The idea of suffering, or having someone you care for suffer, a stroke can be quite scary. However, with advances in care and treatment in fields like Chiropractic Neurology, and more and more information available on how to treat or even avoid a stroke, there is new hope for stroke sufferers.
In the first part of this post we discussed the basics: what are the common risk factors, how to recognize symptoms and what to do if a person is showing signs of a stroke. In this post, we will delve a little deeper into the details and discuss some newer techniques that are becoming beacons of hope for those who are recovering from a stroke.
While anyone can have a stroke, there are certain factors that increase the odds of experiencing a stroke and it is important to realize that there are many controllable risk factors and that up to 80% of strokes can be prevented. Controllable risk factors are mostly made up of lifestyle factors: high cholesterol, alcohol use, obesity, a sedentary lifestyle, diabetes, high blood pressure and tobacco use are chief among these factors. While there are some uncontrollable risk factors, such as age, race, family history and other medical conditions, many of those risks can be treated and/ or managed.
If you or a loved one has already suffered from a stroke, proper rehabilitation and a thorough and individualized care program is key to the return to the best possible quality of life. Each patient is different, and therefore there are a vast array of effects that can occur from a stroke. There are more resources out there than ever before, so remember that there is hope in many forms and the road to recovery is opening wider each day.
Chiropractic neurology is one treatment option that is growing in popularity because it not only seeks to find and correct the root of the condition that needs to be treated, but it does so without drugs or surgeries. By harnessing the power of the brain and marrying the orthopedic aspect of chiropractic care with the rehabilitation of the central nervous system, chiropractic neurology incorporates all the patient’s symptoms into one treatment plan. This approach, which is specific to each person’s body AND brain results in positive outcomes for the entire body, a benefit that is of the utmost importance to stroke victims.
One technique that is being used and studied for stroke rehabilitation is mirror therapy. First utilized for relief of phantom limb pain, this cutting-edge therapy is showing to be incredibly valuable in terms of rehabilitation for stroke victims. By integrating the physical and mental aspects of mirror therapy, many patients have shown marked improvement in motor skills and rewiring of the brain. For patients suffering from partial paralysis, a mirror is placed to reflect the non-paretic side of the body, allowing the patient to “see” the paretic side as having movement, setting the course for the patient to retrain the brain and ultimately overcoming paralysis in the effected side. Studies have shown positive evidence that this treatment is effective for improving motor function, daily activities and lessening of pain.* Additionally, targeted adjustments, exercises and manipulations are proving successful for stroke treatment plans.
To learn more about the risk factors and types of stroke, and to assess your personal risk with the aid of an interactive tool called the Stroke Risk Scorecard, please click here to visit the National Stroke Association’s website.
*Study findings available on PubMed.gov, the US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health website.