Integrative Physical Therapy & Wellness, L.L.C.

Integrative Physical Therapy & Wellness, L.L.C.

Integrative Physical Therapy & Wellness, L.L.C.

Integrative Therapy and Wellness, LLC addresses Physical Therapy and the Assisted Living Client

Good Morning Readers,

As most of you know a part of what I do is help patients in assisted living facilities.  How does PT help patients in assisted living?

When I started my career as a Physical Therapist:

Little did I know how valuable physical therapy can be for elderly nursing home patients in terms of helping them improve physical conditioning and improve the quality of their life.

Physical therapy and rehabilitation are used to treat patients suffering from illness, disease or injury.  Therapy can improve their mobility, strength, flexibility, coordination, endurance, and even reduce pain.  The goal of physical therapy is to restore, maintain, or promote optimal physical function.  Physicians and physical therapists create individualized therapy plans to address each patient’s needs.

Geriatric physical therapy is a specialty area that focuses on older adults and aims to restore mobility, reduce pain, and increase fitness level.  It is important that older nursing home residents receive physical therapy from skilled physical therapists in order to ensure that dangerous accidents or injuries do not occur.  As the population of older adults increases, there will be an increased demand for physical therapists who specialize in or are educated in geriatrics.  Currently, 37% of physical therapy practice involves elderly people, and almost 50% of the physical therapists who treat older adults (age 65 and older) practice in nursing homes.

Physical therapy is a useful tool for helping treat older people. One of the most common reasons an older person requires physical therapy is that they suffer from a fall.  Physical therapy can help ease pain from injuries and improve balance.  Many conditions that often plague older adults are well-suited for physical therapy treatment including: arthritis, osteoporosis, pain associated with cancer, strokes, dementia, Alzheimer’s, and incontinence.  One of the best improvements gained by physical therapy is improved independence.

Many nursing home residents receive physical therapy in order to achieve, restore, or maintain the best possible physical well-being.  One study that looked at the benefits of physical therapy for nursing home residents revealed that physical therapy was frequently used to the benefit of most residents.  However, the likelihood of benefit from physical therapy decreased with cognitive impairment, very advanced age, and very advanced age.

Another study acknowledged the importance of executing a comprehensive physical assessment of nursing home residents before starting physical therapy because many residents suffer from multiple injuries and diseases.  The standard protocol for physical assessment includes measuring range of motion, muscle force, muscle reflex activity, sensation, soft tissue status, balance/coordination, and posture.  This assessment helps physical therapists plan and prioritize treatment, identify when goals have been met, and recognize when there is a need for treatment modification.

By the age of 65, most people suffer from arthritis in the spine.  Physical therapy can help improve strength, balance and motion with the use of aquatic therapy, hot packs, electrical stimulation, and ice to reduce swelling. Osteoporosis can be treated with balance exercises and extension exercises to help improve posture and prevent dangerous falls (exercises for osteoporosis).  People suffering from cancer often have associated pain which can be treated with physical therapy exercises to reduce swelling and improve range of motion.  One condition that plagues many older adults isincontinence (loss of bladder control), which physical therapists can treat by helping the patient locate the muscles that control the urinary tract.

For older adults, physical therapy can be just one more treatment method to try, when their bodies cannot withstand surgery or more dangerous treatment options.  An added bonus of physical therapy is that it does not bring along with it the unwanted side effects of drug treatments or surgery.

As a Physical Therapist I love working with this aging population.  To help people gain mobility is gratifying experience and of course I love to help people Engage in Life and Engage in Wellness.

I am always looking for referrals in the Phoenix, Arizona area.  Please contact me at

Thank you for Reading,

Kim Jacob, PT, CNDT, BCST  Arizona Assisted Living Home Association




Physical Therapy a Boon for Seniors

Good Morning,

Today I am sharing an article I found on WebMD about how Physical Therapy can help many types of illnesses in our Senior population.


Would you believe in a nondrug treatment that works for arthritis, cancer pain, Parkinson’s, and incontinence and improves your strength and endurance? There is one — physical therapy.

