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Rehab & Exercise: Crucial to Stroke Recovery

Rehab & Exercise: Crucial to Stroke Recovery

In the months after stroke, patients can regain lost cognitive and motor skills through physical, occupational and speech therapy. Through aerobic exercise, they can help protect themselves from future stroke.

A store destroys neural pathways in the brain that help it communicate with the body. The immediate goal of rehabilitation is to rebuild those neural pathways, said Lindsey Cone, OTR/L, occupational therapist at Archbold’s Advanced Therapy and Sports Medicine.

Regaining mobility often starts with repeated physical stimulation – like moving or rubbing an affected arm, she said. Progress takes time, especially for patients who must relearn basic skills, like speaking, swallowing and balance.

“Often, we’re working on sitting up independently on the edge of a mat,” Cone said. “We take things very slow and give patients time to regain their mobility.”

Continue with Cardio

Depending on the type of stroke and how quickly it’s treated, some patients fully recover through speech and physical therapy. If they don’t, an occupational therapist can help them adjust.

“We teach patients compensatory strategies and different techniques to help them dress themselves, bathe themselves, perform simple cooking tasks – any daily task that’s meaningful to them,” Cone said.

Patients with limited mobility should ask their therapist the best exercise to boost their heart rate, as a sedentary lifestyle increases the risk for cardiovascular disease and another stroke. Cardio exercises can also boost the ability to conduct activities of daily living.

For more information about rehabilitation services at Archbold, visit