After stroke, your doctor or neurologist probably told you which part of your brain was damaged.
And if they didn’t – try contacting someone to figure it out because the location of your stroke has a significant impact on your recovery.
In this article, we will discuss the difference between left vs right side stroke recovery and how long it tends to take.
Then we will introduce other critical pieces of stroke education that we think you should know.
So, What’s the Difference?
Each part of the brain controls different functions.
Movement-wise, your left brain controls the right side of your body and your right brain controls your left side. Function-wise, your left brain controls logic and your right brain controls creativity.
Specifically, some of the tasks commonly associated with the right side of the brain are:
- Facial recognition
- Thinking in images
Other tasks associated with the left side of the brain are:
- Critical thinking
- Thinking in words
When a stroke damages part of the brain, it hinders your ability to perform whatever tasks that part of the brain used to control.
For example, someone with a left-side stroke may suffer from aphasia, the inability to understand or express language – a left brain task.
Someone with a right-side stroke may suffer from emotional lability, which includes involuntary outbursts of emotion – a right-brained task.
It’s important to understand which side of your brain was affected by stroke because it will help you identify why certain side effects are happening.
How Long Will It Take?
Every stroke is different, therefore every stroke recovery is different.
However, there are some general patterns that you should be aware of:
- One month after stroke you will progress rapidly as your brain rapidly tries to heal itself after injury
- Three months after stroke you will continue to progress at a quick pace
- After 3 months, progress will slow down but it will not stop as long as you continue rehabilitation
After the first few months, things really start to vary from person to person. Those who had a severe stroke may continue to rehab for years. Those who had a minor stroke may rehab for only a few more dedicated months.
It all depends on the size and location of your stroke and how much unwavering dedication you have to rehab.
Better Questions to Ask
Perhaps you already knew these things. Perhaps you’re looking for more specific information about how long it takes to recover from your specific stroke.
While specific, detailed information about left – or right-brained stroke recoveries doesn’t exist (because one person’s left-brain stroke recovery will be very different from someone else’s), there are better questions that you can ask instead, like:
- How long does stroke recovery take?
- What stage of stroke recovery am I in, and how far do I have to go?
- How can I speed my recovery along?
- What mistakes have others made that I can avoid?
- What kind of exercises should I be doing?
These questions will lead to far better answers that will help you take more positive action towards your recovery.
And if you really want to gain proper understanding of stroke recovery, see our Survivor’s Guide to Becoming a Stroke Recovery Expert.