Every Stroke Is Different – But What Exactly Does That Mean?

Every Stroke Is Different – But What Exactly Does That Mean?

If you’re a stroke survivor, then the words “every stroke is different” is probably commonplace for you. But if you’re a caregiver or family member, then the concept might need some defining.

So we’re covering everything you should know about the concept in today’s article.

Why Is Every Stroke Different?

Every stroke is different because stroke can happen in different areas of the brain. Since each part of the brain controls a different function, each stroke can cause different impairments.

Unfortunately, this can make it difficult for medical professionals to provide or prescribe the ‘perfect’ rehab treatment because there are so many different variables – known and unknown – to consider for each patients.

However, understanding the difference between left- and right-side stroke recoveries can help you understand what generalities to expect.

What’s the Difference Between Left Side vs Right Side Stroke Recovery?

Each side of the brain controls the opposite side of the body as well as other specific tasks.

Here’s an article that discusses the difference between left- and right-side stroke recovery.

In short, a right-side stroke can affect the left side of your body, creativity, emotion, imagination, and facial recognition, among others. And a left-side stroke can affect the right side of the body, logic, language, and reasoning, among others.

Ask Recovery-Specific Questions

During stroke recovery, you may be tempted to ask, “How can you recover from a right brain stroke?” Or, “What’s the best way to recover from a left cerebellum stroke?”

Brain-specific questions like that aren’t always the best, though. Since every stroke is different, each recovery will be different – and each answer to brain-specific questions will be different and vary greatly.

Instead, better questions to ask are:

These recovery-specific questions can lead to much better, actionable answers.

What Do Most Recoveries Have in Common?

While the ambiguity of stroke recovery can be disconcerting sometimes, there are consistent patterns that you should be aware of.

First, the desire for lots of sleep is perfectly normal. This is a sign that the brain is healing itself. (And sucking up all that mental juice.)

Second, it’s also perfectly normal to fatigue easily during recovery. This is because the brain is relearning many things as if for the first time – which, again, sucks up all that mental juice.

Third, recovery tends to move along rapidly during the first three months, but then will start to taper off. This is a plateau – and it’s also perfectly normal. DO NOT CONFUSE THIS AS THE END.

As long as you continue to pursue rehab, the brain will continue to heal itself.

What Are Some Different Treatment Options?

Since every stroke recovery is different, that means that each stroke survivor will benefit from different forms of treatment.

As you explore your treatment options, it’s important to continue to explore until you found the thing that resonates the most. You may not find it immediately, but it will be sooo rewarding once you do!

Here are some articles that can help you find something different to try:

They’re all chock full of useful information!

How Much Can You Recover?

We saved the best part for last.

A huge part of the reason why every stroke recovery is different – aside from the fact that every stroke is different – is that each person is different.

Meaning, each person has their own beliefs that play into their recovery as well.

And we’d like to debunk 2 limiting beliefs right now.

First, a full recovery is possible. If someone told you otherwise, then gracefully reject their limiting belief and hang on to your own – one that’s far more encouraging.

And when you aren’t feeling particularly motivated, just read inspirational stories about other successful survivors who defied the odds and recovered more movement than anyone thought!

Second, compensation techniques don’t have to be the end. In fact, they should constantly be questioned so that you can have the necessary challenge for a thriving recovery. Read this article to learn the difference between compensation techniques and convenient techniques.

In short, if you can keep your eye on the prize – a full recovery – then you will recover far more movement than believing otherwise. And if you continue to challenge yourself and your compensation techniques, then you will avoid becoming ‘stuck’ and continue to progress in your recovery.

Do you have any stroke recovery questions?

Leave them for us in the comments below!

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  • james watts

    I had a stroke in 2006 (CVA). I have some spasticity remaining, about 5-10%. At first, I was paralyzed on my left side. It lasted for about 4 days before I regained movement in my arm and leg. The physical therapy progressed rapidly because I was in good shape since I taught Ballroom dance and am a Black Belt in Karate. I appear normal to everyone and I can do all my normal functions, except that my left hand and left leg do not operate without some “slowness” which is only noticeable to me. In fact, No one notices any impairment in my movement. I’m the only one that realizes any difference, especially with the dances that require me to move fast and elevate to the balls of my feet. I’m encouraged by your statement that I can have 100% recovery. However, it appears you only talk about full recovery of the hand. Can I be optimistic that with your techniques I can become 100% spasticity free? I await your reply.


    • Flint

      Hi James! It’s wonderful to hear how fast you’re recovering movement. And I’m very glad to hear that you’re encouraged by the possibility of a full recovery. A full recovery is absolutely possible for the full body! Not just the hand. With enough practice and persistence (and patience), be optimistic that you can become spasticity free. 🙂