Post stroke, you may lose the capacity to perform daily tasks, such as the ability to maintain balance, concentrate, retain information, and even reach for an object.
Therefore, requiring the expertise of an occupational therapist to relearn these basic movements.
The goal of the therapist is to help patients improve sensation, cognition and motor abilities that have been damaged post stroke
This is accomplished through reprogramming parts of the brain and helping them regain muscle control. Many stroke survivors struggle to live regular lives because the skills and movements that used to be simple are now challenging. Therapists help master daily tasks like dressing, bathing, writing, driving, and cooking.
Upper limb therapy is to assist in maximising arm and hand function after experiencing an injury or traumatic event.
The most common reason for when upper limb therapy is required is for when someone has experienced a stroke. The effects of stroke on the upper extremities are a major cause of functional impairment.
Impairment of the upper extremity often leads to loss of independence with activities of daily living and other important occupations.
Other reasons for requiring upper limb therapy may be due to arthritis, fractures, chronic pain, muscle/ligament injury.
Written By Sarah Fleming
Sarah recently graduated from the University of the Sunshine Coast with a Bachelor of Occupational Therapy (Honours). Throughout her placements, she gained clinical experience within inpatient rehabilitation, general medicine, Respiratory, infectious disease and paediatrics.
Sarah completed an honours project as part of her university degree on falls prevention and therefore has sparked an interest to focus on preventative interventions within the home environment.