THE EFFECTS OF EXERCISE ON STROKE RECOVERY
So many stroke patients wondered why they needed to do exercises before regaining the functions of the body lost to the attack.
Hence, the explanation below will explain in details why exercises are needed for stroke recovery.
The brain knows how to heal itself after stroke through the power of neuroplasticity and prepetition.
WHAT IS NEUROPLASTICITY?
The word neuroplasticity is the combination of two words: Neurons and Plasticity.
Neurons are the nerve cells in the brain and plasticity refers to something that is capable of being moulded or reorganized; while Neuroplasticity refers to the process of reorganising the neurons in the brain. It is the mechanism that your brain uses to heal from damage and rewire itself.
There are two ways in which Neuroplasticity works, they are:
• The creation of new connections between Neurons (Brain cells),
• The deletion of old connections.
HOW NEUROPLASTICITY WORKS IN BRAIN RECOVERY
After a stroke, a certain part of the brain can become damaged, and the functions that were once stored in those parts of the brain become impaired. For example, if the part of the brain responsible for motor control of the right-side of the body becomes damaged, it will be hard to move the arm.
That is when neuroplasticity comes into play. Neuroplasticity allows your brain to rewire functions that were once held in damage area to the new and healthy part
of the brain.So, with the right-arm example; a different healthy area of the brain is capable of picking up the slack and taking on the task of moving the arm.
However, the prerequisite for neuroplasticity is repetition. Hence, there is a need for a high number of repetition during the rehabilitation exercises.
Repetitive exercises help reinforce the new pathways in your brain. The more you train, the stronger and more permanent your neural connections become.
NEUROPLASTICITY + REPETITIVE EXERCISE = STROKE RECOVERY
Therefore, by focusing on high repetitive exercise during your rehabilitation therapy; you can activate neuroplasticity and strengthen new neural pathway in the brain.
As long as you stay disciplined and continuously put an effort in your rehabilitation exercise you will see results.
Note that, if you want to regain function, after stroke, then you need to repeat arm rehabilitation exercises over and over until it sticks and your brain has successfully rewired.
Each time you move your arm, you begin to form and strengthen connections between neurons responsible for that arm movement.
In conclusion, repetitive exercises help the brain recover lost motor functions. Hence, Neuroplasticity is the healing you need and repetitive exercise is the tool for accessing that healing and speedy recovery.