag with 2 or 3 fingers, you'll see how strong both the fingers and arm become and the muscles will loosen up.

3. With the affected hand, pull the fingers on the opposite hand, one at a time, and keep stretching them out. Stretch each joint on the finger, the 3 joints on every finger. I constantly did this. My hand used to be like a claw. You should see it now. I am even touch typing this note using every finger on both hands. It takes a strong will, perseverance and a lot of work.

Take the good hand and pull on the thumb stetching it, farther and farther from the index finger. After a while, you'll notice you can separate the thumb from the index finger until it is normal like your good hand.

4. Then when you have accomplished this, just try opening and closing the fingers, over and over until they become strong.

5. Use a tight springed clothes pin, and keep pressing it open, this will also give strength to the fingers.

6. Put some small type shaped pasta or marbles in a bowl and try picking one at a time up. This gives coordination.

7. Did they give you puddy in therapy? That was also good to build strength.

8. It's very important to do exercises all the time. Just relaxing in bed, sitting in a chair or anyplace. I even used to do this when someone took me by car shopping, after a while it will be instinctive. I can personally attest to these exercises helping.

9. Use the squeeze ball method to gain strength, while watching TV, in a car, etc.
Hope this helps you! Good luck.

madfit 04-23-2012 10:15 AM

Re: How to rehabilitate 5 years after... Please help!!
 
Hi,
I had a stroke 9 years ago. Totally paralyzed on the right side. Within 3 years, my only disability now is to walk with a cane. I was also driving and still am, thanks to great therapy and the gym.

After the first 9 months with excellent rehab, and since the medical plan didn't pay for any more, my Doctor suggested joining a gym for 3 times a week, about 1-2 hours a day.
That's what really got me back. If your father cannot afford a gym membership or get to one, I will give you some geat exercises I developed myself at home.

Here they are, and I hope they work:
1. Take your arm, and with the other hand massage the affected arm, trying to loosen the muscles. If you keep doing this, eventually it will loosen up. In rehab this method is called “Miofacial Release”. The therapist did for me and I continued to do it at home. It really worked on me. Ask at Rehab if they offer it.

2. Stengthen your whole arm including your fingers, by taking a plastic grocery bag and put a few groceries, adding more and more weight when you think you can. You'll be surprised, by carrying the bag with 2 or 3 fingers, you'll see how strong both the fingers and arm become and the muscles will loosen up.

3. With the affected hand, pull the fingers on the opposite hand, one at a time, and keep stretching them out. Stretch each joint on the finger, the 3 joints on every finger. I constantly did this. My hand used to be like a claw. You should see it now. I am even touch typing this note using every finger on both hands. It takes a strong will, perseverance and a lot of work.

Take the good hand and pull on the thumb stetching it, farther and farther from the index finger. After a while, you'll notice you can separate the thumb from the index finger until it is normal like your good hand.

4. Then when you have accomplished this, just try opening and closing the fingers, over and over until they become strong.

5. Use a tight springed clothes pin, and keep pressing it open, this will also give strength to the fingers.

6. Put some small type shaped pasta or marbles in a bowl and try picking one at a time up. This gives coordination.

7. Did they give you puddy in therapy? That was also good to build strength.

8. It's very important to do exercises all the time. Just relaxing in bed, sitting in a chair or anyplace. I even used to do this when someone took me by car shopping, after a while it will be instinctive. I can personally attest to these exercises helping.

9. Use the squeeze ball method to gain strength, while watching TV, in a car, etc.
Hope this helps you! Good luck.


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