FIGHTBACK'S POST-STROKE REHABILITATION PROGRAM
Our post-stroke rehabilitation program focuses on the neuroplasticity of the brain. Neuroplasticity is defined as the ability of brain cells and the neural networks to change or modulate their connection and activity in response to sensory, motor, or emotional experiences. In essence, neuroplasticity allows the brain to respond, adapt, understand, and learn in response to the needs and changes placed on us by our environment, activities, and experience. FightBack promotes and drives positive neuroplastic changes through exercise, nutrition, and emotional support. Our specialized program uses the following principles and qualities to drive neuroplasticity:
LEARNING: Using new and innovative tasks and activities that promote the learning of new skills and ideas
COMPLEXITY: Completing tasks that require attention, practice, and challenge
INTENSITY: Working towards the goal of recurring 60-80% of our heart rate maximum
POSITIVITY: Participating in activities that enhance positive feelings and attitude, a sense of hope and control
REPETITION: Continuous practice so that, “You can’t get it wrong”
MEANING: Engaging in activities that have powerful or personal meaning and significance
SPECIFICITY: Choosing activities similar to the skill or performance desired
Neuroplasticity was first pioneered in stroke rehabilitation with “forced use.” In this form of therapy, the client’s good arm is restrained, forcing the weaker arm to do everyday tasks such as dressing, eating, and bathing. Research confirms that brain activity, hand strength, and function are improved with this therapy when compared to standard physical therapy.
Building from this strong fundamental base, it is important to not just address movement disorders, but to also improve the cognition and behavioral changes of the nervous system. FightBack focuses on the quality of the exercise by combining cognitive-sensory motor integration. The emotional meaning and personal significance we apply to an experience is important. Engaging and integrating these multiple systems lead to enhanced neural activity and improved function. Our Stroke Program works to activate the nervous system with proper stimulation through exercise, proper nutrition, and cognitive/emotional support in order to regain function and provide the best functional outcomes.