Cerebrovascular Disease

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Cerebrovascular Disease is common in the population of patients that I work with. Most of my patients that have a history of a CVA are still highly functioning. They do need assistance with their activities of daily living but sometimes this is usually due to more than the history of the CVA. According to Robbins and Cotran, Cerebrovascular Disease is the third leading cause of death in the United States. Knowing the signs and symptoms of a stroke are important because some people are not aware that they are having or have had a stroke. Helping our patients to be aware of changes in vision, trouble speaking, and weakness on the left or right sides of the body are just a few obvious signs of a possible stroke. I have seen patients surprised that they have had a stroke when they went to the hospital after waiting for the above symptoms to worsen. Massage therapy along with physical and occupational therapies are most often a part of rehabilitation depending on the severity of the stroke. Therapy with the doctor’s approval is important so that the patient can return to their highest level of functioning. Although the physical condition of the patient may change after a stroke, there are also some emotional and psychological issues that can occur. If the functioning of a patient has greatly changed we may need to make a referral for counseling. Depression can occur if the patient has severe damage from a stroke such as not being able to walk anymore. We need to make appropriate referrals to help the patient in all aspects of their daily functioning.

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