5 Signs of Strokes and How You Should Act F.A.S.T.

DID YOU KNOW: Someone in the United States has a stroke every 40 seconds, and someone dies of a stroke every four minutes, amounting to 795,000 strokes and 137,000 deaths annually. Stroke is the third leading cause of death in the United States, behind heart disease and cancer.

A stroke occurs when a blood vessel in the brain is blocked or ruptures. Not all strokes are preventable, so it is very important to recognize the early signs of stroke and get treatment as rapidly as possible. Stroke damages brain tissue, but that loss can be minimized by getting quickly to an emergency room that can connect to a rapid-response stroke center.

Call 911 immediately if you have 1 or more of the following symptoms:

  1. Sudden numbness or weakness of the face, arm, or leg, especially on one side of the body.
  2. Sudden confusion or trouble speaking or understanding.
  3. Sudden trouble seeing in one or both eyes.
  4. Sudden trouble walking, dizziness, loss of balance or coordination.
  5. Sudden, severe headache with no known cause.

Act F.A.S.T if you think someone is having a stroke

Emergency treatment with a clot-buster drug called t-PA can help reduce or even eliminate problems from stroke, but it must be given within 3 hours of when symptoms start. Recognizing the symptoms can be easy by remembering to think F.A.S.T.

F=Face. Ask the person to smile. Does one side of the face droop?
A=Arms. Ask the person to raise both arms. Does one arm drift downward?
S=Speech. Ask the person to repeat a simple phrase. Does the speech sound slurred or strange?
T=Time. If you observe any of these signs, call 911 and note the time that you think the stroke began.

Research shows that people with stroke who arrive at the hospital by ambulance receive quicker treatment than those who arrive by their own means.

How Can Baudry Therapy Help?

Physical therapy should be a major part of your stroke rehabilitation.  As movement specialists, our main goal is to help you return to your daily activities and achieve the best possible quality of life. We help you achieve this by restoring mobility and function. After a full examination, Baudry Therapy physical therapists will customize a plan that will focus on your ability to move, your pain level, and ways to prevent problems that may occur after a stroke. As you become more mobile, we will teach you strengthening exercises and functional activities.  Physical therapy can give you the skills and confidence to get back to doing the things you love, even after suffering from a stroke. Call 504.841.0150 if you or someone you love has suffered from a stroke.

Opioid Epidemic: It’s Not A Myth

Earlier this month, Rich Baudry had the privilege of speaking to a group of local medical professionals about the ongoing opioid epidemic in the United States. The panel discussion, which was held at University Medical Center, featured lively group discussion from doctors, nurses, nursing students, and educators about opioid use, addiction and alternative forms of treatment for pain.

“It was inspiring to speak with the bright medical professionals of our future and raise awareness of alternate forms of pain treatment such as physical therapy,” said Baudry. “I think it is important to know that even though pain is personal, treating pain takes teamwork.”

Physical therapists treat pain through movement, hands-on care, and patient education.

“We play a valuable role in setting realistic expectations for recovery with or without opioids. We don’t just treat pain symptoms, we find out what is causing the pain and help alleviate it at the source. PT helps patients deal with pain both physically and mentally; whereas opioids just mask the pain.” said Baudry.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), sales of prescription opioids have quadrupled in the United States, even though “there has not been an overall change in the amount of pain that Americans report.”

The CDC recently recommended nonopioid approaches like PT when*:

  • The risks of opioid use outweigh the rewards. Potential side effects of opioids include depression, overdose, and addiction, plus withdrawal symptoms when stopping opioid use. Because of these risks, opioids should not be first treatment for chronic pain.
  • Patients want to do more than mask the pain. 79% of patients would prefer non-pharmalogical treatment options. Opioids can mask the pain, but it does not treat the problem. PTs treat pain through movement while partnering with patients to improve or maintain their mobility and quality of life.
  • Pain is located in low backhip or knee osteoarthritis, or fibromyalgia. Evidence shows that exercise as part of a physical therapy treatment plan is most favorable for these conditions.
  • Opioids are prescribed for pain. Even when opioids are prescribed, the CDC recommends that patients should receive “the lowest effective dosage,” and opioids “should be combined” with nonopioid therapies, such as physical therapy.
  • Pain lasts 90 days. After 90 days, pain is considered “chronic,” and the risks for continued opioid use increase. An estimated 116 million Americans have chronic pain each year. The CDC guidelines note that nonopioid therapies are “preferred” for chronic pain and that “clinicians should consider opioid therapy only if expected benefits for both pain and function are anticipated to outweigh risks to the patient.”

If you or someone you love is suffering with chronic pain, call Baudry Therapy Center and we can help you start living life again.

*Source: MoveForward PT