Are you or a loved one at the beginning of a stroke recovery journey? We have good news for you as you navigate recovery. 75% of stroke patients are able to regain mobility and independence without the need for long-term care. 10% of those individuals return to their previous level of functioning!
Recovery may be challenging, but we know it’s worth the effort. When you implement a few health-forward strategies, you can increase your recovery rate and outcome. We’d like to help you maintain motivation on the road to wellness.
Continue reading to learn more about what to expect during stroke recovery. Plus, we’ll share a few strategies for boosting the mind-body connection as you heal.
Stroke Recovery Stages: What to Expect
The stroke recovery timeline tends to look similar for most people, but progress doesn’t always look the way you expect! An understanding of what you’ll experience can help you remain positive as you navigate each stage of recovery.
There are seven basic stages of stroke recovery:
- Floppy muscles
- Muscle stiffness
- Increased muscle stiffness
- Decreased muscle stiffness
- A return of movement
- Disappearance of muscle stiffness
- Return to normal mobility
As you can see, the path to recovery from your stroke is not always straightforward! For example, many people assume that the third stage, increased muscle stiffness, means something has gone wrong. In fact, it is a sign of recovery from your stroke!
Muscle stiffness means your brain and body are beginning to communicate again. While these feel like setbacks, they are actually important milestones on the path to increased mobility and independence!
Be sure to consult your team to help you identify and navigate each step of your recovery journey. Physical and occupational therapists are invaluable resources as you regain strength and dexterity.
Strategies for a Successful Stroke Recovery
A successful stroke recovery requires a skilled team. Your doctors and therapists will be invaluable resources as you work toward improving your mobility. Always consult a medical professional before making a lifestyle change during the recovery process. With that said, here are a few strategies and changes that can help you speed up or improve your recovery outcomes.
Navigating recovery involves experiencing a rollercoaster of emotions. All of your feelings are valid, including the difficult ones. With that in mind, it’s important to maintain a social network. This ensures you’ll always have people to talk to about your feelings.
Ideally, you’ll have friends and family who you can speak to when you’re feeling frustrated or discouraged. Additionally, many people find it helpful to speak with a counselor or therapist during the recovery process.
The more you move, the easier it will be for your brain to reconnect with your body. You will likely regain dexterity in your limbs before your fingers and toes. Your PT or OT team will help you with passive exercises during early recovery.
At a certain point, you will likely feel strong enough to resume some of your favorite physical activities. Low-impact activities like swimming, walking, pickleball and social dancing are ideal. There are many small modifications that can make these things more enjoyable as you navigate the process. You may need to consider a seated aerobics or cardio-drumming class for a safe, accessible alternative to full-body exercise.
Stroke recovery often comes with unexpected challenges. For example, many people struggle with swallowing at different points during recovery. This provides a great opportunity to try new foods and recipes that are safe and delicious!
Consider getting together with friends or loved ones to cook a stroke-friendly feast. It’s a fun and delicious way to work with your changing body to accomplish your goals. Adequate nutrition is key to healing, after all!
Get Moving Again With NexStride
At certain points in your stroke recovery journey, you may need a little extra help. Sometimes, that help comes from friends and family members. Often, however, it comes from the mobility aids and technology that keep you moving.
NexStride is like a walking coach that attaches to your cane or walker. It provides sound and light cues to help your brain communicate with your body. By creating a simple rhythm, it can keep you moving forward during recovery and beyond.
If you’d like to learn more about NexStride, you can speak to a helpful representative by calling (805)-600-2982. You can also use the live chat feature at the bottom of your screen. In the meantime, click here to learn more about what this research-backed walking coach can do for you.