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5 Things You Need To Know For Stroke Recovery And Rehabilitation

on January 06, 2021

Strokes are one of the leading causes of death worldwide. Fortunately, the first stroke someone experiences has a relatively high survival rate. A second stroke is not as survivable. That’s why the road to recovery and rehabilitation after a stroke is important. 

High blood pressure, high levels of cholesterol, obesity, or diabetes are all possible causes of a second stroke. In fact, whatever the cause of the first stroke was will most likely lead to a second unless lifestyle changes are made. That's also why everyone needs to be able to recognize the signs of a stroke:

  • Trouble speaking (slurred speech)
  • Weakness in one arm
  • Numb or drooping face (on one side)
  • Confusion (trouble understanding basic speech)
  • Dizziness or loss of balance
  • Severe headache

Not everyone comes out of the first stroke unscathed. Depending on the severity of the stroke, there's some rehabilitation that needs to be done in order to prevent any additional medication complications from the stroke. The stroke itself also causes a lack of motor skills or difficulty speaking that needs to be relearned. Whether you're a stroke survivor, the family member of a stroke survivor, or a healthcare professional overseeing a patient's recovery and rehabilitation, there are five things you need to know for stroke recovery and rehabilitation. 

Pay Attention To Dysphagia (Swallowing Difficulties) 
A stroke may lead to a condition called dysphagia, which makes it difficult to swallow. One of the first things doctors will check after a stroke is if the patient can swallow safely. A patient may need to be put on a feeding tube until they're properly evaluated by a speech pathologist to see if they're able to swallow. That's why patients or medical professionals should look into food thickener for thickening up liquids to improve stroke patient compliance. 

Nutrition Is Key For Recovery
Stroke survivors, especially those with diabetes, need to focus on their nutrition in order to make a successful recovery. It's still essential to get a complete and balanced diet. Until the stroke patient recovers from eating difficulties, patients will need to stay on a soft diet containing fibers, proteins, and heart-healthy vitamins and nutrients.  

Use The Right Products For Bed Sores 
While recovering from a stroke, many patients may be bedridden, causing uncomfortable pressure ulcers on the skin. Since many stroke patients have lost most of their motor skills, their caretakers need to prevent bedsores by helping patients change positions frequently. Relieve pressure by reducing skin friction to promote blood circulation and prevent the manifestation of bedsores. 

Exercise Is Still Important 
Almost every medical condition can benefit from exercise. Even stroke survivors help improve blood pressure, weight gained during rehabilitation, balance, and coordination. Exercise also helps any stress, mental health disorders, or cognitive decline after a stroke. However, depending on the first stroke's severity, patients will need to take it easy with products like wrist wheels or foot pedals before moving onto full cardio exercises. Even small movements can help in the recovery process. 

Loss Of Bowel Control
Stroke survivors have a difficult time controlling their bladder after a stroke. Not only that, but it’s difficult for stroke survivors to quickly move to the toilet when they’re experiencing incontinence. This is a normal occurrence, which may be embarrassing for the patient, but it’s still an issue that needs to be addressed. It’s important to have a backup plan while patients are retraining their bladder during the recovering and rehabilitation process after a stroke. 

Recovering from a stroke can be challenging, not only for the survivor, but for their loved ones and caretakers as well. It’s important to be prepared for any situation that arises during rehabilitation and recovery. This also highlights the importance of regular health screenings. A stroke is a preventable condition caused by high blood pressure and other cardiac issues. Early detection through health screenings gives you and your healthcare provider ample time for them to intervene medically or educate you on simple lifestyle choices to make to prevent these issues from occurring in the first place. Speak with your family doctor today to have a health screening.