A stroke takes place when the blood supply to the brain is reduced or interrupted, resulting in brain damage. The chances of being able to recover completely after a stroke depends on a myriad of factors, such as the severity and location of the stroke, and the age and general health of the patient.
Unfortunately, the probability of complete recovery from a stroke is often rather low. Many stroke survivors experience permanent or long-term disabilities, known as sequelae. Below are five common sequelae of stroke and their treatments:
1. Weakness or paralysis
Stroke survivors experience weakness or even paralysis on one side of their body. They can improve their muscle strength and coordination though physical therapy and rehabilitation.
2. Speech problems
A stroke can result in difficulty with understanding, speaking or writing a language. Going for speech therapy could help to improve communication skills.
3. Cognitive impairments
Suffering from a stroke can also affect one’s cognitive function, which includes, problem-solving skills, memory, and attention span. These functions can be improved through cognitive rehabilitation.
4. Emotional problems
Experiencing anxiety, depression and other emotional problems after stroke is very common. Taking part in support groups, engaging in counselling and taking medications can help to manage these symptoms.
5. Swallowing difficulties
A stroke can affect one’s ability to swallow, which could result in aspiration pneumonia or choking. Dietary changes and speech therapy can help improve swallowing function.
Receiving appropriate medical care and rehabilitation as early as possible after a stroke is key in increasing their chances of recovery.
Stroke Rehabilitation Golden Period1
In the unfortunate scenario where you suffer from the sequelae of stroke, you should seek rehabilitation treatment as early as possible. It is generally believed by the medical committee that the golden period for recovery is three months after a stroke. During this period of time, brain ischemia gradually improves, brain edema, haemorrhage and pressure slowly returns to normal. In fact, there is still a lot of recovery happening in brain conditions after the first three months. The first six months after a stroke are also a critical period for recovery.
During this stage of stoke treatment, the focus is to help restructure the brain’s internal structure and function, as well as teaching patients to relearn how to use their limbs. For stroke patients with more serious conditions, significant improvement can still be achieved with a longer training period.
Stroke Rehabilitation Treatment2,3
Our brain has a self-remodelling characteristic, as such various trainings and stimulations can help rebuild the damaged brain neuron connection network, thereby restoring the stroke patient’s ability to take part in activities. One key method of stroke rehabilitation involves engaging in physical therapy. Physical therapy can help stroke patients to improve self-care abilities, relearn limb control skills and integrate back into their work and daily social life. Some examples of physical therapy include walking training and gait correction.
On top of physical therapy, stroke rehabilitation treatment also includes occupational therapy. This focuses on targeting training of cognitive abilities. For instance, selecting and designing suitable assistive equipment according to the patient's needs can improve their autonomy and independence in their daily life. Another stroke rehabilitation treatment is speech therapy, where it focuses on training various muscles in the oral cavity, helping to improve speech clarity and reduce swallowing difficulties.
Do you have enough financial protection in case of a stroke?
It is likely that stroke recovery requires a large amount of time, which could be a major impact on your work. Having a critical illness insurance plan can provide you with financial support, relieving you of your financial burden so you can focus on your recovery.