Following a stroke, a person may need one or more therapies to help them recover. They may also require medication. The recovery timeline and outcome will vary by person and the severity of their stroke.
A stroke occurs when a part of the brain does not receive enough blood due to a blocked or burst artery that leads to a part of the brain. It is a leading cause of disability and the
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), each year,
Following a stroke, many people will require
A person who has experienced a stroke that has caused minimal damage to the brain may require less rehabilitative therapy and recover faster. However, several factors can impact a person’s recovery.
This article explores the various therapies, medications, and other services a person may require following a stroke. It also discusses a person’s outlook and stroke prevention methods.
Rehabilitation therapy aims to help a person relearn skills they may have lost due to any brain damage caused by a stroke. A secondary goal is to help prevent the person from developing medical complications, such as urinary tract infections, pneumonia, or injury due to falls.
There are different types of rehabilitation therapy. Practitioners may provide services in both inpatient and outpatient centers.
A person may require several therapies,
- speech therapy
- occupational therapy
- physical therapy
- recreational therapy, which may help a person develop and use their leisure time to improve their health, quality of life, and independence
A doctor typically determines what type of therapy or services a person may benefit from, as well as whether they need inpatient or outpatient services.
During and following therapies, a person may require mobility aids, including canes, walkers, or other devices to help prevent falls.
Some people may benefit from technology-assisted therapy which
- virtual reality
- computer programs
- robotic devices
These activities may help someone practice new skills and improve their function in a safe setting.
In 2021, the
The IpsiHand System is a type of brain-computer-interface (BCI) device that facilitates rehabilitation of the upper extremities following a stroke. The upper extremities include the arms, hands, and wrists.
The device uses noninvasive electroencephalography to send a signal from the brain to a tablet that then relays the intended movement to an electronic hand brace. The brace then helps the person make the intended movement.
People require a prescription for the device. It may not be appropriate for everyone who has experienced a stroke.
Medication or drug therapy is the
According to the CDC, tissue plasminogen activator (tPA), which is thrombolytic,
However, to be effective, a person needs to receive tPA within 3 hours of the first symptoms of an ischemic stroke. This is why people should call 911 as soon as they recognize someone is experiencing symptoms of a stroke.
People should only take medications with a doctor’s guidance.
In addition to therapies and medications, a person recovering from a stroke and people close to them may benefit from additional services,
- nutritional care
- social work
- stroke support groups
- education programs
A person can speak with a healthcare professional for recommendations or information about services available in their area. They may also benefit from finding groups online. The American Stroke Association offers a tool to help people
The stroke recovery timeline will vary greatly between people. A person will often start rehabilitation services
Recovery can take anywhere from a few weeks to years. Some people may fully recover while others may have lifelong disabilities. A person who has experienced a stroke that has caused minimal damage to their brain may fully recover and require rehabilitative therapy for less time.
Factors that affect a person’s outlook can include:
- their age
- the severity of brain damage
- the severity of other medical conditions
- cooperation of friends and family
- their level of alertness
- timing of rehabilitation
- the intensity of the rehabilitation program
- ability to modify home and work environments for safety concerns
Recurrent strokes account for about
- taking preventive medications to treat underlying conditions, such as high blood pressure or diabetes, as advised by a doctor
- maintaining a healthy weight
- regularly engaging in physical activity
- eating a healthy diet
- avoiding or quitting smoking
- limiting alcohol consumption
Stroke recovery may involve a combination of therapies, medications, and other services. Each person will have a different recovery experience and rehabilitation program based on their individual needs following a stroke. A healthcare professional can offer more detail on an individual basis.
Rehabilitation may take several weeks to years, depending on each person who has experienced a stroke. Some people may fully recover from a stroke following rehabilitation, but others may have to adjust to long-term disabilities.
People should speak with a healthcare professional about individual rehabilitation programs and their outlook following a stroke.