Welcome to the ARNI Stroke Charity website for stroke survivors, families and healthcare professionals: providing specialist rehabilitation and exercise support after hospital and community physiotherapy finishes.
Please click on the 2023 ARNI Newsletter
Your Stroke / Brain Injury Recovery Starts Here
ARNI home-based training and guidance for your rehab is POWERFUL. Accept no substitute.
.6 TARGETS YOU NEED TO HAVE AS GOALS AFTER STROKE Even if you have hired the help of a trainer or a therapist to get you started (advised), you must have input towards your own rehabilitation and the way you want to go. Knowledge is power. My aim is to show you exactly how to achieve 6 things:
1. Correct balance, co-ordination and posture over time 2. Increase muscular, tendon and ligament strength and fitness over time 3. Decrease spasticity and increase specific functional movement return over time 4. Increase confidence and remove fear of the consequences of exercising 5. Become progressively more self-sufficient 6. Become productive in an occupation and be happy with life
Can you take up the challenge? These can all be achieved by you to a certain degree, however old you are, if you want them badly enough and are prepared to sacrifice some time and effort. Can a generic programme be created? For example, is there one ‘programme’ that will fit everyone? It would be much easier that way, right?
The simple answer is ‘no’. But there are many things that all stroke survivors must do, and many things that most will need to do. You will start with basic tasks that you need to master in order that you can work towards more complex tasks.
Everything you do will rewire your brain: by doing more, you will develop more motor control and gain strength. You will ‘get nothing by doing nothing’.
Please understand that the degree to which brain repair, neural rewiring and neurogenesis happens can be influenced very significantly long after the short therapeutic window after stroke may close.
So, I hope to emphasise to you with this post that the regain of functional movement with control, strength, flexibility, stability and essential physical coping strategies are highly individual, relying as they do on your own genetics, status of accompanying medical problems, attitude (drive, persistence, desire and motivation) and so very many other factors.
The longer you’re a stroke survivor, the more you’ll notice that you can ‘win’ or control (manage) many of these but others will have to be accepted. And, I have to tell you, that re-training efforts can never stop, throughout the rest of your life. Sounds like bad news?! Not so… I’ll show why, in a forthcoming post.
Long term stroke survivors reading this will be nodding to themselves. New stroke survivors will get to understand what I mean (just read my next posts. The good news? ‘Retraining’ can very soon phase into an enjoyable and social physical activity wherein you are actively rehabilitating. So encouragingly, it seems that ‘formal training’ is finite… but it must be done right so you can phase into a maintaining status quo in some areas and regularly improve in others (usually micro-improvements). #arnistrokecharity#stroke#strokesurvivors #neuroplasticity#strokerehabilitation #neurorehabilitation #strokerehab #neurorehab#strokesurvivorscan www.arni.uk.com... See MoreSee Less
Do you know the best way to improve your balance? Practicing balance exercises while standing, along with exercises for lower extremity muscles performed while standing against body weight resistance, is the optimal way to improve balance as well as flexibility, strength and endurance, and fitness. Exercises can include standing up and sitting down, step-ups, heels raises, marching, stair walking, semi-squats, and reaching to the floor sideways and forward to pick up an object. These exercises should be performed with increasing numbers of repetitions and without reliance on the upper limbs for support and balance. Exercises can be made more challenging by increasing the height of steps and chairs and by increasing and varying speed. #arnistrokecharity#stroke#strokesurvivors#neuroplasticity#strokebalance www.arni.uk.com... See MoreSee Less
Almost all of our day-to-day activities involve balance in some way, and it can be debilitating, embarrassing, and frustrating when someone’s balance is impaired after a stroke. Furthermore, imbalance can lead to falls and, therefore, other accidents and injuries. Our balance — or imbalance — involves different parts of our bodies to work; eyes, ears, and sensory nerves in muscles and joints all play a role. Each part needs to work together to achieve maximum balance. According to the data on stroke recovery timelines, many stroke survivors improve their balance after about 6 months with consistent and rigorous training. What did you do to improve your balance? Please write below and tell us, to pass on tips to others! #arnistrokecharity#stroke#strokesurvivors #neuroplasticity#strokebalance www.arni.uk.com... See MoreSee Less
Could you confidently assess if you or a loved one is at risk of a TIA?
People with cardiovascular risk factors, such as high blood pressure, diabetes, obesity, high cholesterol and smoking, are well known to be at high risk for stroke and TIA. Other conditions that increase risk of a TIA include peripheral artery disease, atrial fibrillation, obstructive sleep apnea and coronary artery disease.
In addition, a person who has had a prior stroke is at high risk for TIA. Stroke symptoms that disappear in under an hour, known as a transient ischemic attack (TIA), need emergency assessment to help prevent a full-blown stroke, according to a new American Heart Association scientific statement published last week in the Association's journal Stroke. The statement offers a standardized approach to evaluating people with suspected TIA, with guidance specifically for hospitals in rural areas that may not have access to advanced imaging or an on-site neurologist.
After being diagnosed with epilepsy last year, Ashleigh prepared her family for in the event of an emergency. She set up educational, role play games with Arthur, teaching him how to call and tell emergency services who he is and where he lives.
She also set up hone numbers so Arthur could not only ring 999 if needed but also so he could quickly call his Dad to update him of any urgent situation.
"It worked! When he found his mum collapsed on the floor at home he was able to call 999 and listened to instructions on the phone from the 999-call handler."
Following on from Marie Marie's comment below about approaches to upper limb spasticity after stroke, the evidence shows that standard-of-care treatments such as botulinum toxin injections can temporarily relieve muscle stiffness and pain associated with spasticity, but often at the expense of increased muscle weakness.
Who has tried Botox as an intervention/adjunct to retraining? Did it work for you?
I found interesting data showing recent preclinical investigations of a non-invasive treatment that pairs trans-spinal direct current stimulation and peripheral nerve direct current stimulation (tsDCS+pDCS) provided promising data for a novel approach based on bioelectronic medicine for the treatment of patients with post-stroke spasticity.
What is post-stroke fatigue anyway? Characteristics may include: overwhelming tiredness and lack of energy to perform daily activities; abnormal need for naps, rest, or extended sleep; more easily tired by daily activities than pre-stroke; unpredictable feelings of fatigue without apparent reason. It's also often under-recognised; so healthcare professionals such as ARNI Stroke Rehab & Recovery instructors should anticipate the possibility of post-stroke fatigue and prepare people who have experienced a stroke and families to mitigate fatigue through assessment, education, and interventions throughout the stroke-recovery continuum [Evidence Level B]. Tom notes: Post-stroke fatigue does not appear to be correlated to the severity of stroke. People who experience very mild stroke may still experience post-stroke fatigue. #arnistrokecharity#stroke#strokesurvivors #neuroplasticity#strokefatigue www.arni.uk.com... See MoreSee Less