It is advisable to start massage after a stroke as early as possible and as soon as a person’s health allows. If the patient is in normal condition, then massage is allowed on the second day after the stroke. It is necessary to begin with segmental and acupressure massage. On the lower extremities it is necessary to massage the flexor muscle groups, on the upper – extensor. Only light and slow massage movements can be performed on high-tone muscle fibers (such as flexors, fingers, hands, forearms, and shin extensors). For muscle fibers of antagonists with a constant tone apply soft kneading and rubbing at high speed. The first massage sessions last 5-10 minutes, with a gradual increase in time to half an hour.
The treatment program includes at least 20-30 sessions. After completing the first course, you need a break of one and a half to two months, followed by the resumption of massage treatments. Massage should be performed by an experienced physiotherapist, rehabilitologist or experienced masseur, whose specialization includes this pathology.
The main purposes for which massage is performed after a stroke:
- pain reduction;
- improving well-being and mood;
- improving blood flow to all tissues, and hence their supply of oxygen and nutrients;
- increased lymph flow in paralyzed parts of the body and throughout the body;
- prevention of congestive pneumonia in the elderly;
- obstacle to the formation of contractures;
- prevention of bedsores;
- accelerating the process of restoring the functionality of the affected extremities.
It is important to know how to massage properly after a stroke to fully recover. In the first couple of months, only local massage of paretic (partially paralyzed) and paralyzed (completely immobile) limbs, chest, lumbar region and other parts of the back is allowed.
General massage is performed only at a late stage of rehabilitation. Prolonged tissue stimulation in the early post-stroke period leads to fatigue, which only worsens the patient’s condition. During the sessions, each area is massaged several times (2-5). Massage should start with small areas without turning the patient on his stomach. Often stimulation begins in the thighs and shoulders, after four treatments. If the patient’s health allows, the legs, forearms, hands, chest and feet are added.
During the 8th – 9th procedure it is allowed to stimulate the lumbar region and back in the affected areas. The patient should lie on the healthy side. Lying on his stomach allowed only in the last stages of massage, unless contraindicated by a doctor due to heart disease. Increases in intensity and expansion of the area of influence are individual and are carried out strictly at the discretion of the attending physician, who monitors the overall health of the patient. At a hemorrhagic stroke massage begin not earlier than in 5-7 days.
Although rehabilitation therapy after stroke is better to start immediately after the onset of pathology, massage will be useful for the patient even after months or years.