Want to know how to recover from stroke quickly? Well, you’re in luck!
There are certain science-backed steps you can take to speed up stroke recovery. There are no magic pills, though!
It’s all about harnessing the power of your self-healing brain…
Using Brain Power to Recover from Stroke Quickly
Recovery is all about healing the brain after stroke. Anything you can do that helps your brain recover will lead to a faster recovery.
In order to recover from stroke quickly, you need to focus on practices that help you rewire your brain as fast as possible. Beware of “snake oil” scams, though!
If anyone tries to sell you a “magic pill” or supplement that will speed up stroke recovery, it’s probably a scam.
While certain foods can boost brain health (you’ll learn about that soon), no pill can cure stroke side effects overnight.
How to Recover from Stroke Quickly
The best way to ensure a fast recovery from stroke is to follow these 11 steps:
1. Focus Your Attention on the Most Important Thing…
Quick tip: Improve mobility quickly by performing high repetition of stroke rehab exercises at home.
Repetition should be your #1 focus if you want to recover from stroke quickly.
Repetition activates neuroplasticity, your brain’s built-in mechanism for rewiring itself and creating efficiency. This is how you will rebuild your skills after stroke and regain independence.
2. Get Better at Walking by Focusing on More Than Your Feet
Quick tip: Improving your gait (ability to walk) is a full-body task.
If you struggle with walking after stroke, you’re not alone. Many stroke survivors struggle with walking and balance.
The fastest way to improve your walking and balance is to focus on your feet, leg, and core strength. Don’t just focus on your legs!
3. Don’t Slow Down Your Foot Drop Recovery with AFOs
Quick tip: AFOs are important for safety, but may stunt your recovery.
AFO braces for foot drop (ankle foot orthotics) are foot braces that help improve your gait if you have foot drop.
While these braces are excellent for improving your safety while you get around, try not to become too dependent on them.
AFOs can lead to learned nonuse, a condition where you may lose even more mobility in your foot, until it becomes completely useless.
Avoid this consequence by rehabilitating your foot through foot drop exercises. The repetitive exercise will rewire and heal the brain!
4. Use Inexpensive Apps to Improve Speech After Stroke
Quick tip: Speech therapy apps are a great way to quickly improve speech at home.
If you had a left-brain stroke, then you may have language difficulties like aphasia or dysgraphia.
You can work with a speech-language pathologist to improve these conditions. They will take you through exercises – and yes, they will emphasize repetition!
However, if insurance limits the amount of sessions that you can do (which often happens), then try using speech therapy apps.
They can help you get your reps in when you’re away from your therapist and improve speech as fast as possible.
5. Bounce Back from the Dreaded Plateau
Quick tip: The plateau is real, but it does not mean that recovery is over!
There is a well-documented phenomenon where recovery slows down about 3 months after stroke.
This is called a “plateau” and it does NOT mean that recovery has stopped.
Instead, it’s a sign that you need to double-down on your efforts and add some variety to your regimen to shake things up.
6. Reverse Regressions Quickly by Staying Consistent
Quick tip: Going backwards every now and then is perfectly normal, so don’t freak out.
Many stroke survivors describe stroke recovery as a “two steps forward, one step backward” process.
Experiencing a regression every now and then is normal. If you wake up one day and things are drastically worse, call your doctor.
But if there seems to be an ebb and flow to your recovery, know that it’s normal.
When you zoom out and look at the bigger picture, everything should be going in a generally upward direction.
And if it isn’t, you should contact your doctor or therapist.
7. Speed Up Recovery from Stroke with Meditation
Quick tip: Meditation is seriously amazing for your brain!
Use your down time to your advantage by developing a daily mediation practice – it can seriously boost your recovery (and we mean seriously).
Meditation is proven to:
- Reduce depression, tiredness, and fatigue
- Improve attention, emotion regulation, and mental flexibility
- Grow your brain and improve information processing
All from sitting and focusing your mind on nothing 🙂
8. Recover from Stroke Quickly with a Better Diet
Quick tip: You can boost neurogenesis with specific healthy foods
Neurogenesis is the creation of new neurons in the brain — and we want lots of that for a quick recovery from stroke!
Some of the best foods for stroke recovery that promote neurogenesis are fish, pomegranate, nuts, seeds, and blueberries. Eat up!
Also, if you struggle with getting adequate food in your system, talk to your doctor about taking vitamins for stroke recovery.
9. Sleep or Risk Going Backwards
Quick tip: You will probably crave a lot of sleep after stroke, and you should listen to your body!
Are you surprised by how much you sleep after stroke? If you are, don’t worry. The desire to sleep a lot after stroke is perfectly normal and healthy!
Sleep helps improve movement recovery after stroke by turning the short-term memories from the day’s rehab exercises into long-term memories. So make sure you get some zzz’s.
If you fail to give your body the rest it needs, then your progress can go backward and prolong your recovery.
10. Don’t Be Random
Quick tip: Random rehab produces the slowest results. Consistency is key if you want a quick recovery.
Neuroplasticity will help you get your life back, and repetition is what makes neuroplasticity possible.
For this reason, inconsistent rehab won’t lead to good results because the necessary repetition isn’t there.
In order to recover fully and quickly, you need to have a really consistent schedule because it’s what your brain wants.
Do your rehab exercises on specific days at a specific times so that it becomes routine.
11. Strive for a Full Recovery
Quick tip: “Shoot for the moon. Even if you miss, you’ll land among the stars.” –Les Brown
At Flint Rehab, we believe that everyone should strive for a full recovery from stroke — even if your doctor says otherwise. We say this for 2 reasons:
- Believing that a full recovery is possible will motivate you to take more action, which will naturally lead to more results.
- We’ve simply heard too many stroke recovery stories where survivors recover way more than their doctors expected.
You can be one of those success stories if you follow all of these steps! We hope you’ve enjoyed this article on how to recover from stroke quickly.