Regaining Your Life After a Stroke

Stroke affects more than 700,000 Americans each year, and more than half a million of them survive and start the path of rehabilitation. The goal is to help patients recover their lives. This means relearning skills lost due to stroke and restoring as much independence as possible. Our experts share what you or a loved one can expect from rehabilitation following a stroke. 

Life after a stroke

A stroke can cause various disabilities depending on the part of the brain affected and the severity of the stroke. Generally, a stroke can cause paralysis or difficulty controlling movement, problems with memory and thinking, issues using language, and sensory disturbances.

After you or a loved one has a stroke, you can expect to set goals with your care team that help you restore your life as much as possible.

Goal of post-stroke rehabilitation

While rehabilitation does not reverse stroke-related brain damage, it helps stroke survivors relearn vital skills including:

These are the most important skills for navigating daily life independently.

Recovery is different for everyone

Stroke recovery is different for each person. Recovery starts from day one and rehabilitation starts in the hospital as soon as possible following a stroke. Most commonly, rehabilitation begins within two days after a stroke and may continue for weeks, months, or several years. 

Some people recover fully, while others may have long-term disabilities. For most stroke survivors, recovery is gradual and unpredictable. Support from friends, family and caregivers is key to recovery.

Rehabilitation after a stroke

The rehabilitation program following a stroke is highly individualized. The type of stroke and the severity are factors in designing the most appropriate rehabilitation program. Most people who survive a stroke can expect to engage in motor-skills and mobility exercises as well as range-of-motion therapy.

Motor-skills exercises

Restoring fine motor skills as much as possible is one of the most important aspects of stroke recovery. Fine motor skills allow us to make movements using the muscles in the hands and wrists. Day-to-day activities such as holding a pen and writing and holding a utensil to eat require fine motor skills. Retraining fine motor skills helps stroke survivors do things like feed themselves and grasp objects independently.  

Mobility exercises

Regaining mobility is one of the primary goals of stroke rehabilitation, as it helps patients relearn how to walk using mobility aids, including canes and walkers. Patients who are unable to walk learn how to use wheelchairs and mobility scooters. Exercises that strengthen muscles and muscle coordination are incorporated into therapy.  

Range-of-motion therapy

Doing range-of-motion exercises helps improve balance, strength, and joint function. This helps patients move with full range of motion without pain. Frequent and regular exercise in the first six months following a stroke helps to restore sensory and motor function. Range-of-motion exercises should start as soon as possible after a stroke for the best possible outcome.  

Rehabilitation after a stroke involves a care team of physicians, nurses and a range of rehabilitation therapists. Here at the Premier Neurology Group, neurology specialist Dr. Ravinder Singh coordinates the care of stroke survivors and recommends a rehabilitation program that best addresses your needs. Dr. Singh provides guidance on changes patients can make to prevent a second stroke, including controlling high blood pressure, adopting a heart-healthy diet, and losing weight if you’re overweight.  

When it comes to stroke recovery, every day counts. You can trust our team to be there for you each step of the way. Call our office in Beverly Hills, California, to schedule a consultation or book your appointment request online today.

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