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Recovery After Stroke

Published on Sep 27, 2022 and last reviewed on Nov 02, 2022   -  6 min read


Recovery time after a stroke is different for every patient and may take weeks, months, or possibly even years.


A stroke is a medical emergency when the blood supply to the brain or part of the brain is interrupted and thus hampers the continuous demand for oxygen to the brain. Depending on the severity of the stroke, recovery time varies from weeks, months, to years. At times, even complete recovery from stroke mainly leaves behind certain lifestyle limitations. The faster the treatment, the better during a stroke. It should be noted that strokes are not generally easy to recognize.

What Are the Causes of a Stroke?

Risks and complications due to stroke occur due to a variety of underlying reasons. Strokes are standard in older adults and individuals with a family history of stroke. There are two kinds of stroke- an ischaemic stroke and a hemorrhagic stroke. An ischemic stroke is when blood flow is completely blocked. At the same time, a hemorrhagic stroke is when the artery of the brain starts bleeding and leaking blood into the brain. Many reasons may result in a stroke on the right side of the brain. Mentioned below are a few of the causes of right-sided stroke.

  • A clot from another body part.

  • A lump in a brain vessel.

  • A tear in a vessel of the brain.

  • High blood pressure.

  • Over-treatment or overdose of blood thinners.

  • Severe trauma.

  • Aneurysm.

  • Cerebral amyloid angiopathy.

  • Arteriovenous malformation.

  • Fatty deposits build up in blood vessels.

  • Covid-19 infection.

  • Smoking.

  • Tobacco consumption.

  • Second-hand smoking.

  • Atrial fibrillation.

  • Diabetes mellitus.

  • Overweight and obesity.

  • Family history of stroke.

  • Certain medications and allergies.

  • Sedentary lifestyle.

  • High levels of cholesterol.

  • Excessive consumption of alcohol.

  • Stress.

  • History of a heart attack.

  • Irregular heartbeat or heart rhythm.

  • Conditions that affect the health of blood vessels.

  • Enlarged heart.

  • Carotid artery stenosis.

  • A diet rich in saturated fat.

  • Over intake of sodium.

  • A diet rich in trans fat.

  • Drug abuse from cocaine, amphetamines, and heroin.

What Are the Signs and Symptoms of a Stroke?

Symptoms of a right-sided stroke are generally seen on the left side and left body parts. However, symptoms of a left-sided stroke are eventually caught on the right side of the body. Mentioned below are some of the signs and symptoms of a right-sided stroke. It should be noted that the clinical manifestations of a stroke vary in individuals and depend on the underlying cause of the stroke and the type of stroke the individual has been affected with.

  • Sudden weakness of the face.

  • Liability of the arm or leg.

  • Severe dizziness.

  • Balance problems.

  • Difficulty walking.

  • Confusion.

  • Head pain.

  • Muscle loss on the left side of the body.

  • The vision is blurred.

  • Seeing issues from the left side of each eye.

  • Hearing problems.

  • Sensory changes on the left side of the body.

  • Problems with depth perception.

  • Not understanding directions.

  • Memory problems.

  • Difficulty in problem-solving.

  • Not able to make decisions.

  • Problems in breathing.

  • Difficulty in chewing and swallowing.

  • Slurred way of speaking.

  • Drooping on the left side of the face.

  • Paralysis in the left side of the body.

  • Loss of consciousness.

  • Blinding pain.

  • Vertigo.

  • Generalized numbness.

  • Stiffness of muscles.

  • Rapid involuntary eye movement.

  • Reduced sensation of touch.

  • Pins and needles.

  • Overactive reflexes.

  • Fatigue.

  • Temporary loss of vision.

What to Expect After a Stroke?

Uncommon to popular beliefs, post an episode of a stroke, an individual has a high chance of living an independent life provided the recovery and diagnosis time are prompt. Unfortunately, this is not the case for a few stroke patients, and unfortunately, the presence of the below-mentioned conditions may persist lifelong.

  • Paralysis.

  • Weakness.

  • Trouble thinking.

  • Lack of surrounding awareness.

  • Low attention span.

  • Inability to learn.

  • Poor judgment.

  • Memory loss.

  • Perceive a problem.

  • Difficulty in forming speech.

  • Trouble controlling anger.

  • Inability to express emotions.

  • Numbness.

  • Strange sensations.

  • Generalized body pain that worsens with movement.

  • Temperature changes.

  • Hot flushes.

  • Difficulty chewing and swallowing.

  • Complications with bladder and bowel control.

  • Depression.

  • Altered behavior.

  • A drastic personality change.

How Is a Stroke Treated?

There are currently many treatment modalities for a stroke, whether on the right side of the brain or the left side. According to the signs and symptoms, both invasive and non-invasive treatment options and management plans for stroke should be provided by the health care provider after a complete physical examination and taking into account the medical and drug history of the individual. Mentioned below are the available treatment options that are best decided by the health care provider keeping in mind the underlying cause of the stroke.

  • Embolectomy.

  • Recombinant tissue plasminogen activator or TPA injection.

  • Alteplase or Activase injection.

  • Tenecteplase or TNKase injection.

  • Vertebrobasilar angioplasty.

  • Physical therapy—to improve movement.

  • Occupational therapy—to help with daily tasks and self-care.

  • Carotid Endarterectomy.

  • Speech therapy—to improve swallowing and speech.

  • Psychological therapy—to provide support after the stroke.

What Is Involved in Stroke Rehabilitation?

Stroke rehabilitation includes therapy for the individual's physical, psychological, speech, and occupational aspects. The various factors that are included in stroke rehabilitation are mentioned as follows.

  • Motor-skill exercises to improve your muscle strength and coordination.

  • Mobility training such as a walker, canes, wheelchair, or ankle brace.

  • Constraint-induced therapy to move the affected limb and help improve its function.

  • Forced-use therapy.

  • Range-of-motion therapy to help you regain range of motion.

  • Functional electrical stimulation to help re-educate your muscles.

  • Robotic technology to help the limbs regain strength and function.

  • Wireless technology to help increase post-stroke activity.

  • Virtual reality.

  • Therapy for cognitive disorders such as memory, processing, problem-solving, social skills, judgment, and safety awareness.

  • Therapy for communication disorders can help regain lost speaking, listening, writing, and comprehension abilities.

  • Psychological evaluation and treatment.

  • Emotional adjustment.

  • Counseling.

  • Participation in a support group.

  • Antidepressant.

  • Medication that affects alertness, agitation, or movement.

  • Non-invasive brain stimulation.

  • Transcranial magnetic stimulation helps improve a variety of motor skills.

  • Biological therapies, such as stem cells.

  • Alternative medicine.

  • Massage.

  • Acupuncture.

  • Oxygen therapy.

  • Occupational therapy improves daily activities, such as eating, drinking, dressing, bathing, reading, and writing.


A stroke is a medical emergency that causes damage to the brain from interruption of blood and, eventually, oxygen supply. Early treatment may minimize brain damage. The recovery rate is most remarkable in the weeks and months after a stroke. Recovering from a stroke can be a long and tiresome experience. It's normal to face frustration along the way. However, strong dedication and eagerness to work toward improvement will help gain the most benefit.

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Last reviewed at:
02 Nov 2022  -  6 min read




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