Recovering From A Stroke As Quickly As Possible

After a stroke survivor has stabilized they will move to the next phase of recovering from a stroke. This will include the stroke rehab part of recovery. Stroke rehab will include physical or mental therapy focused on helping the stroke survivor with regaining any independence and working on any difficulties they may have had after the stroke. Strokes are estimated to affect up to 700,000 people annually with more than 70 percent of those being first time stroke survivors. Recovering from a stroke is not an easy process but it can be made a lot easier by getting proper stroke rehab advice and recommendations.

Stroke rehab in an outpatient clinic is often restricted by the limited time and resources that the facility has. This results in a short and quick period of rehab where patients are rushed through a quick course of rehab. The alternative is private therapy. This can be very costly in both finances and travel time. Unless you are fortunate to have financial abundance this may not even be an option. This leaves stroke survivors recovering from a stroke at home.

Often without proper guidance or knowledge of how to adequately perform stroke rehab the patient and family members may do very little. Or worse yet they may just accept the level of function the stroke survivor has and leave it at that. This is a pity. While there certainly are limitations to recovery from a stroke I feel unless survivors have performed an intense and properly constructed and documented program recovering from a stroke can always be improved. Knowing what to do and how to do it is vital for the best recovery efforts.

One principle that has revolutionized recovering from a stroke is the concept of neuroplasticity. This is a fancy way of saying the adult brain is capable of change. The adult brain has been shown to adapt to the demands we place upon it. This is a key concept for stroke rehabilitation where we have areas of the brain that have been damaged and are resulting in functional deficits for the survivor. It is possible through proper rehabilitation that the brain is able to rewire itself and figure out a way to start perform some of these lost functions again. Very exciting news for stroke survivors and their family.

The sad part is many people are still not aware of this concept. It should be one of the first things taught to stroke survivors and their families and it should form the basis of all people recovering from a stroke. However the reality of the matter is that it is not. Many patients are given inadequate advice about their recovery potential. New research has discovered exciting exercises that take advantage of sciences newest understandings of how the brain functions and recovers. The great news is that it does not have to cost a lot of money to have access to these advanced therapies. Recovering from a stroke has never been easier for survivors to do given the right tools and information.

Stroke Treatment That Works

With the advent of new technology and better understanding of the brain the face of stroke treatment is changing rapidly. However, some therapist and patients still remain in the dark. In the United States alone a person suffers a stroke every 45 seconds. Approximately 700,00 people every year suffer from a stroke. Out of this large number about 500,000 are first occurrences, while the remainder are repeat strokes. The disability resulting from stroke can vary greatly and really depends on the extent of damage and the area of the brain that has been affected.

There are two types of strokes that can happen: ischemic and hemorrhagic. Both result in the same reduction of blood flow and therefore oxygen to areas of the central nervous system resulting in damage to those areas. Ischemic relates to the fact that there is a blockage of blood flow caused by an obstruction of some sort like a blood clot. There are responsible for a vast majority of strokes accounting for 70-80% of strokes seen. The remainder of strokes are made up of hemorrhagic strokes which means that something has happened to the blood vessel wall causing a bleed of some sort. Regardless of the type of stroke the need for stroke treatment still remains.

The advancement of stroke treatment took leaps and bounds in the 1990’s, which was dubbed “the decade of the brain”. During this period scientists made startling discoveries related to stroke rehab and stroke recovery and they continue to do so. The most popular discovery that is re-writing the medical books is termed neuroplasticity. The term neuroplasticity flies in the face of the commonly held misconception that the adult brain is a fixed rigid structure incapable of change. This is a revelation for stroke treatment and final allows an understanding of the stroke recovery process that has been witnessed for so long.

This startling new concept of stroke treatment should have been embraced and swept through stroke rehab facilities. Yet, decades later we still see out dated and ineffective methods of stroke rehab being utilized. Obviously it does also take time for new changes to be implemented on a wide scale. After a stroke survivor has stabilized the stroke rehab and recovery process should be the main concern. Restoring some form of independence, mobility and function can go a very long way to helping change the life of a stroke survivor. The a proper understanding of the latest research a very comprehensive stroke treatment program can be constructed for a stroke survivor.

To maximize recovery and improve stroke rehabilitation a stroke treatment program should embrace the new science of brain recovery. With a better understanding of how the brain recovers and stroke rehab program can be put together that focuses on areas of the brain that need treatment the most. This may be a particular area of the brain or even a hemisphere of the brain that requires more specialist rehab and focus. This tailored approach addressing the stroke survivors needs will yield better and faster results than a conventional stroke treatment program.

The Stroke Rehab Journey

The best and quickest way to recover after a stroke is to begin stroke rehab. In stroke rehab, a group of health providers may work with you to help you regain skills you lost after your stroke. This may be done in the hospital environment initially or once you leave the hospital you may choose to visit professionals or continue your rehab at home.

Stroke rehab will focus on helping to restore as much of your independence as possible. It will also assist in adjusting to the post stroke changes of your brain and body. And on a more functional aspect it can help you in your home environment to cope with the changes in your ability and everyday routine after your stroke.

A key component of stroke rehab to help retrain the brain includes frequency or repetition of exercises or therapy. Research has shown that the brain can make new connections and this is a fundamental principal of stroke recovery. We call this ability of the brain to change and adapt ‘neuroplasticity’. Repeated repetition is needed for the brain to change and this is utilized in most stroke rehab programs. Just like learning any new skill, the use of repetition is used to help entrain it into your body.

It is also important that stroke rehab consists of some form of cardiovascular exercise. Post stroke it is important for survivors to maintain cardiovascular health to help prevent future strokes. This can prove difficult if there are post stroke problems with walking or gait as most traditional cardiovascular exercises involve the ability to stand or use the legs. Swimming or any type of aquatic activity like aqua aerobics that are adjusted to your abilities may be a useful cardiovascular tool.

The stroke rehab team has some vital members such as your family, loved ones and caregivers. You may be fortunate to have a team of professionals working together with you and your caregivers to help you with your recovery. The professional team may consist of physical therapists to help with co-ordination, balance and movement. Occupational therapist to help with adjustments to daily tasks such as eating, dressing and bathing. For some individuals a speech-language therapist may be needed to help relearn language. An often overlooked aspect is any post stroke emotional issues. This is an important component of stroke rehab and should be addressed by a counselor or psychologist.

There are many different ways and approaches to stroke rehab. Unfortunately due finances or location, not everyone is in a position to learn or have access to the best stroke recovery methods. Recently there have been some great discoveries in the areas of stroke recovery and rehabilitation. And while there is no short cut for hard work and time, there are definitely more efficient ways to go about stroke rehab. An approach that uses the latest techniques in stroke rehab and allows you to tailor them to your needs will result in a faster and more efficient recovery period. It could also push your recovery further than you thought possible.