When someone suffers from a stroke, the longer between the beginning of the stroke and effective treatment, the worse the symptoms of the individual will be. Those who have more severe strokes might not ever fully recover if they aren’t treated immediately.
Stroke recovery is rarely an easy road. About half of everyone that suffers a stroke has some sort of difficulty with mobility after the stroke occurs. This can make it very difficult for families after a stroke occurs because providing care becomes very different. Oftentimes, a professional level of care is needed.
And while this is what we do everyday as a profession, avoiding the need for care is always a better option. Right?
A new form of treatment might help to reduce the number of people that suffer from long lasting physical issues after a stroke occurs.
Researchers have been looking at how exoskeleton robots impact a stroke victim’s ability to relearn how to walk. Looking at those that were receiving in-patient treatment for acute stroke recovery, a team recently looked at how this exoskeleton might help those who have suffered from a stroke regain the ability to walk as they once did.
The exoskeleton is something out of a science fiction movie. It fits over the patient’s body and does the walking for the patient. After comparing results of exoskeleton physical therapy to traditional physical therapy indicated that exoskeleton treatment was more effective. There was greater distance walked, more speed, and balance was better when the exoskeleton was used. Additionally, there were no reported falls or injuries that were associated with the robot. Ultimately, this will lead to a higher quality of life for these patients and help them to avoid the need for care to a greater degree. This treatment has the capability to help people live their life like they once did sooner after their stroke recovery begins.
Another benefit of the exoskeleton was that because it was located in the hospital, stroke patients could begin treatment very early in the recovery process. Treatment could begin almost immediately, and it could be provided in high doses as the patient is staying in the hospital for the foreseeable future. Although it is an expensive treatment, it holds a lot of promise for helping those that have had a debilitating stroke regain their ability to walk.
Early treatment is important because the brain contains more neuroplasticity in the hours after the stroke has been treated. It is easier to learn and relearn things during this time period than it is days later.
The team from the Kessler Foundation recently published their findings in the journal, NeuroRehabilitation. Hopefully, these findings help spur on future research to help more stroke victims make bigger steps toward a full recovery.
After a loved one suffers from a stroke, the road to recovery can be long. This exoskeleton treatment is a brand new approach and the vast majority of hospitals do not have access to this kind of technology at this point.
That’s where care can help. We hope that it’s never needed for your family, but if it is, it’s important you work with a team that understands your family’s unique situation. Give us a call, we’d love to help.