Understanding Post-Stroke Rehabilitation Treatment Terms

Survivors of ischemic stroke may experience a variety of rehabilitation treatment approaches depending on their individual circumstances. Because ischemic stroke cases involve interrupted or reduced blood supply to the brain, these blockages or interruptions result in the deterioration of neurological connections.  

The goal for any stroke recovery journey is to restore these connections and improve motor function impacted by upper limb impairment. Understanding these rehabilitation treatment approaches is important for any survivor’s stroke recovery. Here are some key terms to help you better understand the treatment approaches of post-stroke rehabilitation and the different ways they can impact your broader recovery:  


Medication used to treat muscle spasms caused by certain conditions (such as stroke, multiple sclerosis, spinal cord injury/disease) that works by helping to relax the muscles.

Botulinum Toxin

A highly potent neurotoxin that prevents the release of neurotransmitters at the neuromuscular synapse and paralyzes muscles, which has been shown to decrease spasticity after stroke and increase range of movement [Note: Botox® is a brand name].

Constraint Induced Movement Therapy (CIMT)

Treatment approach involving restraint/constraint of the non-affected arm to force the use of the affected arm during functional tasks.

Functional Electrical Stimulation (FES)

Electrical stimulation of muscles during functional tasks.

Modified Constraint Induced Movement Therapy (mCIMT)

A modified version of the strict CIMT protocol at the therapist’s discretion.

Neurodevelopmental Treatment (NDT)

Treatment approach involving hands-on facilitation of movement by the therapist for patients with neurological disorders or brain injuries such as stroke.

Neuromuscular Electrical Stimulation (NMES)

Electrical stimulation of muscles to elicit a motor response, providing sensory feedback to the brain.

Proprioceptive Neurological Facilitation

Evidence-based, hands-on, treatment approach that enables muscles to function optimally to enhance normal movement, teaches the patient to work their body parts together in integrated movement patterns, and develops strength.


Group of devices for either the upper or lower limb that are stationary or portable and provide varying levels of assistance to move the target limb. They may or may not have associated gaming software and are designed for either clinic-based treatment or home use.

Is Vivistim a Rehabilitation Treatment Approach for You?

The most important first step is to consult with your medical care team to determine the best approaches for you at this stage of recovery. To learn more about Vivistim’s unique Paired VNS Therapy and how it can help improve motor development after a stroke, visit the other pages of vivistim.com 


1. https://evolve.elsevier.com/cs/product/9780323792677?role=student

2. https://shop.elsevier.com/books/stroke-rehabilitation/gillen/978-0-323-63994-1

3. https://www.physio-pedia.com/

4. https://www.ahajournals.org/doi/epub/10.1161/STR.0000000000000098

5. https://www.asha.org/public/speech/disorders/adultsandl/


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