A Complete Guide: Physical Therapy For Stroke Patients At Home

Physical Therapy For Stroke Patients

A stroke destroys vital connections between your brain and your muscles, making it the leading cause of long-term disability and most often resulting in some physical limitations and movement. This loss, however, may not always be permanent. Indeed, rehabilitation is highly crucial during the early stages of recovery, when patients have next to no control over their affected muscles.

No matter where you are on your road to recovery, a consistent physical therapy routine will be critical to your long-term success. Learn why physical therapy for strokes is so beneficial to stroke survivors. Also, find out what to look for when choosing a facility and seeking out services for stroke survivors.

Related Blog: Everything You Need To Know About Physiotherapy At Home

10 Tips For Effective Physical Therapy For Stroke Patients At Home

There are numerous approaches to physical therapy for stroke patients at home. How do you know which techniques are best for you? Every stroke is unique, and each survivor will benefit most from different at-home therapies. As a result, experimentation is essential.

Following discharge from outpatient therapy, stroke patients must maintain a strong recovery program at home. For you to continue on the road to recovery, the brain requires constant stimulation.

Here are 10 tips for effective physical therapy at home for stroke patients.

1. Day-to-Day Stroke Rehabilitation Exercises
While exercise focuses on muscle strength, stroke recovery exercise activates your brain to send messages to your muscles for movement. Rehabilitation focuses on triggering neuroplasticity, the brain’s mechanism for rewiring itself and learning new skills.

Muscle strengthening is also a goal of stroke rehabilitation to help combat any muscle atrophy caused by inactivity.

2. Mirror Therapy To Stimulate Movement In Hands
Mirror therapy is a procedure for activating hand-to-brain signals, particularly for those people with hand paralysis or extremely restricted hand movement. This stroke therapy method involves using a tabletop mirror to cover the impacted arm with the reflection of the operable one. Then, while looking in the mirror, you perform tabletop hand therapy exercises.

Although you are aware that you are only moving one hand, the brain gets tricked into believing that you are setting in motion both your hands. It stimulates neuroplasticity and gradually improves mobility in the affected hand. 

3. Constraint-Induced Movement Therapy For Arm/Leg Paralysis
Constraint-induced movement therapy is a challenging type of physical therapy. Stroke patients can find this therapy beneficial. If you have hemiplegia or hemiparesis, it can work well. It works by limiting movement on the unaffected side and forcing the use of the impacted side. 

4. Mental Exercises To Improve Paralysis
Mental practice is especially beneficial for patients who are paralyzed and cannot move without support. It allows the brain to rewire itself without necessitating mobility.

Try mentally practicing your rehab exercises for 5 minutes before attempting them in real life. According to research, visualizing yourself moving activates neuroplasticity in the same way physically moving does. 

5. Home Rehabilitation Tools
Home therapy tools can make the process easier while recovering from a stroke at home if you’ve grown weary of following along the written sheets of exercises. Inquire with your therapists if they have any recommendations for home exercise equipment. 

6. Daily Therapeutic Movement
The majority of physical therapists have one primary objective for stroke rehabilitation at home: continue moving. During stroke recovery, any movement is beneficial. Daily, do your best to engage in therapeutic mobility exercises.

Because how consistently patients pursue long-term rehabilitation is one decisive factor of a successful recovery. If you take consistent steps over time, it will yield the best results. 

7. Kaizen
Kaizen is a Japanese term that refers to the practice of continuous improvement through small, consistent steps. Sounds too simple to be true? The hardest part is the simplicity. Kaizen entails patience and persistence, both of which find a requirement for physical therapy after a stroke. 

8. Maintaining A Distraction-free Environment
When your attention gets split between physical therapy and something else playing in the background, you aren’t getting the full benefit of physical therapy. To maintain your concentration for exercise, create a quiet, secluded environment. Your brain is busy rewiring itself. So, don’t let distractions get in the way of your progress. 

9. Keep Going After Reaching Plateau
Because each stroke is unique, all will recover at a different rate. However, there is a well-documented technique known as the stroke recovery plateau, in which results frequently slow down after three months.

