This is the foolproof formula for stroke recovery.
While every stroke is different and every recovery is unique, these 3 ingredients are essential for everyone.
If you purposefully incorporate them into your rehabilitation, then you will achieve a higher recovery – no doubt about it.
The Formula for Stroke Recovery
The basic formula for stroke recovery is:
Stroke Recovery = Neuroplasticity + Repetition + Consistency
We’ve talked about each of these in depth before, but we’ve never really painted the full picture until now. So if you haven’t read much about stroke education yet – then this is a great place to start.
Let dig into this foolproof formula.
1. Neuroplasticity to Rewire Your Brain
Your brain is composed of 100 trillion neural connections.
Meaning, there are 100 trillion pathways in your brain that send and receive information. This information controls your bodily functions and behavior such as moving your arm, moving your leg, solving problems, and so on.
When a stroke occurs, part of the brain becomes damaged and a chunk of these connections are broken. They can no longer send and receive information.
This is what causes impaired arm movement, impaired leg movement, and impaired problem solving, for example. Your brain cannot communicate this information to the rest of your body, so you feel ‘stuck.’
Luckily, neuroplasticity can fix all of this.
Neuroplasticity is your brain’s natural ability to rewire itself by forming new connections in healthy parts of the brain.
These connections take over the responsibilities of the damaged part of the brain, such as the arm and leg function from our previous example.
And your brain knows how to do almost all of this on its own!
The only thing it needs from you is repetition.
2. Repetition to Make It All Work
Repetition is the fuel that helps your brain rewire itself. Without this fuel, your brain cannot fully heal itself.
Let us explain using the example of regaining movement after stroke.
Each time you repeat a hand exercise, you strengthen the connections in your brain responsible for moving your hand.
We often refer to this as repetitive practice.
The more you exercise and repeat those movements, the stronger those connections will become, and the better you will get at moving your hand.
3. Consistency to Lock In Your Gains
Now, repetitive practice is great, but it won’t do much without consistency.
You need to fuel your brain with repetitive practice to rewire your brain, but you need to fuel your brain consistently. Otherwise you won’t get the full benefit of your practice.
You don’t want too much time passing between each exercise session, otherwise the new connections in your brain will start to weaken.
For this reason, sticking with an average stroke rehab regimen consistently will yield much better results than practicing an elaborate regimen infrequently.
So when you create your rehab regimen, don’t overwork yourself. Make it realistic and doable so that you can stick with it.
Your Recipe for Success
And there you have it.
The three keys to a successful stroke recovery are neuroplasticity, repetition, and consistency.
If you have these 3 factors in place, then you have a solid foundation to build your recovery upon.
However, this is formula only covers the absolute minimum basics that you need to recover. You also need a game plan to address your stroke side effects and motivation.
But don’t worry, we created a guide for that too.
To continue reading about stroke education, browse through our Stroke Survivor’s Guide to Becoming a Stroke Recovery Expert series. It covers all the fundamentals of stroke recovery.