The effectiveness of the occupational therapy technologies in restoring sensitivity of the paretic upper limb in the early recovery stage of ischemic stroke
Keywords:ischemic stroke; occupational therapy; recovery of sensitivity
Aim. To restore the sensory functions of the paretic upper limb in patients with post-stroke hemiparesis by applying the occupational therapy in order to improve the ability to daily activities and independence.
Material and methods. Under observation there were 63 patients with post-stroke hemiparesis. The level of sensory functions of the upper limb was determined using the tests recommended by the European Stroke Organization for stroke control in clinical practice.
Results. While developing the program of the occupational therapy intervention a correctional and developmental strategy was chosen. Patients were randomized into 2 groups. In the main group the “mirror” therapy was used, it was combined with the art therapy. At the beginning, the “mirror” therapy was used for 1 month, followed by the functional tasks and the art therapy. As a result of the program applied, the sensory functions of the upper limb were completely restored or significantly improved in the vast majority of patients, which led to recovery and improvement of its dexterity.
Conclusions. Sensory insufficiency of the paretic upper limb, which is formed during ischemic stroke, is a limiting factor in restoring its motor activity in the vast majority of patients, and it hinders independence in their domestic and professional activities.
The use of the “mirror” therapy as a key trigger, a starting factor to stimulate the mechanisms of neuronal plasticity with further addition of the art therapy, with the purposeful application of tasks for training of proprioceptive and perceptual qualities, made it possible to restore or significantly improve the sensory functions of the paretic upper limb and its dexterity.
Key words: ischemic stroke; occupational therapy; recovery of sensitivity.
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