The Road To Recovery

- Aishna Mishra

Stroke is a life-threatening disease that can happen to anyone. It is a brain attack that occurs due to many reasons. When a stroke occurs, the blood flow to an area of the brain is cut. The brain cells are therefore cut off the oxygen and these cells die during a stroke. That affects our memory, vision and muscle control.

However, no matter how hard the process and how serious and life-threatening, the disease may be,  We can always choose to fight back. Recovering from a stroke is no joke but it is possible. It takes every ounce of you to fight back and once you’ve done that, it’s always going to be you at the podium with a trophy.

So let’s get started on our road to recovery! Here are the 10 things you can do to recover from a stroke.

1   Range of motion exercises can help you prevent spasticity from getting worse, at the very least. If you don’t move your affected muscles, then the risk of letting your post-stroke symptoms worsen. To help prevent stiffening of the muscles, try to move your muscles through a range of motion exercises daily.

2   Although you cannot exercise on your own, 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 will learn more about this as you keep going

3   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.

4   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 a 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   Another great way to activate neuroplasticity is by visualizing yourself moving. 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   Another great way 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.

7   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.

8   The location of your stroke will have a significant impact on your side effects and recovery process.

9   It’s natural to crave lots of sleep after a stroke, and it’s often best to listen to your body and sleep.


•   By applying Manual force stretch your affected arm towards the opposite motion. Hold this stretch for 15 seconds and release. Then, repeat on the other side.

•   With your fingers still interlaced, gently bend your affected wrist backwards and get a stretch there. Hold this stretch for 15 seconds and release. Repeat on the other side. With your hands still clasped around the water bottle, make big circles around the table. Do a few circles one way, and then do a few in the opposite direction.

•   Clasp your hands and place your arms on the table. Then, place a water bottle in front of you as your target. Then, glide your arms across the table towards the water bottle. Stretch as you lean forward and nudge the bottle further away, Then, return to an upright position. Repeat 5 times and try to stretch a little further each time.