Stroke Recovery Time: How Long Will It Take?

Stroke Recovery Time: How Long Will It Take?

If you’re wondering what your stroke recovery time will be, then you’ve come to the right place.

Sometimes it can be difficult to find information about your stroke recovery duration because every stroke is different, which means that every stroke recovery timeline will be different.

However, there are still some patterns that we’d like to highlight that can help boost your understanding of what’s going on.

Not all survivors will experience these same patterns, but it will give you a general idea of what to expect.

Stroke Recovery Time Patterns

0-3 Months

Immediately post stroke, you will begin rehab and your motor function will start to improve at a rapid rate. This is caused by the brain’s ‘heightened state of plasticity’ as it tries to heal itself after injury.

3-12 Months

Three months post stroke, you will continue to recover at a good pace, but things will start to slow down as plasticity decreases. This will feel like a plateau, but don’t let it fool you! More on how to bust past plateaus that later.

12+ Months

One year post stroke, things start to vary from person to person. Those with severe stroke side effects will continue to participate in physical therapy to regain lost functions. Those with mild stroke side effects could recover after just one year. Those with medium side effects may benefit from continued rehab in order to achieve a fuller recovery.

The amount of time it requires for you to recover from stroke is highly dependent upon your compliance with rehab and motivation to keep going.

2 Ways to Speed Up Stroke Recovery

There’s a way to shorten your stroke recovery time.

Your brain requires 2 things in order to recover efficiently: repetition and consistency.

Repetition helps activate neuroplasticity, the mechanism your brain uses to rewire itself.

For example, when you repeat hand therapy exercises over and over and over, your hand function improves because of the new neural circuitry that you’ve ingrained in your brain.

The more you stimulate neuroplasticity, the more you will recover.

You can also speed things along by make sure you’re very consistent with your rehabilitation regimen.

The new connections you’re forming in your brain need consistent reinforcement in order to get stronger. If you lack consistency, then those new connections will begin to weaken and you might regress.

More reading you may like: How to Recover from Stroke Quickly with 11 Little-Known Tips

How to Bust Through Plateaus

When things slow down after stroke, it’s not a sign to stop. In fact, it’s a sign to double your efforts.

When your brain exits its stage of heightened plasticity, it will become harder to heal as fast as before – but you can always continue to recover. Our brain is constantly changing throughout our entire life, and you can capitalize on neuroplasticity whenever you make the conscious effort.

To help bust through plateaus, you can try adding variety to your regimen to give your brain extra stimulation. You may also benefit from mental practice that triggers neuroplasticity the same way that physical practice does!