Following a stroke or brain injury, patients are usually seen by a physiotherapist whilst at hospital, rehabilitation centre or referred onto other services. Nathan was initially seen by the physio for assessment upon entering the hospital system and continued after he awoke from his coma whilst in the stroke ward. Being hemiplegic, his physio routine initially consisted of small amounts of mobility e.g. trying to sit up and stand. Getting up and walking about wasn’t considered due to the extent of his injuries. In the early days following his stroke, his mobility was restricted to a wheelchair.
Since those early days, Nathan has devoted his time and energy into recovering, whilst at the hospital, rehabilitation centre and at home. His focus has never wavered since his injury, with his main goals to learn to how to walk again and gain function back in his dominant arm and hand and return back to work.
Whilst at BIRU and BIRCH at Hampstead Rehabilitation Centre, Nathan has undertaken intensive sessions of physio and OT to achieve his goals. This includes a variety of rehab activities:
Hydrotherapy – Resistance exercises in the water, allowing stroke patients with balance or strength issues to exercise
Lokomat – Intensive robotic gait retraining in an exoskeleton
Saeboglove – Assisted finger extension orthotic
Functional electrical stimulation – Preventing atrophy, building strength and keeping muscles active
Massager – Applies vibration to the weakened muscles to assist with activation
GRASP box program – Graded Repetitive Arm Supplementary Program, an arm and hand exercise program
ableX – Sensor based computer and therapy games based upper limb therapy device
Bioness glove – Applies low-level electrical stimulation to activate the nerves that control the muscles in the hand and arm
PABLO – Sensor based computer therapy hand and arm rehab device
OT exercises – Hand, finger and arm exercises
Physio exercises – Focusing on muscle strengthening e.g. sit ups, squats, calf raises
(As with all physical/ exercise programs, please consult your doctor and physiotherapist to determine what is best suited for your health and needs.)
Nathan has achieved an enormous amount within the past year. He has regained movement in his leg, progressing from a powered wheelchair, to a manual wheelchair, then a quad stick and now single point stick. He has regained some gross motor movement in his shoulder, arm and hand. We were initially told that he would not be likely to walk or regain any movement in his arm. Despite this, he continues to push himself everyday to achieve his goals.