Following a stroke, you may experience difficulty registering the same sensations you once did.
This presentationprovides an overview of some common sensory loss implications, as well as recommendations for managing theseshifting senses.
We start with some sensation basics before going into current research in somatosensory impairments. This researchincludes its effect on participation in daily activities, as well as a view of sensory loss from the perspectives ofsurvivors of stroke. We touch on the implications of sensory disturbances before going into some tips, sensorytraining, and tools that can help bridge the gap.
About 85% of survivors of stroke experience sensory changes.
Somatosensation issues can include your perception oftouch, your ability to perceive temperature and pressure, discrimination of textures, and your ability to recognizeobjects through touch.
Effects of Somatosensory Impairment on Participation
One study from 2018 looked at the effect that a loss of body sensation has on a survivor of stroke’s ability to participate in their daily instrumental, social, high-demand, and low-demand physical activities.
Results found that paresis of upper and lower limbs can mask the contribution of sensory loss.
Because of this, researchers suggest motor-based interventions involve a somatosensory component for a more holistic approach.
Somatosensation Loss from Survivors’ Perspectives
Another study out of 2018 looked at some of the most pressing and/or frequent issues survivors of stroke encounter following decreased somatosensation.
These included: personal care & dressing, cooking and eating, and leisure activities.
Overall, participants made it clear that their rehabilitation was spent mostly in working to regain motorfunction, with very little emphasis or training on sensory impairments.
Implications of Sensation Changes
If temperature sensation is off, skin can be damaged in extreme temperatures.
Hypersensitivity, a change or loss ofbladder or bowel sensation, and paresthesias can all change your day-to-day activities and comfort level.
Proprioception is our sense of physical self awareness in relation to our environment and, when this is interrupted, itcan affect our ability to walk steadily.
Vision Impairment Tips
Vision issues can encompass problems in: Visual field loss, eye movement issues, and visual processing.
With any visual neglect, make sure to scan your surroundings.
It’s a simple thing to do, but can make life much safer once you’ve formed it as a habit.
Home Modifications and Tools
When modifying your environment, an important concept to strive for is contrast!
Listed in this video aresome recommendations available for under $20: the Pan PIckle, Tenura Molded Cup Holder, Cool TouchOven Rack Guards, and the Purrfect Opener.