Do you need a physiatrist for stroke rehabilitation?

Multiple national and international guidelines stronly support physiatrist directed medical managenement for stroke recovery.

American Heart/Stroke Association guidelines recommend stroke rehabilitation management under care of physiatrist, specialists in rehabilitation management. Medical management under auspices of a physiatrist will include patient-tailored rehabilitation service prescriptions, prevention/management of skin breakdown, spasticity, contractures, blood clots, treatment of bowel and bladder incontinence, prevention and management of shoulder and central pain, fall prevention, seizure prophylaxis, assessment for and management of emotional and behavioral states, post-stroke osteoporosis, and most importantly assessment and management of mobility, self-care and disability needs including which may be due to weakness, vision, speech, apraxia, communication, balance, ataxia, hearing, memory, swallowing and sensation deficits (Stroke. 2016 Jun;47(6):e98-e169).

The National Institute of Health and Care Excellence (NICE) recommendations state that multidisciplinary stroke rehabilitation team for stroke recovery needs to include consultant physicians in addition to rehabilitation therapist specialists with highlight of continuing stroke rehabilitation from hospital to outpatient basis, and providing patient-centered stroke rehabilitation management to address cognitive, emotional, communication, physical function, pain, activity, work and leisure participation limitations, social, physical and cultural factors Clin Med (Lond). 2015 Oct 5; 15(5): 461–464.

At Steady Strides: Fall Prevention and Stroke Rehabilitation Medical Institute our physician rehabilitation specialist team work closely to help maximize your chances of recovery after stroke.

-Dr Atanelov