Updated: Nov 2
Asking questions is the first way to begin change.
ANSWERING YOUR QUESTIONS & CONCERNS!
Thank you for your questions! They’re vital to my learning what you need so I can do my best to fulfill your needs to aid in your recovery!
I just heard something about botox being used for strokes. Is that true? If so, why; and why didn’t I know about this?
Answer: Why didn't I know about this?
Not knowing your circumstances, it could be for one or more of the following reasons:
If you're in neuro-therapy, your therapist may not know about it.
if you're not in therapy, you'd probably never learn about this since it's not "mainstream."
If you see a general neurologist vs a chiropractic neurologist, or a m.d., they generally know nothing about this or any other innovative treatments.
The ones I've visited are limited in their knowledge, their resources and their motivation to learn more and I've met with top neurologists in New York City and at Mayo clinic, to name a few.
A chiropractic neurologist is highly trained in treating neurological injuries; innovative treatments; they are open to pursuing and learning new techniques; generating their own research; as well as perusing european research studies because Europe is much more advanced (progressive) in their neurological work (and other medical practices) than the US. Dr. Trevor Berry is brilliant and travels all over the world lecturing about his research/experience and sharing others' work, learning continuously, as well as learning from others' work.
Or, perhaps your therapist had a patient who had a bad or ineffective experience with botox treatments because they went to an inexperienced doctor; or a cosmetic practitioner; or their condition was so advanced, the botox had little to no effect.
I don't really know. I'm just guessing because I don't know your circumstances.
More on this question: Yes. When I first heard about this from my occupational therapist (OT) my first year post-stroke, I thought it was a joke! It wasn’t. I began my botox treatments in 2016 and continue to this day. It’s been a painful, yet rewarding experience. Flint Rehab has an informative article on this as well: Botox For Stroke Patients, click here to read. WARNING: Botox is quite painful, but the results are worth the pain!
Why botox? Botox is what I call a “loosening agent” that relaxes the areas that need liberating from the tension of spasticity.
Two professional views…
“Studies show that repeated Botox injections after a stroke may improve muscle tone and reduce pain in the hands and arms, making it easier for stroke patients to dress themselves and perform other daily activities.”
“Botox (botulinum toxin A) works as a “nerve block” that blocks the release of chemicals that signal your muscles to tighten. As a result, your muscles relax. This study found that reduction in spasticity was associated with significant improvement in arm function after stroke.”
THE PROCEDURE: Before initiating action on this, allow me to explain the process.
If you’re currently in therapy with a professional, ask your therapist about their:
Knowledge of the procedure?
Whether they’d recommend it for you, or not?
If recommended, do they know a neurologist, not a dermatologist or general practitioner, with at least 5 years of experience in this unique procedure - stroke-related botox treatments? This is crucial.
If it’s approved, your therapist will need to send a request to the neurologist and you’ll need to check with your insurance carrier to see if it’s covered since it would cost $6,000-$7,000 cash. Medicare covers 100% of the charge, if your neurologist is experienced with the protocol.
Flint Rehab has an informative article on this as well: https://www.flintrehab.com/botox-for-stroke-patients/
FUNCTION ISSUES / SPASTICITY
2. My right hand’s fingers are not free and have less power. How do I recover?
The right hand is obviously your affected hand.
The weakness is caused by the stroke, and if your hand is tight, it’s due to spasticity also caused by the stroke.
Hand recovery is extensive, frustrating and lengthy for many survivors because of the hand’s tiny ligaments, tendons, nerves and muscles. If you’re not in hand therapy with a neuro-therapist, you’ll need to utilize the following tools:
Mirror Therapy: Mirror therapy is used to improve motor function after stroke. During mirror therapy, you manipulate your unaffected hand in the mirror, “tricking” the brain to think it’s your affected hand. I use the Achieva Mirror for my home exercises.
Flint Rehab has an article about this, as well as free exercises: click here to read about Mirror Therapy.
I have a video on my YouTube channel as well.
Watch this video by a licensed occupational therapist (OT). (All OT’s are trained on the upper part of the body vs a physical therapist (PT) who’s trained on the lower portion of the body).
Read this article, The Art of Hand Recovery, on my site. The author of this article is Mark Ritter, who is my hand therapist. He’s amazing, as a practitioner and as a person!
Purchase a Bioness H200 electronic hand device, if you are able. Private insurance and Medicare do not pay any portion of the high cost.
DROP FOOT RECOVERY
3. How can I recover from drop foot?
For those unfamiliar with drop foot, foot drop or drop foot is characterized by the inability or impaired ability to raise the toes or foot from the ankle (dorsiflexion).
In addition to working with a neuro-trained PT, there are a number of free home exercises to assist you:
Purchase Bioness - it is pricey, but worth it. Click here to check it out.
Purchase an AFO (Ankle Foot Orthotic/Orthosis): There are many versions out there. I was fitted for one in the acute rehab clinic, one week post-stroke. It’s best to have a professional to recommend one for your specific need. A PT or even a podiatrist can prescribe one for you.
CAUTION: This device will NOT help cure foot drop. It will only stabilize your ankle. Use sparingly!
4. Purchase and use this device: Thrive Orthopedics (pictured below).
That’s it for today! These topics and questions will be addressed in future posts. Thank you again! Sorry for the delay in addressing these! Keep them coming!
Still to be answered:
Has anyone applied and been approved for a tbi grant if so please drop the link to which one.
Stem cell treatment for stroke survivors.
Hello, I live in Maryland my Daughter had a Brain Stem stroke 7/7/17 she has come a long way however she cannot stand without assistance her balance and coordination is still off. She’s not walking. She has had ongoing PT and OT. In home and out patient therapy. We need some advice or a rehabilitation center where she can get some extensive therapy. We are willing to travel.
Suggestions for hand/knee/knuckle pain
It feels like my brain functions slow because I cannot speak fluently like before I am like a new child learning how to speak n my writing is also poor I get help from my girlfriend..and I get tired quickly.
Tips about what happens right after stroke.
Map of all the places we have reached and send an email
Is there no grant for people with stroke or A job??? Can I get a job with speech problem??
Finally, these are great video sites for you!
(Jane is a licensed OT. She’s great!)
(She’s a licensed PT)
(Great articles and free exercises)