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Rehabilitation is the cornerstone of management of stroke. Depending on the severity of symptoms and how soon the patient is alert and able to start exercises, in or out of bed, the rehabilitation (rehab) program can begin. Most stroke rehab programs last several weeks to months, in and out of hospital. Rehab involves the following therapies:
concentrates on exercises to build muscle strength and teaches ways to move safely with weak or paralyzed muscles.
focuses on personal care, dressing, grooming, and self-feeding.
retrains language and communication functions.
Many regain full function of the affected limbs but the majority of individuals continue to have some weakness or stiffness for the rest of their lives. Even so, the deficit may not prevent independence or return to work. With the help of therapists and caregivers many are able to master all the activities of daily living even with a disability. The earlier this is achieved the better. Caregivers are encouraged to attend some of the rehab sessions where they can learn directly from the therapists.