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Post Stroke Pain... What Can I Do?

Updated: Feb 28

Some individuals may experience pain after having a stroke. It can occur in different parts of the body, such as the affected limbs, joints, muscles, or even the entire side of the body that was affected by the stroke.

Physiotherapy for Stroke

To manage your symptoms, your doctor may prescribe various treatments, for example, pain relief medications and physiotherapy.


Physiotherapy can help manage post-stroke pain through the following steps:


1. Evaluation: Prior to any treatment, thorough assessment is required to gain a better understanding of the symptom(s). This will also give insight on its impact on mobility and daily activities. The assessment may involve evaluation of physical parameters, including muscle strength, tone, joint range of motion, and posture.


2. Tailored Exercise Program: Individualised exercise programs can manage pain, through exercises that focus on improving strength, flexibility, and coordination. These exercises can help alleviate pain, restore function, and enhance overall mobility.


3. Education and Self-Management: There are many pain management techniques that can be used, including proper body mechanics, postural correction, and relaxation exercises. The use of adaptive devices or assistive equipment that can make daily activities more manageable may also be recommended.


4. Manual techniques: In addition to exercises, manual techniques such as stretching, joint mobilisation or tissue release may be utilised to target specific areas of pain or stiffness. These techniques can help reduce muscle tension, improve circulation, and relieve pain.


5. Modalities: On top of active exercises, modalities to manage pain, such as heat or cold therapy, ultrasound, electrical stimulation, or TENS (transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation) may be utilised. These modalities can provide pain relief, reduce inflammation, and promote healing.


6. Lifestyle Modifications: Lifestyle changes, such as maintaining a healthy weight, engaging in regular physical activity, and managing stress, are also important factors that can influence post-stroke pain. Other options include using orthotics like the ankle-foot orthosis to support the foot better in walking, and reduce the risk of developing secondary complications that can contribute to pain.


It's important to note that each individual's experience with post-stroke pain is unique, and the physiotherapy approach may vary based on specific needs. Therefore, it is crucial to consult with a qualified physiotherapist who can provide appropriate guidance and develop a tailored treatment plan to address your post-stroke pain and help you regain function and quality of life.


If you know someone in need of rehabilitation post-stroke, drop us an email today.


For more information on stroke and rehabilitation, check out our resource on neurological rehabilitation here.

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