Stroke aftercare

A stroke occurs due to an acute circulatory disorder of the brain. Causes are usually vascular calcification or blood clots from the heart. Due to typical vascular risk factors such as elevated blood pressure, abnormal blood lipids, high blood sugar, smoking or lack of exercise, strokes usually only occur at an older age and are the most common cause of permanent neurological disability. However, young people can also become victim of strokes, e.g. due to cardiac diseases, injuries to the brain supplying arteries or rare genetic diseases.

Consequences of a stroke are often fatal. Type and extent of the consequences of a stroke depend on the location and severity of the brain damage. It often comes to emotional disorders, spastic movement restrictions and paralysis as well as speech and language disorders. These consequential damages have an enormous influence on the quality of life of those affected. Activities such as using public transport or buying a ticket at a vending machine are often not possible anymore, even after 8 weeks of hospital and rehabilitation treatment. Therefore, it is all the more important that the therapy is continued in an ambulatory setting. However, with a strong focus on mastering day-to-day activities.

Neurologica, in cooperation with the med. Rücken-Center, designed a multi-professional treatment concept “Stroke aftercare compact”, with which an improvement in functionality and mobility in spastic paralysis and movement restrictions can be achieved.

The principal symptom is the sudden onset of a usually half-sided paralysis as well as sensory, visual and cognitive disturbances, dizziness and facial paralysis. A stroke, similar to a heart attack, is a medical emergency (even if there is usually no pain involved or symptoms recede by itself) and requires the immediate alerting of the emergency services. To rule out a cerebral haemorrhage, a computer tomography is always required. Specialised treatment centres (stroke units or stroke centres) try to restore cerebral circulation as quickly as possible (within a few hours, every minute counts!) or to limit the extent of the damage to the brain. Thereafter, intense rehabilitation treatment must be undergone in a specialised neuro-rehabilitation clinic. Treatments include physiotherapy, occupational therapy, speech therapy, neuropsychological training, measures for reintegration and prevention for recurrence of stroke. Medical conditions after stroke include chronic paralysis and disability, pain, and epileptic seizures.

Prevention of stroke is primarily possible through control of the above risk factors at an early stage and should preferably begin at adolescence. Migraine patients have a slightly increased risk of stroke, but the frequent auras practically never lead to permanent damage. However, when a migraine aura occurs for the first time, the distinction to a stroke is sometimes difficult to draw.

If a stroke or a TIA (transient ischemic attack) is suspected, immediate medical attention is absolutely necessary. Emergency services can be reached under tel. 144 or +41 44 387 39 99 (Hirslanden Klinik Zürich stroke emergency).

Spasticity can occur as a result of a stroke. However, the causes of spasticity can also be, for example, multiple sclerosis or injury to the brain. Spasticity manifests itself in a persistent and uncontrollable tension of certain muscles. The limbs can become partially or completely immobilised. Spastic movement restriction is usually very painful.

The newly designed concept “Stroke aftercare compact”, which was developed by the Kopfwehzentrum Hirslanden in cooperation with the med. Rücken-Center, starts with the return of stroke patients from stationary rehabilitation treatment. We know from experience, that even after 8 weeks of hospital and rehabilitation clinic stay, patients are far from a complete recovery. At this stage, stroke patients can often walk again. However, moving independently in the city or getting things done that were previously taken for granted are often not yet possible. In addition, spastic movement restrictions can often only occur 6 months after the stroke.

What is the goal of “Stroke aftercare compact”?
The goal of “Stroke aftercare compact” is to bring those affected to the point where they can function again as previously, be it at work, with their family or during sports. Dead nerve cells cannot be revived. However, remaining nerve cells can reconnect via synapses. Learning and repeated practice under expert supervision is of great importance.

How does the therapy look like?
The therapy is put together individually and is based on the skills and needs of each patient. The aim is to return with the patients as close as possible to the level of ability they had before the stroke happened. This includes relearning and confronting them with all relevant everyday situations. However, this is only possible if the patients are in a stable condition. In a first step, it is therefore important to minimize the risk of a second stroke by adjusting the medication properly. In a second step, the skills of the patients are improved by training the mobility, stability, fitness, speed and strength in the environment, in which the patients move on a daily basis.

Who are we?
We are a team of neurologists as well as a physiotherapist and a chiropractor with many years of experience in the treatment of spasticity after stroke, multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s disease and tumor. We offer our patients timely and high-quality treatment.

Do you have any questions?
Give us a call. We are happy to help.

+41 43 499 13 30