When a person gets injured or has a prolonged illness, doctors often recommend physical therapy. In the case of older people, though, sometimes this is seen as just something to “try.” This could not be further from the truth. Physical therapy is “A-quality” therapy for many conditions affecting older people, from Alzheimer’s to urinary incontinence. In fact, one researcher did a study in which you had to be 100 years of age to even participate!

According to Jennifer M. Bottomley, PhD, MS, PT, president of the geriatrics section of the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA) and adviser to the surgeon general, one of the main things that brings older people to the physical therapist is a fall. “They want and need to maintain their independence,” she says.

“It’s important to look at each individual,” stresses Tim Kauffman, PT, PhD, professor of physical therapy at the Hahnemann campus of Drexel University in Philadelphia. “Every person of any age has an individual background, say an auto accident, football injury, genetic predispositions. No two ‘old’ people are the same.”

According to APTA, physical therapy can restore or increase strength, range of motion, flexibility, coordination, and endurance — as well as reduce pain. Another important role is to retrain the patient to do everyday tasks.

Guy Davidson, of Tempe, Ariz., was 70 when he had a stroke following bypass surgery. The formerly busy minister could not speak, his right leg would not support him, and his right arm hung straight down. He went into rehab for three months. At first he could only sing, which uses a different portion of the brain than speaking, but gradually he began to speak. After many stressful sessions (“I would be sweating,” he admits), he regained much use of both his arm and leg and can dress himself, drive (he took lessons), and work full time. Now he’s back in the hospital every day — visiting sick parishioners.

Conditions Helped by Therapy

Physical therapy referrals are appropriate and helpful for many problems thought of as affecting older people.

Take arthritis, for example. By 65, almost everyone has it in their spine, Kauffman says, though not everyone has symptoms. Besides taking a pill, suffers can avail themselves of many types of physical therapy — aquatic, hot packs, electrical stimulation, ice to reduce swelling, there is a long list. “We emphasize strength, range of motion, balance, and coordination,” Kauffman says.

Strokes, as Davidson’s experience illustrates, definitely require physical therapy. “We use something called proprioceptive neuromuscular facilitation,” Bottomley says, explaining that this is a purposeful movement pattern that can stimulate and retrain the brain. Another technique — which Davidson says greatly helped him — is constraint therapy, in which the stroke sufferer’s “good” limb is restrained and the weak or paralyzed one used 85% of the day. Speech retraining also can be an issue. “If the person is in pain, we can treat that electrically,” Kauffman says.

Parkinson’s is an “exciting” area, Kauffman says. “We have learned that physical intervention early — before stage 4, when the therapist is often summoned — can almost always prevent the severe symptoms of stage 4.” He explains that the goal is to keep the Parkinson’s patient’s trunk flexible to avoid “robotic” movements. (Parkinson’s disease is a chronic disease of the nervous system that results in a gradual decrease of muscle control.) Sometimes he has people lie on the floor and move their head and trunk in opposite directions. He even puts patients on horseback sometimes, which increases trunk strength and flexibility.

As I have discussed many times Physical Therapy can be for everyone.  At Integrative Therapy and Wellness, LLC in Phoenix, Arizona our team comes to you.  To your home, your Assisted Living facility or wherever you are.  We are just a call away to get you back to Engaging in Wellness.  Please contact me at Arizona Assisted Living Homes Association

Thank you for Reading,

Kimberly Jacob, PT, CNDT, BCST

Integrative Therapy and Wellness Explains “How Physical Therapy Can Help”

Good Morning Readers,

Today, I would like to address a common question, How can Physical Therapy help me?

Here are some general ways Physical Therapy can help you!

Physical therapy and recovery from injury

Physical therapy can help you recover from an injury and avoid future injury. Your physical therapist can help you reduce pain in the soft tissues (muscles, tendons, and ligaments), build muscle strength, and improve flexibility, function, and range of motion. He or she can also evaluate how you do an activity and make suggestions for doing the activity in a way that is less likely to result in an injury.

Physical therapy and chronic health conditions

Physical therapy can help you live more easily with chronic or ongoing health conditions such as spinal stenosis, arthritis, and Parkinson’s disease. Your physical therapist will work with you to establish your goals. Then he or she will create a program of educational, range-of-motion, strengthening, and endurance activities to meet your needs.

