What are your chances of recovery from stroke paralysis?
The possibility that you can regain movement after paralysis is actually really high. A lot higher than most people think.
So why isn’t anyone telling you the good news?
Low vs. High Chances of Recovery from Stroke Paralysis
Although your chances of recovery from stroke paralysis are high, doctors might not tell you that. Why?
The problem is that doctors are obligated to speak strictly facts. Since there isn’t much research on stroke paralysis, there isn’t enough hard science to reference.
So doctors end up sharing limiting beliefs like, “you’ll probably be in a wheelchair for the rest of your life.”
And we really, really don’t like it when stroke patients are told things like that! Honestly, we hate it.
Because when someone tells you that you can’t do something – especially someone with authority like a doctor – you’re likely to accept it and not even try.
But trying is the very thing that will help you recover from paralysis!So many stroke survivors have regained more movement than their doctors predicted.
You can be one of those success stories, and we’ll show you how.
How to Recover from Post Stroke Paralysis
If you want to recover from post stroke paralysis, follow these steps:
1. Move your paralyzed limbs through their full range of motion daily.
Stroke survivors with paralysis often have spasticity, which manifests as stiff, tight muscles.
Range of motion exercises can help you prevent spasticity from getting worse, at the very least.
If you don’t move your affected muscles, you risk letting your post stroke symptoms get worse (through a phenomenon called learned-nonuse).
To help prevent learned-nonuse and further stiffening of the muscles, try to move your muscles through range of motion exercises daily.
You may need help from a caregiver to do this.
2. Begin passive exercise to rewire the brain.
Next, start practicing rehab exercises daily or as often as you can.
Although you cannot exercise on your own yet, you can start with passive exercise, which simply means using your non-affected muscles to move your affected muscles.
Although you aren’t “doing it on your own,” you’re still rewiring your brain, which may help you recover movement! You’ll learn more about this as we keep going.
3. Focus intensely on activating neuroplasticity.
The goal of stroke rehabilitation is to rewire the brain through neuroplasticity so that healthy parts of the brain can pick up the slack from the damage caused by stroke.
When you activate neuroplasticity, you help rewire your brain and reconnect your mind to muscle. This is what will help restore movement in your body.
If you struggle with post stroke paralysis, it’s possible to train new parts of your brain to control your affected muscles by activating neuroplasticity.
Next we’ll discuss how to best activate neuroplasticity.
4. Aim for high repetition.
Neuroplasticity is activated by repetition. Whatever you repeatedly do is what your brain gets better at. Your brain is designed to be efficient that way.
So if you want to get better at moving your leg, you need to repeatedly try moving your leg. This will start rewiring your brain and reconnect your mind to muscle.
When you’re recovering from stroke, it’s best to complete as many repetitions as possible when you’re doing your rehab exercises. This will activate neuroplasticity to the max, and you’ll see results faster.
5. Visualize your paralyzed muscles moving.
Another great way to activate neuroplasticity is by visualizing yourself moving (also known as mental practice).
Studies have shown that visualizing yourself moving helps activate neuroplasticity the same way that physically moving your body does.
So if you’re trying to regain movement in a paralyzed arm, spend time visualizing yourself moving your arm. It will activate neuroplasticity and start reconnecting your mind to muscle.
This works best when you combine mental practice with physical practice.
6. Try some electrical stimulation.
Other great ways to maximize neuroplasticity is with electrical stimulation.
Electrical stimulation uses electrical impulses to give your affected muscles a ‘jolt’ and make them contract. This introduces some movement, which can further activate neuroplasticity.
E-stim is best used in conjunction with repetitive physical therapy stroke exercises.
For example, if you use e-stim on your arm, it will make your paralyzed arm contract. Then, you can use that as a window of opportunity to get some arm exercises in.
This helps stimulate the brain and encourage neuroplasticity and more movement.
7. Do some mirror therapy.
Mirror therapy is another great way to give neuroplasticity a boost — especially for hand recovery.
Mirror therapy involves placing a mirror over your paralyzed limb to ‘trick’ your brain into thinking that you’re moving your affected muscles when it’s really just a reflection.
Although you know better, your brain thinks you’re moving your affected muscles and starts to rewire itself accordingly!
Repetition Is Key to Recovery from Stroke Paralysis
The key to recovery from stroke paralysis is repetitively moving your paralyzed muscles.
Repetition activates neuroplasticity and rewires the brain.
To illustrate the importance of repetition, we’ll share a recovery story from a stroke survivor who overcame post stroke paralysis with repetitive exercise.
He used our home therapy tool FitMi to achieve the high repetition necessary to see results.
How He Overcame Stroke Paralysis with Repetition
Here’s his story, as told by his wife:
“My husband suffered a stroke caused by a dissecting carotid artery in late May of this year. He lost 40% of his left hemisphere of his brain causing right side paralysis.
His speech was slightly impaired but thankfully Drs believe he is a rare left handed person with speech located in right hemisphere of his brain! Ron was in ICU for a week, followed by a rehab hospital for five more weeks. He came home and has done out patient therapy three days a week since.
About three weeks ago I ordered the FitMi and just this past week he moved his arm for the very first time!!! He and I both think the repetitive movement of the arm has given his brain the signal that it’s there and ready to move!!!
He will continue with both the FitMi and his other therapies for as long as it takes to fully recover!!!
This story is proof that there’s always hope for recovery from post-stroke paralysis.
Because after just 3 weeks of using FitMi physical therapy, he moved his arm for the first time ever!
Recovery from Stroke Paralysis
Now that you’ve reached the end, we hope that you’re filled with confidence for your recovery from stroke paralysis.
With these tips, you know exactly where to start. Begin with range of motion and passive exercise, and do as many reps as possible to activate neuroplasticity.
In time, you’ll start to rewire your brain and slowly regain movement in your paralyzed limbs.
Keep challenging the status quo and pursue the higher recovery you deserve!