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Speech Therapy Techniques Used in Stroke Recovery

old man talking with doctor

Strokes are caused by the halting of blood flow to a part of the brain, resulting in death if not treated immediately. Often, a stroke leads to physical and mental impairments. Because so much brain activity is required for speech production, it’s common for people who have suffered strokes to lose the ability to talk or understand language.

Strokes impact the brain, so communication can be difficult for many who survive the injury, often leading to frustration, depression, and feelings of isolation. If you have experienced a stroke and have difficulty communicating, speech therapy is often used as a common technique to help treat the dysfunction. Today’s blog will detail speech therapy techniques often used during stroke recovery so you and your loved one know what to expect. 

Signs and symptoms of a stroke

A stroke is a medical emergency. If you or someone you know shows the signs and symptoms of a stroke, it’s important to call 9-1-1 immediately.

Stroke symptoms include:

  •       Difficulty communicating with others
  •       Feeling paralyzed or numbness in the face or limbs
  •       Vision problems such as sudden blurred vision
  •       A severe headache
  •       Trouble with balance or coordination

If you or someone else may be experiencing a stroke, remember the FAST method for quick assessment:

  •       Face: Tell the person to smile. Are both sides of their mouth curling up, or is one side drooping?
  •       Arms: Ask to raise both arms and notice if one drifts downward or can’t be lifted.
  •       Speech: Ask to repeat a phrase and watch how they speak. Look for slurring or difficulty repeating what you say.
  •       Time: If you notice any of the above symptoms, call 911 immediately and tell the dispatcher that someone is experiencing a stroke.

Stroke Complications

A stroke is a critical medical event that can affect a person’s life. Strokes can lead to severe disabilities and even death. Stroke complications are a common occurrence after a stroke, and they can negatively impact your recovery process. Some of the most common stroke complications include:

  •       Aphasia (Disorder that affects the way we communicate and understand speech and language)
  •       Dysarthria (Difficulty maintaining a consistent speech pattern)
  •       Apraxia of speech (Speech difficulties due to issues with muscle control in the mouth)
  •       Memory problems
  •       Physical coordination

Speech Therapy Techniques for Stroke Recovery

Stroke recovery can be long and grueling, but many tools are available to help you. One of the most important is speech therapy. Speech therapy techniques can aid in your recovery by allowing you to regain control over your speech muscles and form words correctly.

Breathing Exercises

Breathing exercises are one of the most vital things you can do to help with your speech therapy. Breathing exercises help regulate respiratory functions so that you can speak more clearly and with less effort. Doing so allows you to feel more comfortable during conversations and helps you develop better breathing habits that will improve your overall health.

Tongue Strengthening

Tongue strengthening is a critical component of recovering from a stroke. Exercises include sticking the tongue in and out, moving it from side to side, and stretching it. These exercises help you regain control of your tongue, which is critical to forming words.

Practicing Forming Words and Sentences

Stroke survivors can practice forming words and sentences using speech therapy techniques. They can practice naming objects in pictures, matching words to images, and strengthening memory connections.

Speech therapists will also work with the person to identify what they can still do and where they need more help. For example, if a person experiences a stroke on the right side of their brain, they may have trouble pronouncing certain sounds or words. The speech therapist will help them learn how to say these sounds and words correctly by practicing them repeatedly until they can repeat them without making mistakes.

Get Speech Therapy in New York’s Capital Region

Stroke recovery is a long and challenging journey. The road to recovery often involves speech therapy, improving muscle control, speech articulation, and language skills.

At Shaker Place Rehabilitation & Nursing Center, we offer speech therapy services right on-site. We have a state-of-the-art facility, and our therapists are experts in speech therapy. They know what they’re doing and care about helping you recover as much as possible from your stroke.

We also provide short-term, long-term, and permanent residential treatment options to get the treatment you need while still having your family close by. We have eight different country kitchens, among many other nutritious dining options, so your recovery isn’t just limited to speech therapy—you can enjoy all of our amenities too!

Schedule your tour today to learn more about how we can help you recover from a stroke at Shaker Place Rehabilitation & Nursing Center in Albany, New York!