For most stroke patients, physical therapy (PT) is the cornerstone of the rehabilitation process. A physical therapist uses training, exercises, and physical manipulation of the stroke patient's body with the intent of restoring movement, balance, and coordination. The aim of PT is to have the stroke patient relearn simple motor activities such as walking, sitting, standing, lying down, and the process of switching from one type of movement to another.
Several decades of scientific research now show that stroke rehabilitation is critical for optimal stroke recovery. The benefits come from helping the brain to reorganize itself with physical therapy, which in turn helps the stroke survivor to recover functions lost after brain injury.
Jamie Gillentine dove headfirst into the ocean in 2007, unaware that just below the surface was a sandbar, shattering vertebrae and damaging his spinal cord and causing him to lose feeling and movement in much of his upper body. This video documents his long and seemingly impossible recovery.