Tucson- According to the American Heart Association 800,000 people suffer strokes every year. Dramatic medical advances are helping Victims recover faster than ever before but what happens after the initial hospital stay is crucial to getting better.
The latest guidelines regarding the treatment of strokes strongly emphasizes the importance of physical therapy. McHaley Haeflinger, Health South Hospitals of Southern Arizona Director of Therapy, said while the journey may not be easy, it is the one of the best roads to recovery.
"This is going to be the best interdisciplinary, inter-professional treatment to get them back to functional movement, functional speaking, functional swallowing", said Haeflinger, "There are so many different impacts that strokes have."
Haeflinger said patients are often discouraged when they first arrive for treatment but if they are willing to put in the work they will see progress.
"At some point the patients are like, wow, I can move my arm and you're like yeah you can", Haeflinger said, "And then they start moving their leg and then they start walking, but the brain has to have this ultimate ideal situation, but the recovery never stops."
With the staggering number of victims comes the realization that strokes effect far more than just the elderly. Fortunately new forms of treatment are being used every day in places like Health South Hospitals.
"At Health South we are trying to stay cutting edge, trying to use as much technology as possible", said Haeflinger, "To get those patients that boost to get their brain back on track faster."
For more information on physical therapy following a stroke click here.