Physical therapy and health conditions requiring a rehabilitation team approach

Some conditions involve several body systems and can lead to significant disability. These conditions-such as stroke, spinal cord injury, and major cardiopulmonary (heart and lung) problems-are usually addressed by a team of health professionals through programs such as cardiac rehab and stroke rehab. The team can include doctors; nurses; physical, occupational, and speech therapists; psychologists; and social workers, among others.

Physical therapists are a critical part of this team. They address the issues of range of motion, strength, endurance, mobility (walking, going up and down stairs, getting in and out of a bed or chair), and safety. The physical therapist may also get you the equipment you need, such as a walker or wheelchair, and make sure you can use the equipment appropriately.

Physical therapy and significant health conditions of childhood

Physical therapists also work with children who have major injuries or health conditions, such as cerebral palsy. They address the usual issues of range of motion, strength, endurance, and mobility. Also, the therapist considers the child’s special growth and developmental needs.

Treatment is often provided in the school or in a facility just for children. The way physical therapy and other services are delivered in the schools varies among the states. Talk to your child’s doctor, school, or your local health department if you think your child may qualify for evaluation or treatment services.

In my therapy business, Integrative Therapy and Wellness, LLC I work with many different types of clients:  I work in the Phoenix school system seeing and helping children with disabilities, I have worked at Barrows Institute working with many types of neurological patients, I have worked with private patients in their homes assisting them in regaining movement, balance and strength and I work with Biodynamic Craniosacral Therapy (BCST), and may include other modalities as needed such as: myofacial release, visceral manipulation, guided meditation, breath work, and aromatherapy.

I am working on growing my business in Phoenix, Arizona.  Integrative Therapy and Wellness, LLC will come to you, your home, your assisted living center, wherever you call home.  You may contact me at

As always, Thank you for Reading,

Kim Jacob, PT, CNDT, BCST


Integrative Therapy and Wellness, LLC is Asking for Patient Referrals in The Phoenix Area

Good Morning Readers,

In all of the series I have been writing and sharing we have been learning about aspects about Physical Therapy and the many different ways Physical Therapy can help clients Engage in Life and Engage in Wellness.  Thank you for reading and learning.

Today, as my business, Integrative Therapy and Wellness, LLC is growing, I am asking for referrals in the Phoenix area.

Referrals are a great way to grow a business, any business.  A referral means, you know me, have worked with me before, trust me and understand the work I provide.

I am changing my thinking and the way I look at my business:

Imagine your business as an infinite web of relationships. Every one of your business contacts has the potential to connect you to dozens of other contacts. The relationships are out there, but they’ll likely remain out of reach unless you actively pursue them. It may never occur to your current contacts to broker an introduction. I am putting this idea out there for you.  Can you recommend me to an Adult Care Home in the Phoenix area?

Can you introduce me to an Adult Care Home Manager?  A Nursing Home Director?  A Retirement Center Director?  Can you introduce to me Nurses, Physical Therapist, OT’s, or anyone who has contact with people who could use my service?

Today, I thank all the people who have given me referrals in the past and looking a head thanking people for referrals in the future.

In order to Engage in Life and Engage in Wellness, our loved ones need the tools to make this happen as they age.  Physical Therapy helps our senior population in so many ways.  Integrative Therapy and Wellness, LLC will provide a complete assessment, private therapy visits and goal setting with our clients.

So, as you are  out working, visiting patients, taking care of loved ones please think about Integrative Therapy and Wellness, LLC in Phoenix, Arizona.  You may contact me at for more information.

Thank you for Reading,

Kimberly Jacob, PT, CNDT, BCST

Integrative Therapy and Wellness shares Kim’s Passion




Integrative Therapy and Wellness, LLC Talks about 10 Reasons Physical Therapy is Beneficial

Good Morning Readers,

Did you ever wonder how Physical Therapy could help you?  Today I am giving you the Top 10 Reasons Why Physical Therapy Can Help You.

Integrative Therapy and Wellness Educates You on Physical Therapy For Dementia Patients

Good Morning Readers,

This is our last article in my series on some of the diseases Physical Therapy can help.  This month I have discussed, Parkinson’s Disease, Stroke, Osteoarthritis and Dementia.

