Stroke Rehabilitation

Our expert therapists can develop a rehabilitation plan tailored to your specific needs. Our goal is to help you recover abilities as quickly as possible. We offer:

  • Team-based care, with physical therapists, speech-language therapists, occupational therapists and others working with your doctors.
  • A full range of therapies, including physical, speech, occupational and cognitive (thinking) therapy.
  • High-intensity task training to help you get back to activities you enjoy.
Speech-language therapists, including Kristin Knight, help stroke and other patients recover communication skills.

What is stroke rehabilitation?

Stroke rehabilitation helps you relearn skills lost after a stroke damages part of your brain. We can help you regain as much independence, quality of life and long-term recovery as possible.

When to start therapy

Rehabilitation should begin as soon as possible after:

  • Your condition is stable.
  • Doctors have taken steps to prevent another stroke.
  • Doctors have managed any complications.

It’s common to begin while you’re still in the hospital and to continue after you return home or go to a skilled nursing center. The sooner you start, the better your chances of regaining abilities. 

How long does therapy last?

Treatment will depend on the severity of your stroke and any complications. Some patients recover quickly. Others need months or years of rehabilitation. Your care plan will change as you recover and relearn skills.


OHSU Physical therapist and stroke rehab patient
Physical therapist and neurologic expert Andrea Serdar uses a range of equipment for patients with neurologic disorders.

Therapies might include:

  • Communication: Therapy can help you regain abilities in speaking, listening, writing and comprehension.
  • Motor skills: Exercises can strengthen muscles and improve coordination. This can include mirror box training, which uses a mirror to reflect an unaffected limb. By moving this limb in the mirror, your brain thinks your other limb is moving normally and begins to rewire.
  • Mobility: Our Lokomat system uses a harness and robotic legs to support you as you relearn or improve walking skills. This system also helps your brain and spinal cord reroute nerve signals. We also may use walking aids such as braces, walkers or canes.
  • Range of motion: Exercises and other treatments can lessen muscle tension (spasticity) and improve your range of motion.
  • Strength: Electrical stimulation to contract weakened muscles can strengthen them.
  • Gait: Our AlterG treadmill supports your body weight while you train, giving you a chance to walk safely and without pain.

High-intensity task training

What is it?

High-intensity task training teaches you to do daily and/or complex tasks using your arms and/or legs. It uses active problem-solving and difficult, complex movements.

Who gets it?

This training may be recommended if you:

  • Are in stable condition and ready for more intense rehabilitation.
  • Have mild to moderate weakness on one side of your body (hemiparesis).
  • Can extend your wrist, grasp an object with your affected arm or walk 30 feet.
  • Get frustrated doing daily activities because they take too long.
  • Can’t socialize or do household activities as well as you’d like.
  • Can’t do things you enjoy or must limit fun activities.
  • Limit your activities because of weakness or poor coordination.

How does it work?

You train four to five days a week for four weeks, then two days a week for two weeks. Training is tailored to your goals, helping you with activities that are important in your daily life.

Learn more

For patients

Call 503-494-3151 to:

  • Make an appointment
  • Seek a second opinion
  • Ask questions


Center for Health & Healing, Building 1, first floor
3303 S. Bond Ave.
Portland, OR 97239

Center for Women’s Health, Marquam Hill
Kohler Pavilion, seventh floor
800 S.W. Campus Drive
Portland, OR 97239

OHSU Orthopaedics Clinic, Beaverton
15700 S.W. Greystone Court
Beaverton, OR 97006

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