Rehab Therapy Targets Stroke Survivors with Chronic Pain

Rehab Therapy Targets Stroke Survivors with Chronic Pain

A study published recently in the journal Brain Sciences examines the altered perception of the body after a stroke. This study concludes that following a stroke, an individual that has chronic pain may have a distorted perception of the hand that was affected by the stroke. This can put the individual at a higher risk for accidents. Researchers state this insight can help provide direction to rehabilitation therapists who help these individuals regain function and mobility, reports McKnights.

Over 500 stroke survivors participated in this study. Researchers concluded that individuals with chronic pain were three times as likely to have a distorted perception of their hand size. If the pain was in the hand also, then the perception was even further altered.

Leeanne M. Carey, PhD, from the University of Melbourne in Australia, stated these findings are monumental as they can help distinguish a new characteristic of chronic pain among stroke survivors. It also helps provide insight into how rehabilitation therapy can target certain areas for a better recovery. This can help improve pain-related outcomes, mobility and function.

stroke survivors

Researchers stated this study can help contribute “to the growing understanding of chronic pain in stroke and provides clinicians with insights into the relationship that exists in individuals with stroke between pain and body perception.” They added, “accurate perception of hand size is integral to effective use of the hand … most notably when holding and manipulating objects.”

The conclusion was that rehab therapy focused on body perception “may improve the function and pain-related outcomes of a group that is currently highly impacted by pain.”

Cornerstone Rehab clinicians provide physical, occupational and speech therapy to older adults in skilled nursing facilities – including patients who are stroke survivors. Our clinicians work closely with these individuals to provide quality care for the best outcomes.