Skip to main content

Health Center

Each year, more than 795,000 people in the United States have a stroke. About 185,000 (one in four) have a second stroke. Stroke is a leading cause of long-term disability. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that stroke results in reduced mobility in more than half of survivors of stroke age 65 and over.

Physical therapy after a stroke is critical. Physical therapy starts right away after a stroke during acute care in the hospital. Based on stroke severity, many survivors of stroke will need more therapy services after discharge. Physical therapists work with survivors of stroke in the hospital and across the lifespan to:

    • Improve mobility.
    • Reduce the risk of a second stroke.
    • Address movement problems that may develop as they age.
    • Help them maintain as much function as possible.

They may receive physical therapist services in one or more of these settings:

    • Inpatient rehab or skilled nursing facility.
    • Home health care.
    • Outpatient clinic.

Continuing to move and work to improve physical function helps survivors of stroke be as independent as possible.

Physical therapists are movement experts. They improve quality of life through hands-on care, patient education, and prescribed movement. You can contact a physical therapist directly for an evaluation. To find a physical therapist in your area, visit Find a PT.

Find a PT Near You!

Symptoms & Conditions Guides


Featured

A PT assists a patient using the parallel bars to walk.

Health Tips


Recovery From a Stroke: 9 Benefits of Physical Therapy
A physical therapist gives a high five to her patient during treatment for stroke.

Video


Physical Therapy Treatments for Stroke Recovery
Older couple at kitchen counter.

Health Tips


5 Signs of a Stroke
A hospital patient walks with the help of physical therapists

Did You Know?


Physical Therapy Lowers the Odds of Hospital Readmission or Death After Stroke

Additional Stroke Content

F.A.S.T Thinking Is Key To Detecting the Signs of a Stroke

Jul 10, 2015 | Article

Stroke: Awareness, Prevention, & Recovery

May 8, 2015 | Podcast

Mom Credits Physical Therapy For Teenager Recovers After Stroke

Jul 28, 2017 | Patient Stories

Extra Steps Can Help Those at Risk for Diabetes Avoid Heart Attack, Stroke

Dec 23, 2013 | Did You Know?

Early Intervention Helps Toddler Who Experienced Stroke Keep Up With Peers

Apr 17, 2020 | Podcast

See all Stroke content