Myths About Stroke Recovery

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I am saddened to think that stroke recovery is sometimes trapped in an outdated and dogmatic approach to help people with their stroke recovery. But the sad truth is unless you are one of the very fortunate ones, either geographically to be located next to a cutting edge stroke rehabilitation facility or the monetary means to afford such treatment, you are stuck with the stock standard cookie cutter approach to stroke treatment. And there is a good chance that it is stuck in the past.

Myths surrounding stroke recovery may be perpetuated by a number of factors. It seems that once something has been printed in a newspaper or magazine it is taken as gospel. Many of the belief surrounding the brain have been around for a long time and despite new research dispelling the myth, it takes a long time for this to filter into mainstream belief systems. This can clearly be seen with all the out dated beliefs in the exercise and fitness world. This article will discuss three main myths surrounding stroke recovery. Firstly that the brain is set in stone and cannot change. Secondly that there is only a small window of opportunity for stroke recovery to happen. And the last myth is that there are not better and more effective ways to perform stroke rehabilitation.

One of the worst perpetuated myths is that the brain is set in stone and cannot change. The brain is capable of change all the time and at any age. While certainly when we are older the brain may not be as responsive as when we are younger, it is still capable of improving and changing. We can see real world examples of the brain changing whenever we learn or improve on a new skill. Things like learning a new language or sport are great examples. The brain controls everything we do and when we see improvements in our coordination like in sports there must be improvements in the brain to bring about those changes. The science of the brain has disproved this repeatedly, the brain can change and this is the basis of stroke rehabilitation.

It is still said that stroke recovery has a small window of opportunity in which recovery can happen. And while there may be some credit to the fact that it may be easier to recover when stroke rehabilitation is performed closer to the time of a stroke, it has been shown that the brain is always capable of change. The degree and ease of that change of course changes with age. It is much easier to learn things when we are younger but it does not mean it is impossible to change the brain or learn things when we are older. The same holds true for after a stroke, the brain is always capable of changing and improving and regaining function. And while there certainly may be limitation and restoring full functional capacity may not be possible, I always feel people can improve on their current state.

Lastly the belief that there are not better and more efficient ways to do stroke recovery is continually perpetuated. Most stroke patients are not up to date on how the brain works, how stroke recovery works and the best techniques for stroke rehabilitation. In fact most practitioners are not probably up to date on this information. And it is a real pity, because in the last decade there have been tremendous advances in brain research and subsequently in stroke recovery but it will take a while until these techniques and methods reach the masses. So unless you happen to be one of the lucky ones, you are probably being short changed in your stroke recovery efforts.

Unfortunately there are many myths surrounding stroke recovery. I hope this article has helped to educate and open your mind up to the truth about your stroke rehabilitation and how you should be approaching it. At times stroke rehab can be a very daunting task, filled with too much science, jargon and technique that may be difficult to understand. I have made it my goal to try and make available the best stroke recovery techniques to stroke survivors, their family members, care givers and health care practitioners.

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