How can Physical Therapy assist the Dementia Patient?

How can a person with Alzheimer’s disease or dementia benefit from rehabilitation when they don’t even recognize their own family or places that should be familiar to them?

This is a very common question. Physical therapy, occupational therapy and speech-language pathology services can be beneficial to the person with dementia as well as their family and caregivers at various stages of Alzheimer’s or dementia.

In the early stages, rehabilitation services can help your loved one be as functional as possible for as long as possible. The focus of physical therapy (PT) with dementia care is to improve balance, muscle strength, and mobility and provide pain management. Another goal of PT treatment is preventing falls. People with Alzheimer’s or dementia are at greater risk of falls and mobility problems due to muscular weakness, history of falls, gait, balance deficits and cognitive impairment. Safe physical activity, including exercise, will maintain strength, balance, ability to walk and ability to get into or out of a chair or car.

Both the physical and occupational therapist may assist you in changing and enhancing your loved one’s environment to improve function and safety. Environmental modifications such as adding signs on bathroom doors and labeling drawers for socks and shirts may allow a person with dementia to function at the highest level possible for as long as possible.

In the mid-stages of Alzheimer’s and dementia, challenging behaviors are most often present during bathing, toileting, dressing and eating – all areas of expertise for an occupational therapist. Occupational therapists can provide instruction on how to manage these daily tasks safely and with as minimal stress as possible. Even if you believe your loved one now has a limited ability to learn new things, occupational therapy treatment can be helpful.

Physical therapy can assess one’s ability to walk safely, the risk of falls, and other functional tasks. The therapist will develop a treatment program, including exercise, to help maintain your loved one’s current abilities, which also has the effect of reducing the burden on the caregiver. A person does not need to remember having engaged in an exercise program to reap the benefits of exercise – they just have to participate.

At Integrative Therapy and Wellness, LLC in Phoenix, Arizona we come to you, to your home or your assisted living facility.  Our goal is to assist our patients to Engage in Life and Engage in Wellness.  Please contact me for more information at

Thank you for Reading,

Kimberly Jacob, PT, CNDT, BCST

Integrative Therapy and Wellness, LLC Educates on Dementia……Really, what is it?

Good Morning Readers,

Thank you for reading my series this month on different illnesses Physical Therapy can help.  Today my topic is Dementia, what is it?

Dementia is a general term for a decline in mental ability severe enough to interfere with daily life. Memory loss is an example. Alzheimer’s is the most common type of dementia.

Dementia is not a specific disease. It’s an overall term that describes a wide range of symptoms associated with a decline in memory or other thinking skills severe enough to reduce a person’s ability to perform everyday activities. Alzheimer’s disease accounts for 60 to 80 percent of cases. Vascular dementia, which occurs after a stroke, is the second most common dementia type. But there are many other conditions that can cause symptoms of dementia, including some that are reversible, such as thyroid problems and vitamin deficiencies.

Dementia is often incorrectly referred to as “senility” or “senile dementia,” which reflects the formerly widespread but incorrect belief that serious mental decline is a normal part of aging.

While symptoms of dementia can vary greatly, at least two of the following core mental functions must be significantly impaired to be considered dementia:

  • Memory
  • Communication and language
  • Ability to focus and pay attention
  • Reasoning and judgment
  • Visual perception

People with dementia may have problems with short-term memory, keeping track of a purse or wallet, paying bills, planning and preparing meals, remembering appointments or traveling out of the neighborhood.

Many dementias are progressive, meaning symptoms start out slowly and gradually get worse. If you or a loved one is experiencing memory difficulties or other changes in thinking skills, don’t ignore them. See a doctor soon to determine the cause. Professional evaluation may detect a treatable condition. And even if symptoms suggest dementia, early diagnosis allows a person to get the maximum benefit from available treatments and provides an opportunity to volunteer for clinical trials or studies. It also provides time to plan for the future.

My next article will address how Physical Therapy, Speech and Occupational Therapy can help the patient with Dementia.

At Integrative Therapy and Wellness, LLC, located in Phoenix, Arizona our team will come to you, at your home or your assisted living facility.  We will do a comprehensive Physical Therapy and help you set goals so you can continue to Engage in Life and Engage in Wellness.

