How long after a stroke can you start physiotherapy?

How long after a stroke can you start physiotherapy?

This is a common question that often requires advice based on the specific situation of each person. Many factors are going to be considered here, and the answer will often depend on the severity of the stroke, and the condition of the patient with the stroke, and the type of stroke. 

It is important to have a proper assessment performed by a trained healthcare practitioner. To determine the most appropriate and safe methods of transfer and mobilization of the patient. Ideally, within 24-48 hours of stroke onset, a patient who is able, is recommended to commence mobilization out of bed.

Typically it is strongly advised against to begin stroke rehabilitation <24 hours after stroke onset. It however may be appropriate for those who have no issues with mobility, require no assistance and have been cleared of further risk.

If the concern is regarding whether or not you can start physiotherapy later on after a stroke, you sure can! There is evidence to show that early, intensive physiotherapy is necessary to produce the best outcomes, however you can indeed start “later” as well and still see benefits and improvements in your functional outcomes, albeit it would not be recommended. 

Some typical tasks that a physiotherapist may be focused on improving and working on are:

  • Sitting Balance
  • Standing Balance
  • Walking / Gait Training
  • Muscle strength
  • Functional task performance

A physiotherapist will perform an assessment of the functional limitations, as well as discuss with you goals to work on or achieve. 

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