Multidisciplinary therapy in stroke rehabilitation by Oscar Alday

Oscar Alday suffers from hemiparesis as a result of a stroke that occurred five years ago. Although doctors told him he would not be able to walk or be independent again, he has seen great improvement during his rehabilitation at TrainFES.

Oscar Alday had a hemorrhagic stroke in 2018, when he was 33 years old. Due to the severity of it, he spent about a month in a coma. When he woke up, he noticed that he had lost the ability to move his right arm and leg, and because of this, doctors said he would never walk again.

"For me, who used to be very active, it was very hard for me to accept this condition. From walking to being bedridden and then in a wheelchair... I had a hard time coming to terms with it and it affected me emotionally," he recalls.

The severity of the consequences of a hemorrhagic stroke can vary from case to case. They occur when a rupture or burst in a cerebral blood vessel occurs, causing internal bleeding. This type of stroke is rare, occurring in 20% of cases according to MSD.

In Oscar's case, this resulted in hemiparesis, that is, paralysis of the right hemisphere. As a result, he lost the mobility of his right arm and leg, leaving him prostrate and only able to move around using a wheelchair.

The road to rehabilitation

Oscar had physical rehabilitation following his stroke, but it was halted for almost three years due to the pandemic. When he returned with a chronic condition,conventional therapy could not help him achieve his goal of becoming independent again.

His hopes were low until he had the opportunity to try TrainFES technology at a clinic. When he tried it, he could see that his arm muscles were activated, and he was able to make progress despite the stage of his injury. So, Oscar and his family decided to schedule a physiatric evaluation at TrainFES and thoroughly test this treatment.

The arrival at TrainFES and neurorehabilitation

Oscar arrived at TrainFES Center in early 2023. After his physiatric evaluation, he defined that his main goal would be to regain his independence, which included being able to walk and to control his right arm. For this, he would need therapy that included neurokinesiology and occupational therapy.

On the kinesiology side, they focused on the goals of enabling Oscar to stand up independently. "Upon Oscar's admission, we noticed that he had some difficulties in his day-to-day activities, mainly requiring assistance to get him to stand up and walk around the house," explains Victor Hernandez, his kinesiologist.

On the occupational therapy side, the effort focused on activating his arm and getting him to incorporate it into his daily activities. "The main involvement working with occupational therapy here at TrainFES is the right upper extremity. He presented a lot of block movement, high levels of spasticity in his arm, which generated a flexor pattern in both his fingers and elbow," explains Francisca Parra, his occupational therapist at TrainFES.

From the beginning, his therapy incorporated training and functional electrostimulation, a technology for rehabilitation that, thanks to a device developed by TrainFES, allows him to train every day without the need to attend the therapy center.

"Since we started to include electrostimulation in Oscar's arm, we started to see a lot of response at the level of spasticity modulation, improving the functionality of the arm, more dissociation of movements and, therefore, greater access to involve the arm in activities of daily living," Francisca explains about their progress.

Digital therapy and therapeutic continuity

Training every day, correctly and with the support of both professionals and appropriate technologies, encourages neuroplasticity, i.e. the brain's ability to relearn certain movements that it has lost after an injury.

In this sense, beyond just doing the therapy, it is necessary to be consistent in the patient's daily training, which is something that therapists value on Oscar's part.

Using the TrainFES application, it is possible for patients to control the electrostimulation device from home and exercise every day with it, which has enabled many improvements in Oscar's function.

Today, he has regained much of the mobility of his arm, and is able to walk inside his house and move around without using his wheelchair. "I'm excited because it gave me a new opportunity to walk again, to feel that I was useful again, that I wasn't an ornament that was going to stay in the house," he says.

You can review the story of Oscar and other users on our YouTube channel.

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