It is normal, and you should expect it to occur. However, don’t let it prevent you from continuing your physical therapy at home. Although the results may take longer to appear, recovery will continue until you stop. 

10. Treatment For Root Cause Of Spasticity
Stretching is beneficial for spasticity, but combining it with daily rehab exercise is indeed better. Spasticity gets caused by a breakdown in communication between the brain and the body. When the brain finds it unable to send signals to the muscles telling them whether to move or relax, the muscles tighten up to safeguard themselves.

Stretching aids in the prevention of contractures and learned nonuse. It, however, does not address the underlying cause of spasticity. Rewiring the brain addresses the underlying problem. As a result, your daily at-home exercise improves mobility and reduces spasticity over time.

Benefits Of Physical Therapy For People With Stroke

Each person gets affected by a stroke differently. The severity of the symptoms can get determined by the size and location of the stroke. It’s your physical therapist’s job to evaluate your symptoms and create a unique treatment plan based on your needs and goals. Physical therapy’s long-term goal is to stimulate brain recovery and retrain muscles to move. It can also assist survivors in regaining independence and the ability to engage in daily activities.

Here are some more benefits of physical therapy for people who have suffered a stroke.

  • Recovery from brain damage and loss of muscle function
  • Reducing stiffness of and maintaining circulation to affected muscles and nerves
  • Relearning movements and activities
  • Rebuilding mobility and physical strength
  • Recovering better and faster

A stroke can cost you your regular movement and mobility. Therefore, if you opt for physical therapy, you can bring back your strength and benefit in many other ways.

How Can You Find The Right Physical Therapist?

Though your doctor will determine which rehabilitation option is best for you, you and your family can select your physiotherapist. You do not need a physician’s referral to use direct access to the physical therapist’s services. But your health insurer should be able to determine which ones are in your coverage network.

Essentially, your physical therapist should meet specific criteria to be able to treat you after your stroke. The person you choose should,

  • Be a licensed physical therapist
  • Provide correct assessment of your progress
  • Work on a program that focuses on patient care
  • Set the right goals for you, taking your aspirations and limitations into account
  • Push you to reach your current physical limits and not attempt to go past them
  • Understand your post-stroke troubles, disabilities, and other symptoms
  • Devote their full attention to you during physical therapy and assess your progress
  • Offer direct, one-on-one care and constant observation to prevent injury

It is critical to stick to your physical therapy routine and begin therapeutic exercises as soon as possible after your stroke to begin recovery.

How Do Physical Therapists Help Stroke Patients?

Following a stroke, your physical therapist will typically devise individualized treatment plans for you. During your first appointment with your new physiotherapist, they will thoroughly examine your body, consult your doctor’s notes, and interview you or a family member about your symptoms and setbacks thus far.

It will allow them to create a plan tailored to your specific needs. It will focus on restoring mobility and mitigating problems that may arise following a stroke. Your physiotherapy routine will revolve around concrete objectives that you and your therapist will set and work toward together.


Physical therapy after your stroke is an essential part of the long road back recovery. You need to choose the right program and set clear goals, which may never come easy. Be sure to communicate your needs and requirements in the best possible manner. It will help you find the best facility and program for you. As we all know, recovery can take time, so you need to approach licensed and certified physical therapists who will aid in the process.

Looking For Physical Therapists For Stroke At Home In Dubai?

The process of recovery for any ailment, including stroke, requires expert guidance and treatment. Aims Healthcare offers several physiotherapy treatments at home in Dubai. Our DHA-licensed physiotherapists provide physical therapy at home for recovery from stroke, surgeries, disabilities, injuries, and other disorders as well.  Therefore, if you wish to avail yourself of the Physiotherapy-at-Home services in Dubai, get in touch at +971 458 26 555 or fill out the contact form for more information.

Aims Healthcare

Aims Healthcare intertwines superior medical practices with accessibility of highly qualified medical professionals to yield exceptional patient care and clinical outcomes. We take medical care one step further by providing first-rate home healthcare and doctor-on-call services at your doorstep. We are available any time of day for you and every member of your family.