May is Stroke Awareness Month in the United States and with strokes being incredibly prevalent, and on the rise, there is no better time than now to learn about the risks of strokes, how to better prevent them or what treatment options are available for those who have suffered from a stroke.
In the United States in 2015, strokes accounted for almost 130,000, or approximately one in 20 deaths, making it one of the leading causes of death. Another 795,000 people suffer strokes and around 610,000 of those are new strokes while one in four are recurrent strokes. Nearly 90% are ischemic strokes, caused when blood clots block the blood vessels to the brain.
There are many factors that play a role in the risk of stroke. While some factors are hereditary, others are the result of natural processes and even lifestyle. Race and age play a significant role, with African Americans risk of stroke at nearly twice that of whites. Strokes can occur at any age. As we age, the risk of stroke rises; in 2009 66% of stroke patients were over the age of 65. Other medical conditions such as obesity, poor diet, excessive alcohol use and a sedentary lifestyle can also be contributing factors.
Children are not immune to strokes either and the risk of stroke is greatest in the first year of life. For children, risk factors include immune disorders, sickle-cell disease, congenital heart defects and things such as head or neck trauma, maternal infection in the fluid surrounding the unborn baby and pregnancy-related high blood pressure in the mother. Still, while children usually recover better from strokes than adults, it is imperative to get treatment right away.
The key to surviving a stroke is to learn the signs and symptoms and to act fast. The following symptoms should serve as warning signs and the person experiencing the symptoms should seek immediate medical help.
- Sudden numbness or weakness of the face, arm, or leg—especially on one side of the body.
- Sudden confusion, trouble speaking or understanding.
- Sudden trouble seeing in one or both eyes.
- Sudden trouble walking, dizziness, loss of balance or coordination.
- Sudden severe headache with no known cause.
While the best treatment is prevention, if one suffers a stroke, post-stroke rehabilitation is key to helping patients prevent or overcome disabilities from the stroke. New advances in rehabilitation show that the brain is capable of compensating for some loss of function due to stroke and advances in research and brain-based therapy techniques are offering new hope and marked improvement for many patients.
While many stroke rehab programs are limited in time, whether due to cost, insurance coverage or dated practices, chiropractic neurology rehab programs are patient-specific, and last as long as necessary to find the root of the problem and fix it. Our brain a a miraculous tool and with the proper care, stroke victims can enjoy huge gains in returning their bodies to their natural function with the correct treatments. Chiropractic neurology utilizes cutting-edge methods that aims to provide patients with the maximum recovery and a return to the best quality of life, free from drugs. If you would like to learn more about our stroke recovery programs, please contact the office today.
The American Heart Association/ American Stroke Association’s Together to End Stroke initiative aims to educate all Americans that stroke is largely preventable, treatable and beatable. To learn more about this program, please click here to visit the Stroke Association’s website.