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stroke rehabilitation during sleep



Sleep is another time that I need to constantly think about what to do to keep my stroke therapy going.

I used to have a hand/wrist splint for nighttime use that kept my fingers and wrist straight but after 3 years of use the plastic rotted and it was time to be on my own. Specifically how to reduce the spasticity in my finger flexors, biceps, lats. If I lie on my back my left arm will crawl into my lap. So I put my

hand under my butt, except that it is a clenched hand and during movement during the

night will end up in my lap. I try to hold my left arm straight out to my side as I

fall asleep by putting a pillow on it. As I wake up during the night if I am lying on

my left side I will place the whole arm between the legs to keep the arm straight.

When I try to lie on my right side i place my left hand under my pillow under my head

and flatten out the fingers. With all the thinking and moving about during the night

there is very little restful sleep taking place. Napping during the day is even worse

because keeping the arm straight becomes impossible.


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OC: I agree, that is an awful lot of work going on when it is supposed to be your rest time. Please consider going back to the hand splint. That takes one issue off your plate. Call your OT. Chances there are splints lying around in the rehab department that they would be more than willing to give to you. Example they casted Bruce's hand three times before the OT was happy with the fit. The other two were tossed on a shelf. I am afraid with all the shuffling of your arm and hand you could very well impair the blood flow to one or both and because of decreased sensation or the fact that you are asleep you will not know. Very bad. As to the arm, relaxed in your lap overnight is OK as long as you work it and keep it straight during the day. Bruce just hangs his at his side most of the day, when it hurts he puts it back in his lap for a bit. Clenched to your chest is the position you are avoiding and it sounds to me like you have that covered. When on your unaffected side, lay the arm down the side of your body to start and then just rest. When on your affected side, lay is across your lap making sure you are not lying on your hand. Best of luck, Debbie

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Oh my! My first reaction when I saw the title was like, Really, stroke rehabilitation while sleeping, now I can agree with you, I've no problem keeping my affected arm and fingers straight, they don't curl as much, during sleep, the arm though, always rest on my stomah when I'm lying on my back.I didn't need any splint on my arm, though, I can't use it much yet, because I have pains in my elbow and shoulder.the physiatrist is thinking of hydrocortisone injection, I might get it if not this week then maybe next week. Bless you!

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See if you can get the splint you were using at night repaired some how. I use the same one/kind at night and have been for a number of years.


VA will repair or replace them when I ask! It does get tiresome at times, especially when you are trying to have sex. It seem to be or get in the way!

I wouldn't stop wearing it until the arm/hand has more control! My control is zero. I can hardly put my left hand on the scooter handle! When I wear my day brace, I just put that arm in my lap!

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Hi there this is my first attempt to put my to cents worth forward. i too have constant problems with my left arm and hand through the night. i lay my hand out flat before i turn onto my side but it wakes me through the night if it starts to feel numb or it starts to curl up. It's a nuisance but i no longer use a night splint because it kept giving me a rash. Hope this helps in some way or another. Take care xxx

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