Stroke management the cherry way

There are two types of stroke: Ischemic and Hemorrhagic stroke. When a person suffers  a stroke, medical attention must be sought quickly to prevent brain tissue hypoxia. Although both types may cause similar clinical presentation, each requires an alternate approach to treatment.

 

Ischemic Stroke occurs when a vessel supplying blood to the brain is obstructed. It accounts for about 87 % of all strokes according to the American Stroke Association 

 

Hemorrhagic Strokes are caused by a weakened vessel that ruptures and bleeds into the surrounding brain. It occurs when areas of the cerebral arterial system become weakened or thin due to hypertension. 

 

 Stroke Management, the Cherry Way

 

Once the stroke situation has stabilized, stroke management therapy begins in 48hours. The initial steps often include promoting independent movement to defeat any loss of motion. A therapist helps the patient learn how to stand, sit and walk without assistance.

Some of the effects of a stroke that a person might need to cope with are:

  • Paralysis or motor control difficulties usually occur on the side opposite to the one damaged by stroke. It is accompanied by loss of control over body movements  such as difficulty in balance and posture ( ataxia)
  • Pain and sensory disruption- Loss of response to sensory stimuli such as heat or touch, numbness, tingling and prickling in limbs.
  • Loss of bladder control. 
  • Loss of language use – Speech and written text: In right-handed individuals, a stroke to the left side of the brain leads to language impairments, involving the inability to speak or write.
  • Spatial neglect is a lack of awareness of one side of the body and the space around that side, often the left side. Occupational and speech therapists cue the patient to look towards that side using special software, games or prism glasses as well as red lines on books to encourage patients to look towards the neglected side. 

Home-based rehabilitation programmes such as Cherry provides, allow for great flexibility in tailoring a program that is specific to the individual’s needs. Such programmes help the individual to practice skills and develop compensatory strategies in the context of her/his living environment. 

Home-based rehabilitation may involve participating in an intensive level of therapy several hours per week or follow a less demanding regimen depending on the situation. Such rehabilitation programs are often best suited for people who require treatment by only one type of rehabilitation therapist. A recent stroke rehabilitation trial found that intensive balance and strength rehabilitation in the home was equivalent to treadmill training at a rehabilitation facility in improving walking.

 

 Preventing The Occurrence Of Another Stroke

About 200,000 strokes per year in the United States occur in people who have previously experienced one or more strokes. Stroke prevention is vital to stroke rehabilitation. Recent research has shown improvements in preventing another stroke through behavior modification combined with pharmaceutical interventions. Stroke survivors speak with their healthcare professionals about types of supervised behavior modifications that can be made to decrease the effect these risk factors may have on overall health. Some of the most important treatable risk factors for stroke are:

  • Control high blood pressure (hypertension). Hypertension is the most potent risk factor for stroke. Stroke survivors should work with their doctor to bring it down to the normal range. Changes may be needed to diet and/or to take prescribed medicines to help lower blood pressure.
  • Stop smoking. Smoking greatly increases the risk of stroke and has been linked to the buildup of fatty substances in the arteries. It also raises blood pressure and makes blood thicker and more likely to clot.
  • Exercise regularly and maintain weight. Obesity and inactivity are associated with hypertension, diabetes, and heart disease. Being overweight greatly increases the risk of ischemic stroke.
  • Lower cholesterol levels. High cholesterol can lead to a buildup of fatty substances (atherosclerosis) in blood vessels, reducing the amount of blood and oxygen to the brain.
  • Check for heart disease. Common heart disorders can result in blood clots that may break loose and block vessels in or leading to the brain. Medication may be needed to help prevent the formation of clots or surgery to clean out a clogged artery.
  • Manage diabetes. Diabetes can cause destructive changes in blood vessels throughout the body, including the brain. Brain damage is usually more severe and extensive when the blood glucose level is high. Treating diabetes can delay the onset of complications that increase the risk of stroke.

 

Risk Factors Outside Your Control:

  • Age above 45
  •  Sex : Women have a higher risk of suffering from stroke than men
  • Atrial Fibrillation
  • Sleep Apnea doubles the risk of a stroke 
  • Heredity
  • Hypertension triggers a hemorrhagic stroke
  • History of Transient Ischemic Attacks (TIA), previous stroke, or heart attack 
  • Race people of black and Hispanic descent are more prone to strokes and heart 

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