When you first hear that you or someone you care for has had a stroke, the world suddenly feels like it’s against you and that there is no way back to normality, but that couldn’t be any further from the truth. Stroke rehabilitation has many steps that at first may be overwhelming especially if you’ve never dealt with a stroke before.
Here at Core Physio, our aim is to assist in understanding the process and simplifying it so you can focus on your journey. First, let us tell you some important information about strokes before you can begin the rehabilitation process. Read below to find out more.
A stroke is a brain attack. It happens when the blood supply to part of your brain is cut off, it is essential for blood to be supplied as it carries essential nutrients and oxygen to your brain. This can be caused by a clogged or burst artery. There are two types of strokes:
- Ischemic stroke is when a blood clot blocks an artery in within the brain
- A hemorrhagic stroke happens when an artery bursts, leading to damaged brain tissue
A mini-stroke occurs sometimes when a (TIA) transient ischemic attack takes place. TIA’s occurs when the blood flow to the brain is blocked only for a short time. This is a smaller version of an ischemic stroke.
Stroke side effects are caused by the lack of oxygen to the brain and some of the most common side effects include:
- Paralysis on either side of the body
- Speech/language difficulties
- Memory loss
The side effects that occur differentiate depending on the side of the brain the stroke has occurred in.
All Strokes Are Different
The human brain is filtered with different components, each function of the brain is controlled by different parts. A stroke can occur any part of the brain and affect different functions – this makes every stroke unique. Left vs Right side strokes are different and can involve different rehabilitation methods. Each side of the human brain controls the opposite side of the body. For example, when a stroke occurs on the right side of the brain, it affects the left side of the body.
In order to understand what exercises are best for rehabilitation but it is important to know what side the stroke has affected. Stroke rehabilitation is all about the brain and not the body.
The Brain Knows How to Heal Itself
Through the process of neuroplasticity, the brain knows how to heal itself. It is the mechanism the brain uses to reform itself. When some part of the brain becomes damaged due to a stroke, neuroplasticity allows the brain to rewire and pick up the slack with healthy parts of the brain.
Neuroplasticity is activated by repetitive practice, which is key to rehabilitation. Repeating a production over and over again, you strengthen the connections in your brain. An example would be if you have lost the use of your right arm, practising arm exercises over and over again will strengthen the connections in your brain, ultimately rewiring your body.
Rehabilitation Begins ASAP!
After the appropriate treatment has been administered in a hospital, rehabilitation begins immediately after. In some cases, rehabilitation has begun the day after treatment.