What are your chances of recovery from stroke paralysis?
If you find yourself wondering how much hope there is for recovery, you’re in luck.
You’re about to learn what the statistics show. But most importantly, you’ll learn the steps you can take to maximize your chances of recovery, regardless of what the statistics say.
If you work hard, you might be able to walk again even if the doctors said you couldn’t. Miracles happen every day, and we’ll show you the steps you can take to maximize your potential.
Assessing Chances of Recovery from Stroke Paralysis
It’s reported that 10% of stroke patients achieve almost a complete recovery and 25% recover with minor impairments. Forty percent experience moderate to severe impairments requiring special care.
These statistics come from the American Stroke Association, but the study source is unknown. Therefore, these statistics don’t help paint a full picture of what it means for paralysis recovery.
Statistics should be taken with a grain of salt because the stroke rehabilitation field is rapidly advancing. Clinical trials take years to complete; and during those years, the field has already advanced.
What does this mean for stroke paralysis recovery? It means that there’s more hope today than there was during any period when studies were conducted.
Instead wondering if you can fit into the 10%, focus your attention somewhere productive. Instead of thinking about your chances of recovery, get curious about what you can do to harness your brain’s natural ability to heal itself.
How the Brain and Body Recover After Stroke Paralysis
Stroke paralysis is the result of disruption between the brain and muscles.
When a stroke impacts the brain’s ability to send signals to your affected muscles, it becomes difficult to move. In severe cases, it can result in paralysis.
Fortunately, the brain can rewire itself and regain the ability to send signals to move your muscles again. This process is known as neuroplasticity after stroke, and it’s key to recovery from stroke paralysis.
Neuroplasticity is activated by repetition. Whatever you repeatedly practice determines how your brain will respond.
Understanding what you need to practice is essential for overcoming post-stroke paralysis. Below, you’ll discover exactly what those practices are.
At the end, you’ll also find a success story to show how all of this works!
How to Recover from Post Stroke Paralysis
Here are some steps you can take to maximize your chances of recovery from stroke paralysis:
1. Move your paralyzed limbs through their full range of motion daily.
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.
If only one side of your body is paralyzed (which is most common) you can often use your non-affected arm for these exercises. You may need help from a caregiver for your legs.
2. Begin passive paralysis 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,” passive movement helps stimulate the brain and activate neuroplasticity. This is the best starting point for all stroke paralysis patients that want to regain movement.
3. Focus intensely on activating neuroplasticity.
The goal of stroke rehabilitation is to rewire the brain through neuroplasticity so your brain can begin sending signals to move your paralyzed muscles.
As you continue with your daily passive stroke paralysis exercises, be patient. Neuroplasticity takes time. Your brain is busy creating new neural networks that send signals to your affected muscles.
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.
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 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!
Stroke Paralysis Success Story
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. 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!