Participation in a rehabilitation program is a common part of recovery following a stroke. Survivors relearn skills lost when their brain was damaged and how to cope with any long-term disabilities. Recovery from a stroke may also include treatment for the anxiety and depression that often affect survivors. Other aspects of recovery focus on preventing future strokes with such things as lifestyle changes and medications.
An Introduction to Stroke Recovery
Millions of people have survived a stroke, and many recover to lead full and productive lives.
When recovering from a stroke, your goals are to:
- Recover your fullest potential
- Resume normal activities as much as possible
- Prevent another stroke
- Prevent complications.
After a stroke, you will need to see your doctor regularly for checkups and tests to see how your recovery is progressing. Your doctor will also most likely recommend participation in a stroke rehabilitation program (also known as stroke rehab). Depending on the type of stroke you have had, he or she may also recommend:
- Lifestyle changes, which may include quitting smoking, changing your diet, and increasing your physical activity
- Medications used to help prevent blood from clotting or to control stroke risk factors, such as high blood pressure and atrial fibrillation
- A surgery or procedure to help decrease the chances of another stroke.
After a stroke, the ability to return to normal activities will depend on what part of the brain was affected and how much brain damage occurred from the stroke. You and your loved ones should talk to your healthcare provider about if and when you can return to activities such as:
- Physical activity
- Sexual activity
- Strenuous activities (running, heavy lifting, etc.)
- Air travel.
For example, many states have laws regarding when you can return to driving following a stroke.