Understanding the Process of Recovering From a Stroke

Someone in the U.S. has a stroke every 40 seconds.

If you or a loved one has recently suffered a stroke, you’re not alone. Still, facing the aftermath of a stroke can be daunting.

Stroke recovery can look different for each person, with some having easy recoveries and others requiring more care. Read on to learn about the basics of recovering from a stroke.

What Happens After a Stroke?

When a stroke happens, it’s important to seek immediate medical care. This is always the first line of defense if you or a loved one suffers from any stroke symptoms.

Doctors will stabilize you or your loved one’s condition, using any emergency treatment they deem necessary.

But after the stroke has subsided and emergency precautions have been taken, the effects of having a stroke don’t just disappear. There are a number of short and long-term effects you may experience.

Short-Term Effects

Soon after suffering from a stroke, it’s common to experience some muscle weakness and numbness. Somebody parts may not function as they did before, which could affect balance, the ability to walk, and even the ability to eat normally.

There may also be new speech issues, as well as other cognitive effects like poor memory. This can make way for depression and other mental health conditions.

It’s also common to experience some pain, tingling, or burning sensations in the body.

Long-Term Effects

For some, there may be little to no long-term effects after a stroke. But for others, symptoms may continue for months or even indefinitely.

Some cognitive and emotional functioning, including speaking skills and memory, maybe permanently impacted by the stroke. There may also be changes in personality or mood regulation.

A stroke can also affect vision, making it hard to see clearly.

Types of Stroke Rehabilitation

Many short and long-term effects of strokes can be mitigated with rehabilitation.

There are several types of stroke rehabilitation, depending on you or your loved one’s needs. Common types of rehabilitation include:

  • physical and mobility therapy
  • emotional rehabilitation
  • chronic pain therapy
  • intensive inpatient rehabilitation
  • outpatient and lifestyle rehabilitation

Rehabilitation is especially important in the weeks following the stroke. And in some cases, rehab treatment may require an ongoing commitment.

Stroke Recovery Timeline

Each stroke survivor’s recovery is unique. However, there are some typical points you can expect during the recovery timeline.

Initial treatment will last a few days, as you or your loved one spends time in the hospital. Following this initial treatment, you can expect some short-term effects to impact daily life for at least a few weeks.

Rehabilitation will be a major priority for around three months following the stroke. After rehabilitation, some may find they’re able to function enough for their regular activities, while others may need more time.

It’s not uncommon to require rehabilitation until the 12-month mark. Be prepared for this, and don’t get discouraged. Notice and celebrate your or your loved one’s small wins and accomplishments along the way.

What to Expect When Recovering From a Stroke

Recovering from a stroke can be a long and difficult journey. However, with rehabilitation and a bit of patience, recovery is possible.

Learn more about health and wellness in our other health articles!

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