Our Speech and Language Therapists have extensive experience in Stroke treatment and rehabilitation and can help people affected by stroke to manage their communication and swallowing difficulties.
A stroke is an injury to the brain that occurs from either a bleed in the brain (hemorrhagic) or a clot in the brain (ischemic) causing injury and loss of brain function. As the brain controls all functions of the body, any part can be affected. The left hand side of the brain controls language, so if this is damaged during a stroke various communication problems may arise as well as some paralysis down the right hand side of the body.
Symptoms Of Speech Problems Caused by Stroke
Speech Difficulties following a Stroke can include dysarthria and / or apraxia of speech. Dysarthria involves weakness or impaired control of muscles used for breathing, producing voice, and producing speech. Apraxia of Speech involves difficulty sequencing and coordination of these same muscle and structures.
Language Difficulties following a Stroke is known as aphasia. There are a number of different types of aphasia, but an individual may have difficulty with language expression and/or comprehension, reading, writing, or using numbers. Individuals may also have difficulty with music, including reading, performing, or listening to music.
Characteristics of Speech Difficulties:
Because speech involves muscles for breathing, and producing voice and speech sounds in a rapid and accurate way, dysarthria or apraxia may cause an individual’s speech to sound:
- “slurred” or distorted
- too fast or too slow
- harsh or strained
Treatment Of Speech Problems Caused By Stroke
Speech and Language Therapy will work on relearning and rebuilding various types of communication skills that will help the patient to manage the effects of the stroke. As the conditions that develop as a result of a stroke can vary hugely the treatment will also differ depending on what has been affected. The major conditions associated with stroke that SLTs can help with include; Aphasia, Dysarthria, Apraxia of Speech and Dysphagia (swallowing).
Treatment will always initially involve a detailed assessment of your communication skills (speech and language) and swallowing function. From an in-depth assessment an individually tailored treatment programme can be devised. As part of the treatment plan our SLT will also liaise with the SLT in the hospital and other involved healthcare professionals to ensure continuity of care.
Chartered Physiotherapists play a central role in the rehabilitation treatment after a stroke. They work on improving your movement and regaining as much function as possible for the stroke victim. More specifically our physios will work on increasing muscle tone and strength on the affected side as well as improving balance, mobility and reducing stiffness and pain. Some activities of daily living become more difficult after a stroke and our physios can teach new strategies to help them perform these without a struggle. Our physiotherapists can also advise on aids and adaptions that may help the patient in the after math of the stroke as well as giving advice to carers.
Our Expertise Of Speech Problems Caused By Stroke
You can expect treatment from an expert who has vast experience working with the difficulties and problems following a stroke. We aim to successfully help you overcome these barriers and regain as much independence as possible.
Home visits can be arranged for clients not yet in a condition to travel. Spectrum Health physiotherapists and speech and language therapists can also liaise with the stroke team from the Hospital where the patient was being looked after to ensure continuity of care.
Our Adult Speech Therapists and Physiotherapists are here to help you regain your function and to successfully manage the associated effects of a Stroke.