Contact me at   for more information.

As always, Thank you for Reading and supporting Integrative Therapy and Wellness, LLC

Kim Jacob, PT, CNDT, BCST




Integrative Therapy and Wellness, LLC discusses Physical Therapy for Arthritis

Good Morning Readers,

Today I continue our education about how Physical Therapy helps many different illnesses.  Today, we are talking about how Physical Therapy can help Osteoarthritis:

How Physical Therapy Can Help Arthritis:

A physical therapist (PT) can help you get moving safely and effectively. Physical therapists are licensed professionals with graduate degrees and clinical experience who examine, diagnose and treat or help prevent conditions that limit the body’s ability to move and function in daily life, according to the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA).

Physical therapy focuses on the body’s ability to engage in movement. Movement can be anything from getting in and out of chairs to climbing stairs, walking in your neighborhood, playing a sport or doing recreational activities.

Goals of physical therapy in arthritis include improving the mobility and restoring the use of affected joints, increasing strength to support the joints, and maintaining fitness and the ability to perform daily activities.

What Can a Physical Therapist Do for You?

Develop an individualized plan of exercises to improve flexibility, strength, coordination and balance to achieve optimal physical function.

  • Teach you proper posture and body mechanics for common daily activities to relieve pain and improve function.
  • Show you how to properly use assistive devices such as walkers and canes.
  • Recommend different treatment options, such as braces and splints to support joints, shoe inserts to relieve stress on the lower extremities, and hot and cold therapy to ease joint pain and stiffness.
  • Suggest modifications to your environment, such as ergonomic chairs or a cushioned mat in your kitchen, to relieve pain and improve function.

What Does a Physical Therapy Session Look Like?

The goal of a physical therapy session is to teach you how to do things in your treatment plan – such as performing certain exercises, or how to best use hot/cold compresses – for yourself. The visits are often short and focus on identifying problems with your physical function and giving strategies for care that you can do at home.

The key to a successful outcome is learning the exercises from a physical therapist and practicing them at home over the long term. Improvement is gradual – the body gets stronger and more adept slowly over time – so consistent practice is essential.

When visiting the PT, think clearly about what your complaint is and what you would like to be able to do after physical therapy. Your goal can be getting in and out of your car without pain, raising up on your toes or raising your arms to reach items in your kitchen cabinets, taking a walk or performing your job without pain in the hips, knees and feet. Your PT can then work with you to develop a plan that is right for you to achieve your goals.

In most cases, you don’t need to see the PT every week. Periodic visits every few months are sufficient to update your program if necessary. When you experience a change in your health – such as a flare in your arthritis that causes you to fall behind in your exercise program or involvement of a different joint that affects another area of function – you can return to the physical therapist to update your exercise program and treatment strategy.

How to Find a Physical Therapist?

If you are interested in seeing a PT, ask your doctor for a recommendation. You may not need a doctor’s referral to see a PT, but check with your insurance to make sure it will be covered. Your insurance may also limit the number of sessions for a particular problem, so make sure you know this information before you see a PT.

 Integrative Therapy and Wellness, LLC is a private pay Physical Therapy group in Phoenix, Arizona.  Our team comes to your home or assisted living center.  We assist you in setting healthful goals so you can continue to Engage in Life and Engage in Wellness.  Please contact me at for more information.

You can also check with a reputable medical center in your area or visit the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA) website, where you can search for a physical therapist by zip code and practice area. Once you have identified a few potential therapists, call their offices and ask questions such as whether the therapist has experience working with your particular type of arthritis or your particular joint or functional problem.

Thanks for Reading,

Kim Jacob, PT, CNDT, BCST


Integrative Therapy and Wellness, LLC continues educating…What is Osteoarthritis?

Good Morning,

Our month of education continues:  So many clients, older adults and people in general have asked this question, What is Osteoarthritis?  Here are your answers:

Sometimes called degenerative joint disease or degenerative arthritis, osteoarthritis (OA) is the most common chronic condition of the joints, affecting approximately 27 million Americans. OA can affect any joint, but it occurs most often in knees, hips, lower back and neck, small joints of the fingers and the bases of the thumb and big toe.

