Private Physiotherapy For Stroke Patients
As a physiotherapist, stroke rehabilitation is close to my heart. The good news is that there are many different private physiotherapy options for patients evolving.
In this article, I will take you through some of the main benefits of physiotherapy on stroke recovery, private physiotherapy exercise classes for stroke patients, one to one private physiotherapy options and some apps that you may find useful as an adjunct to physiotherapy or even just to have a go at yourself.
Benefits of Physiotherapy
The benefits of physiotherapy post stroke are well documented. In fact, anyone who has a stroke should be assessed within 72 hours by a physio to identify their specific impairments and likely rehabilitation needs.
They will be set goals to work towards, and should be followed up at six months post stroke to reassess how they are getting on and identify any ongoing or additional needs.
Physiotherapy For Stroke
There are huge benefits of physiotherapy for stroke patients:
- Increase their ability to perform functional activities – such as sitting up, getting dressed, walking, taking part in sports
- Minimise risk of falls
- Increase strength and balance
- Improve posture
- Maintain and manage range of movement on their joints and help to manage pain
- Educate about rehab and how to best look after themselves
Recommendations are made in the National Stroke Guidelines about the modalities of physiotherapy that are useful for each impairment. In generally terms, stroke physiotherapy consists of the following practices:
- Repetitive exercises
- High intensity exercises
- Task specific exercises
- Strengthening, balance and cardio exercises
Ongoing physiotherapy can be hard to find through the NHS and this information on private physiotherapy for stroke patients should be helpful to anyone wanting to go that bit further with their rehabilitation.
Private Physiotherapy Exercise Classes For Stroke Patients
Exercise classes (in-person and online) can be a fantastic way to increase your physiotherapy input and meet your rehabilitation needs. Not only that but they can also provide social interaction, increased motivation and peer support.
Depending on your area, The Stoke Association has a list of of groups and clubs available.
LEGS (Local Exercise Groups For Stroke And Neuro Conditions) run an ever growing fantastic programme of stroke exercises classes either on site in London or online.
Their online exercise classes are accessible to everyone and there are different classes to choose from depending on your level or whether you want a full body or an upper limb class.
All classes are led by physiotherapist and everyone has an individual assessment to discuss goals and needs before starting the class. LEGS is a charity and classes cost in the region of £5 a class.
A Quick Fire Interview With Annys Fairweather Founder Of LEGS
What inspired you to start up LEGS?
I was inspired to set up LEGS to address the inequality that arises from variable long term rehabilitation provision for people living with neurological conditions and because I am passionate about the power, value and long term benefits for individuals and society of using exercise groups for rehabilitation and to facilitate long term physical and social activity participation.
I believe that affordable rehabilitation should be available on a long term basis for people with neurological conditions. At LEGS, we provide long term access to our groups and our mission is to open more groups in affordable, accessible venues involving collaboration with other charities or social enterprises and health and exercise professionals.
I have a background in Sport and Exercise Science and working in health and fitness centres. This, combined with over 10 years working for the NHS in acute and community rehabilitation teams, have given me the insight and experience to know that an organisation such as LEGS can bring meaningful benefits to both the participants that access our services and society as a whole by reducing health and social care costs. It is also a really fabulous place to work!
Who can Join LEGS classes?
Any adult with a diagnosed neurological condition can access our sessions, providing that we can safely accommodate them in group exercise classes.
We complete assessments prior to anyone joining our groups to establish safety to exercise. We have face to face sessions available in West London (and we have nationwide expansion plans underway for face to face sessions) and our successful and popular online sessions have removed geographical and transport barriers to attendance.
When needed, we support people to learn how to log on using Zoom and we have some tablets available for use, if people do not have access to a suitable electronic device. There is a small charge for our sessions and we have some sponsored places available for those in financial hardship.
What benefits have you seen in your participants?
Our participants all report benefits. They tell us that they have made meaningful friendships and improved their overall confidence, willingness and ability to exercise and reduced their feelings of isolation and loneliness. We also know they have learnt more about managing their conditions from our education sessions.
Our outcome measures show our participants getting stronger, improving their balance and being able to walk further and with more confidence. They have often gone on to take up previous or new forms of physical and social activity. Many report reduced feelings of anxiety and depression, and some of our participants have been able to return to work.
One To One Physiotherapy Sessions Post Stroke
A more traditional route can be finding a private physiotherapist (either in their clinic, or coming to your home). Be sure to discuss and make goals of treatment with them from the start and agree an approximate number of sessions.
You also need to check that they have experience as a neuro or stroke physiotherapist. The easiest way to find a private stroke physiotherapist is through the Chartered Society of Physiotherapy, or on the Physio2U directory, where you will be able to see each therapist’s specialities listed. All physiotherapists should HCPC registered and you can check the register here.
If you are living in Oxfordshire I provide stroke, neuro and elderly rehabilitation in people homes. Click here to find out more.
Apps For Stroke Recovery
Therapy apps can be great, low cost way to increase your motivation and monitor your progress. Plus, they can be used in-conjunction with all forms of physiotherapy.
If you’re not sure which app to try, don’t worry! I’ve included some below – but you should also look at Mytherappy. This website has NHS assured, impartial app reviews from a national network of clinical specialists & patients.
You can search its database either by condition (there’s a stroke category) and what you want to work on, or by type of clinician (in this case, physiotherapy).
There are many to choose from and its well worth a look and trying a few out to see which works best for you.
Apps For Stroke Patients
They can be downloaded from the App Store, or wherever you get your apps from!
REPS consists of two post-stroke exercise programmes, TASK and PUSH. Both programmes utilise a repetitive practice strategy that can assist recovery after stroke. TASK involves the repetitive practice of four everyday tasks whereas PUSH involves the repetitive practice of arm movements. All exercises are demonstrated on the app.
Great for those looking to improve their balance post stroke. Designed by an Australian physiotherapist, there are five levels of activities based around an imaginary clock face beneath your feet, so you have twelve intuitive reference points to easily step to without needing to wire up mats or sensors.
In summary there are different options of private physiotherapy for stroke patients available to you outside the NHS and you can use any combination that you wish. I would definitely recommend trying a few of these ideas to find out what works best for you in your available budget. If you have any ideas or questions please feel free to leave a comment below.