A full recovery after stroke could be within your grasp and you just don’t know it yet.
Time and time again, we have heard stories of stroke survivors who recovered more movement than they were told was possible. But how? Well, first you need to understand the difference between compensation and recovery. By understanding this difference, you’ll be able to push past the limitations set by others (which we’ll explain soon) and pursue a higher level of recovery. It’s about strong will and science – and you’ll be fully equipped to pursue a full recovery after stroke by the end of this article.
In the clinic, therapists are limited to working within the boundaries of what insurance will pay for. According to this article on compensation and recovery,
“The focus of stroke rehabilitation is to maximize functional motor ability, such as to walk safely from one room to another… in the limited time available for treatment. With the emphasis placed on task accomplishment, there is little time to focus on qualitative aspects of movement.”
Essentially, therapists don’t always have the time or resources to provide you with a full recovery as it can take many months or even years to achieve. However, the limitations imposed upon your therapists don’t have to become your limitations too. Once you learn the difference between compensation and recovery, you’ll be able to decide for yourself how far your recovery can go.
Compensation vs Recovery
Compensation involves “performing an old movement in a new manner.” So if you can’t pick up a spoon with your right fingers anymore, a compensation technique would be picking up the spoon with your left hand.
Recovery involves “restoring the ability to perform a movement in the same manner as it was performed before injury.” In other words, being stubborn and working very, very hard towards using your right fingers to hold that spoon just like you did before your stroke.
Which Is Better?
Well, it depends on your specific circumstances. Since no stroke is the same, some survivors will be able to achieve a full recovery after stroke and others will not. What we want you to know is that you might be able to recover more movement than you think – or what you’ve been told to think.
So if you think that a higher level of recovery is possible, push for it! Don’t push so hard that you do more harm than good, but don’t let the boundaries and restrictions imposed on others be imposed on you too. In some cases, you’ll be able to recover much more than what your doctors and therapists once told you was possible. It’s up to you to summon the courage to keep pushing for the full recovery you deserve.
One Last Thing
After reading this, you might think that compensation techniques are bad – but that’s not always the case. Sometimes compensation techniques are absolutely necessary. We just don’t want you to think that it’s the end of your recovery. You’ll never know what your body is capable of until you try.
Were you able to recover more function than you though possible? Share your story in the comments below!