In normal joints, a firm, rubbery material called cartilage covers the end of each bone. Cartilage provides a smooth, gliding surface for joint motion and acts as a cushion between the bones. In OA, the cartilage breaks down, causing pain, swelling and problems moving the joint. As OA worsens over time, bones may break down and develop growths called spurs. Bits of bone or cartilage may chip off and float around in the joint. In the body, an inflammatory process occurs and cytokines (proteins) and enzymes develop that further damage the cartilage. In the final stages of OA, the cartilage wears away and bone rubs against bone leading to joint damage and more pain.

Who’s Affected?

Although OA occurs in people of all ages, osteoarthritis is most common in people older than 65. Common risk factors include increasing age, obesity, previous joint injury, overuse of the joint, weak thigh muscles, and genes.

  • One in two adults will develop symptoms of knee OA during their lives.
  • One in four adults will development symptoms of hip OA by age 85.
  • One in 12 people 60 years or older have hand OA.


Osteoarthritis is a chronic (long-term) disease. There is no cure, but treatments are available to manage symptoms. Long-term management of the disease will include several factors:

  • Managing symptoms, such as pain, stiffness and swelling
  • Improving joint mobility and flexibility
  • Maintaining a healthy weight
  • Getting enough of exercise

Physical Activity

One of the most beneficial ways to manage OA is to get moving. While it may be hard to think of exercise when the joints hurt, moving is considered an important part of the treatment plan. Studies show that simple activities like walking around the neighborhood or taking a fun, easy exercise class can reduce pain and help maintain (or attain) a healthy weight.

Strengthening exercises build muscles around OA-affected joints, easing the burden on those joints and reducing pain. Range-of-motion exercise helps maintain and improve joint flexibility and reduce stiffness. Aerobic exercise helps to improve stamina and energy levels and also help to reduce excess weight. Talk to a doctor before starting an exercise program.

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services recommends that everyone, including those with arthritis, get 150 minutes of moderate exercise per week.

Weight Management

Excess weight adds additional stress to weight-bearing joints, such as the hips, knees, feet and back. Losing weight can help people with OA reduce pain and limit further joint damage. The basic rule for losing weight is to eat fewer calories and increase physical activity.


Slow, gentle stretching of joints may improve flexibility, lessen stiffness and reduce pain. Exercises such as yoga and tai chi are great ways to manage stiffness.

Pain and Anti-inflammatory Medications

Medicines for osteoarthritis are available as pills, syrups, creams or lotions, or they are injected into a joint. They include:

  • Analgesics. These are pain relievers and include acetaminophen, opioids (narcotics) and an atypical opioid called tramadol. They are available over-the-counter or by prescription.
  • Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). These are the most commonly used drugs to ease inflammation and related pain. NSAIDs include aspirin, ibuprofen, naproxen and celecoxib. They are available over-the-counter or by prescription.
  • Corticosteroids. Corticosteroids are powerful anti-inflammatory medicines. They are taken by mouth or injected directly into a joint at a doctor’s office.
  • Hyaluronic acid. Hyaluronic acid occurs naturally in joint fluid, acting as a shock absorber and lubricant. However, the acid appears to break down in people with osteoarthritis. The injections are done in a doctor’s office.

Physical and Occupational Therapy

Physical and occupational therapists can provide a range of treatment options for pain management including:

  • Ways to properly use joints
  • Heat and cold therapies
  • Range of motion and flexibility exercises
  • Assistive devices

Assistive Devices

Assistive devices can help with function and mobility. These include items, such as like scooters, canes, walkers, splints, shoe orthotics or helpful tools, such as jar openers, long-handled shoe horns or steering wheel grips. Many devices can be found at pharmacies and medical supply stores. But some items, such as custom knee braces and shoe wedges are prescribed by a doctor and are typically fitted by a physical or occupational therapist.

Natural and Alternative Therapies

Many people with OA use natural or alternative therapies to address symptoms and improve their overall well-being. These include nutritional supplements, acupuncture or acupressure, massage, relaxation techniques and hydrotherapy, among others.


Joint surgery can repair or replace severely damaged joints, especially hips or knees. A doctor will refer an eligible patient to an orthopaedic surgeon to perform the procedure.

