Conditions & Treatments

Stroke Rehabilitation

There is life after stroke. We'll help you find the hope, strength and skills to reclaim it.

Stroke rehab image

Stroke and other neurological diseases can affect all aspects of life – movement, communications, thinking, and such automatic functions as swallowing and breathing.  Depending on the severity of a stroke and areas of the brain affected, recovery can be an extended process.  Spaulding’s stroke rehabilitation teams draw upon the latest research in brain recovery, evidence-based therapies and advanced technologies to help you or your loved one live beyond stroke and become a stroke survivor.  Our clinicians are skilled at encouraging patients to be engaged in their rehabilitation and to become advocates for themselves as they adjust to their new life situation. 

Spaulding Rehabilitation Network’s Stroke and Neurological Rehabilitation Programs bring an unsurpassed level of care to those challenged by stroke and other neurological disorders, including:

  • ALS/Lou Gehrig’s disease
  • Balance disorders
  • Cerebral palsy
  • Guillain-Barre syndrome
  • Muscular dystrophy
  • Multiple Sclerosis
  • Parkinson’s disease and other movement disorders 
  • Other adult neurological disorders

Advanced Stroke Care at Every Stage of Recovery

Spaulding physicians, therapists and other team members work collaboratively to help each patient reach his or her highest level of physical, cognitive, and emotional recovery and adjustment.  Spaulding’s multiple levels of inpatient care ensure that you or your loved one will receive the right treatment to address the effects of your stroke or neurological disorder.   Understanding that families face much uncertainty after stroke, our clinicians make sure the patient and family are fully informed every step of the way.

As recovery progresses, our treatment team focuses on goals for each patient’s personal, work and leisure life – goals that promote greater independence at home and in the community. This process includes identifying barriers to independence and developing strategies to overcome them so that patients may make meaningful improvement in both function and quality of life.

Inpatient Stroke Rehabilitation Programs

  • Individualized rehabilitation plan to address the medical, physical, speech and swallowing, cognitive, behavioral and psychological effects of neurological illness
  • Physician-led teams, including physical, occupational, speech, respiratory and recreational therapists and nurses with specialized training in neuro-rehabilitation
  • Access to advanced technologies, such as Armeo, LokoMat, Bioness Electrical Stimulation Devices, NeuroMove, VitalStim*
  • In-depth evaluation of functional abilities, including movement patterns, strength, flexibility, balance, and tone
  • Proven therapeutic interventions, including exercise, splinting, bracing, compensatory techniques, gait training, neurological re-education of movement and tasks
  • Goal setting to foster greater independence at home and in the community
  • Counseling to help patients adjust to change and plan for the future
  • Training to teach family members how to assist with specific therapeutic activities during hospital treatment and after discharge

*Vary by location.

Outpatient Stroke Rehabilitation and Supportive Services

Following discharge from inpatient rehabilitation, most stroke survivors need outpatient therapy to continue regaining and refining specific skills.  At Spaulding Network Outpatient Centers, clinicians experienced in neuro-rehabilitation provide the same level of dedication and commitment to quality that our inpatients have experienced.  Through ongoing education and practice-development activities, therapists collaborate across the network to bring the most advanced stroke rehabilitation care to all our patients.  Outpatient services include:

  • Physical, occupational and speech therapy services
  • Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation
  • Advanced technologies*
  • Specialty Services, including Assistive Technologies, Audiology, Driver Assessment, Orthotics, Vestibular  Rehabilitation, Vision Rehabilitation, Wheelchair Clinics and more*
  • Adaptive Sports and Recreation Program
  • Aphasia and Stroke Survivors’ Support Groups

*Vary by location

Leadership and Innovation

The drive to innovate permeates the Spaulding Rehabilitation Network. With novel research approaches and ground breaking technology, the convergence of science and care at Spaulding provides patients and families unparalleled access to the most advanced rehabilitation medicine.

  • Dr. Joe Giacino, a nationally renowned neuropyschologist and researcher, is exploring novel treatments for stroke survivors and others in a minimally conscious state in the Disorders of Consciousness Program.
  • Dr. Andrew Taylor has introduced the innovative Functional Electrical Stimulation (FES) rowing program, which has shown impressive findings and resulted in the establishment of Spaulding's Exercise for Persons with Disabilities Program (ExPD). 
  • The Motion Analysis Lab, led by Dr. Paolo Bonato, is internationally-recognized for developing robotic therapies and wearable technologies that help patients achieve faster and more effective rehabilitation.



Leadership and Expertise

Based on the level of care the patient needs, our teams may include an attending physician (board-certified in Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation or Internal Medicine), rehabilitation nurses, physical and occupational therapists, speech-language pathologists, case managers, nurse practitioners, nutritionists, respiratory therapists, psychiatrists, psychologists, social workers, neuropsychologists, therapeutic reaction specialists, orthotists and others, collaborating on each patient’s case to ensure maximum recovery.

Spaulding Network has the clinical expertise to care for the most medically complex patients.  Many clinicians have achieved advanced certification as clinical specialists in the practice area of neurologic and geriatric rehabilitation.

All Spaulding Network facilities are accredited by the Joint Commission.  In addition, Spaulding Boston's Stroke Rehabilitation Program is accredited by CARF as a Stroke Specialty Program for Adults as well as Child and Adolescent rehabilitation.

Randie Black-Schaffer, M.D., Medical Director of Spaulding Boston’s Stroke Rehabilitation Program, Associate Medical Director and Assistant Professor of Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation at Harvard Medical School


Research & Innovation

Spaulding’s ambitious research agenda has led to many innovations in clinical care and enhanced its standing as a national leader in recovery research.  Many research studies and clinical trials at Spaulding Boston have implications for stroke recovery.  Currently nine studies and clinical trials are underway, covering such areas as robot-aided rehabilitation; therapeutic electrical stimulation; the effectiveness of various devices to improve walking, balance, arm and hand function; and swallowing; and the recovery experience of stroke survivors with aphasia. 

Ross Zafonte, M.D., Chair of the Harvard Medical School's Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation and VP of Medical Affairs for Spaulding Rehabilitation Network, coordinates Spaulding’s research efforts.  


Related Services

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Please call for more information or to make a referral

Inpatient: 1.617.952.5350

Outpatient: 1.888.SRN.4330

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