To learn how the brain recovers from stroke, we need to first look at what a stroke is.
A stroke occurs when the supply of blood is cut off from a section of the brain (either by a clogged or burst artery), which causes damage to the oxygen-deprived brain cells.
Depending on which section of the brain the stroke occurs, the damage will cause certain stroke side effects.
Luckily, your brain knows how to make up for this damage.
Let’s take a look at how these two keys play a role in stroke recovery.
Neuroplasticity Helps the Brain Rewire Itself
Your brain is composed of 100 trillion neural connections – meaning that there are 100 trillion little pathways in your mind that retrieve and store information.
When a stroke occurs, part of the brain becomes damaged and a chunk of these connections are destroyed. But that’s when neuroplasticity comes into play.
When your brain tries to heal itself, functions that were once held in damaged parts of the brain are then transferred to new, healthy parts of the brain through the process of neuroplasticity.
This process is what allows you to regain lost movement, speech function, and other abilities after experiencing a stroke.
It’s truly amazing that your brain knows how to reconstruct itself.
But it does need your help…
Repetition Helps the Brain Recover Lost Motor Function
Your mind can’t do all the work on its own.
You need to help your brain by performing a high number of repetitions during your therapy.
Repetition helps reinforce the new pathways in your mind, whereas haphazard effort will lead to weak connections that fade over time.
The more you train, the stronger and more permanent your new neural connections become.
Neuroplasticity + Repetition = Recovery
By focusing on high reps during rehabilitation therapy, you can activate neuroplasticity and strengthen the new neural pathways in your brain.
Poor repetition leads to weaker neural connections, and higher repetition leads to stronger connections.
So as long as you stay disciplined and continuously put effort into your rehabilitation, you will see results.