Is a Full Recovery From Stroke Actually Possible?

Is a Full Recovery From Stroke Actually Possible?

YES, a full recovery from stroke is possible!

The extent of that possibility depends on 2 things: the severity of your stroke and your ability to embrace the radical concepts in this article.

And we argue that the second factor plays a heavier role than you may think.

So first, let’s dig into who this applies to, and then we’ll get into how.

Who Can Achieve a Full Recovery?

Typically, those who suffered minor stroke have a higher chance of achieving a full recovery.

This doesn’t mean that someone who suffered a bigger stroke can’t achieve the same full recovery. However, it will take them more time and hard work – two factors that you can’t get around.

But instead of digging into time management and motivation, we’re going to dig into the misunderstandings that prevent you from taking action in the first place.

So, let’s dig deeper.

Believing Matters

First and foremost, you have to believe in a full recovery – no matter what anyone tells you.

Why would we encourage such stubbornness? Because the simple act of believing that a full recovery is possible will motivate far more action than believing otherwise – and action is the #1 thing that will get you better.

This motivation comes from the placebo effect, where simply believing in the good side effect of something (like a sugar pill) will actually make you experience the side effects (like the sugar pill cured your cold!).

If that sounds too soft and sugary to be true, then let’s consider the detrimental effects of the nocebo effect.

The nocebo effect occurs when you believe in the bad side effects of something (like a limited recovery) and because your beliefs fuel your thoughts and actions, you don’t even attempt to achieve that goal!

Try to do the opposite.

By choosing to believe in a higher recovery, you will be more likely to take the necessary action to get there.

Compensation vs Convenience

Another factor that will affect the extent of your recovery are the compensation techniques that you use.

Compensation techniques are the adaptive ‘shortcuts’ that you use to make things more doable after stroke. For example, reading on a Kindle is a compensation technique for reading a book.

And there’s nothing wrong with using compensation techniques. Compensation is absolutely necessary during recovery because it helps you perform tasks that are essential for living.

However, these compensation techniques can prevent you from fully using your muscles, which is necessary for a full recovery.

So it’s important to recognize when you need to ditch the compensation techniques and start doing things the hard way.

How do you know when you’re ready to ditch the shortcuts?

When you find yourself using them for convenience instead of necessity.

This requires consistent reflection. Perhaps you can start asking yourself, “Do I still need to be using this shortcut? Can I try going without it today?”

Sometimes the answer is no, and that’s absolutely okay. You can keep rehabbing until you can say yes.

And when the answer is yes, try doing things the hard way (remember, it’s good for you) to get that much closer to a full recovery.

A Full Recovery Is a Marathon

In the beginning, you may feel motivated to pursue your recovery with gusto, initially giving rehab your 150% because you want a full recovery NOW.

But you should resist extreme action.

Recovering from stroke is like running a marathon. If you burn yourself out in the early stages, then you won’t have any energy left for the long stretch ahead.

Instead, take things at a steady pace.

On days where you want to push yourself extra hard, try to resist. Save the energy for tomorrow, otherwise you risk burnout.

You will find days of great progression, and there will be days where you may go backward a little.

Remember that everything averages out in a steady, upward line of progress as long as you’re focused on the marathon.

And when you’re also focused on expanding your beliefs and working past compensation techniques, you’ll have all the resources to achieve your highest recovery.

More useful resources:

  • Tamara Pots

    I got an evaluation form from a rehab facility (the second one I visited about 3 years post stroke) and I told them I would have wanted more of the placebo effect in stead if the nocebo effect. All the gave me was discouragement, when what I needed was encouragement. So I got the encouragement else where, online and in books.
    I still believe I can achieve full recovery, but I’ve got to get all this (post traumatic) stress out of my body. The resentment I feel keeps me stuck.

    • Flint Rehab

      It always makes me cringe to hear about discouragement in the rehab world, but I’m glad you got the support you need elsewhere 🙂 and you will always find it here, too!
      Do you have any books that you recommend?

      • Tamara Pots

        For me especially new thought books by Hay House, like You can heal your life by Louise Hay and stuff by Bruce Lipton. And I read a lot about placebo effects, that show how much power the mind has over the body. Dr. David Hamilton has written a great book: How your mind can heal your body. (Also Hay House)

  • disqus_xCETf7ZLk0

    Oh, the anger! Use it to fight back to recovery, not towards the stroke, or the idiots who mis-diagnosed/mistreated/ mis-advised you (that’s where my anger came from)! You know your body, how you feel, what feelings/responses you have on the inside (no-one else knows). You are the ONLY one who speaks exactly the same language as your body, learn to listen to, and communicate with your body, and see how much further this gets you! I lost my right side (I am right-handed), and I quickly learned that I have to rely on me (with some guidance on specifics from the physios), if I want to recover the most I possibly can! I would say I’m 90% there!

    • Flint Rehab

      Great comment. Couldn’t have said it better myself! We are all experts of our body’s unique language 🙂

    • Metru


  • Metru

    I want my original voice back again period!!!! #GRRRRR #aphaisiaisnojoke #rightbrainliketheborg #monotone #80there #frustratedtoo