Positive Attitude

Many studies have demonstrated that a positive outlook can boost the immune system and increase a person’s ability to handle pain.

So, keep a positive attitude, do your stretching and Engage In Life, Engage In Wellness!!!!!!!!

My next article will talk about how Physical Therapy can help Osteoarthritis.



Kimberly Jacob, PT, CNDT, BCST


Remember:  Integrative Therapy and Wellness comes to you!!!!  Contact me at


Integrative Therapy and Wellness, LLC addresses Physical Therapy for The Stroke Patient

Good Morning Readers,

Today I continue our series on different illnesses and how Physical Therapy can help.  This week I discussed what a Stroke is and what happens when a person has a stroke.  Today, I am going to address different Physical Therapy goals and exercises for the Stroke patient.

Stroke survivors can benefit enormously from therapy, though some disabilities may be permanent.

Brain injury due to stroke can change the way you move, feel, think, or speak. The effects are greatest right after the stroke.

Over time, most people will make improvements.

Stroke rehabilitation programs can help, though stroke rehabilitation will not “cure” or reverse brain damage.

The goals of stroke rehabilitation are to help stroke survivors live as independently as possible while adjusting to new limitations.

Rehabilitation usually starts in the hospital, within a day or two of the stroke. Stroke rehabilitation may continue for months or even years after leaving the hospital.

The types of therapy will depend on what parts of the brain were damaged during the stroke.

Stroke survivors may require:

  • Speech therapy
  • Physical therapy and strength training
  • Occupational therapy (re-learning skills required for daily living)
  • Psychological counseling

Physical Therapy After Stroke

Stroke can cause problems with movement. Paralysis, or loss of muscle function, is common after stroke — especially on one side of the body.

Physical therapy can help stroke survivors regain strength, coordination, balance, and control of movement.

Speech Therapy After Stroke

Stroke survivors may have trouble speaking, finding words, or understanding what other people are saying. This is called aphasia.

Speech-language pathologists help people with aphasia relearn how to use language and communicate.

Therapy may include repeating words as well as reading and writing exercises.

Occupational Therapy After Stroke

Gait Belt

Occupational therapists or rehabilitation nurses can help stroke survivors relearn some of the skills they will need to care for themselves after a stroke.

Rehabilitation nurses may help stroke survivors manage their personal care, such as bathing and washing.

They can also help with therapy to regain continence (control of bladder and bowel movements) after a stroke.

Occupational therapists may help stroke survivors relearn how to do activities such as preparing meals, cleaning the house, and driving.

Psychological Counseling After Stroke

Stroke can cause chemical changes in the brain that affect the way a person thinks, feels, and behaves.

At the same time, stroke rehabilitation can be a long and difficult process.

Even after rehabilitation is complete, most stroke survivors will live with some minor to moderate disabilities.

Many stroke survivors will require mental health counseling and medications to help address issues such as depression, anxiety, frustration, and anger.

It’s important to identify and treat mental health issues such as depression early in the recovery process.

Stroke survivors that are depressed may be less likely to follow through with stroke rehabilitation and treatment plans.

Where Can a Stroke Patient Get Rehab?

Before you leave the hospital, a hospital social worker will meet with you and your family to assess what type of rehabilitation programs and living situation you will need while recovering from a stroke.

Some common types of stroke programs and facilities include:

  • Inpatient or nursing facilities (These facilities provide 24-hour rehabilitation and care.)
  • Outpatient facilities (Patients often spend several hours a day at a facility for rehabilitation activities but return home at night.)
  • Home-based programs (Therapists come into the home.)

In my Physical Therapy practice, Integrative Therapy and Wellness, LLC in Phoenix, Arizona our team comes to you, at your home, at the rehab center or at the Assisted Living Center.  Our therapy team, along with you, your family and your doctor will develop goals just for you to assist you in regaining your strength, balance and movement.  Integrative Therapy and Wellness, LLC is just one call away in Phoenix, Arizona.

Please contact me for more information to help you Engage in Life and Engage in Wellness.  Contact me at

And, Thank you for Reading,

Kim Jacob, PT, CNDT, BCST