Reorganizing therapy: Changing the clinical approach to upper limb recovery post-stroke Academic Article uri icon


  • Stroke is the leading cause of adult disability, and as a consequence, most therapists will provide health care to patients with stroke during their professional careers. An increasing number of studies are investigating the association between upper limb recovery and changes in brain activation patterns following stroke. In this review, we explore the translational implications of this research for health professionals working in stroke recovery. We argue that in light of the most recent evidence, therapists should consider how best to take full advantage of the brain's natural ability to reorganize, when prescribing and applying interventions to those with a stroke-affected upper limb. The authors propose that stroke is a brain-based problem that needs a brain-based solution. This review addresses two topics, anticipating recovery and maximizing recovery. It proposes five practice-ready recommendations that are based on the evidence reviewed. The over-riding aim of this review and discussion is to challenge therapists to reconsider the health care they prescribe and apply to people with a stroke-affected upper limb.


publication date

  • 2015