July 01, 2019

Stroke rehabilitation

Paving the way to recovery

Every 40 seconds, someone in the United States has a stroke. Even when not deadly, a stroke can change your life in an instant. A stroke affects brain tissue and may impact your ability to move, speak, see, swallow, and process or recall information.

Once you've been stabilized after a stroke, the focus shifts to recovery. A critical component of your care after a stroke is a rehabilitation program.

Inside a program

It's estimated that more than two-thirds of people who survive a stroke receive rehab (rehabilitation) services after they've left the acute hospital. While strokes that result from a blood clot (ischemic strokes) are most common and therefore most seen in the rehabilitation process, these services are just as important for people who have experienced strokes caused by blood vessel ruptures (hemorrhagic strokes).

Stroke rehab is a multifaceted program designed to boost your recovery and help you navigate your way back to independence. The services provided — including physical and occupational therapy, speech and language therapy, recreation therapy, fitness instruction, nutritional care, and mental health counseling — are targeted to the impairments you experienced from the stroke.

The program will direct you through focused, repetitive practice to help you recover lost abilities. You may also learn ways to adapt to lingering impairments so they're less limiting — learning to use a nondominant hand or a mobility aid, for example. Rehabilitation services may help you improve: