According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, approximately 795,000 people suffer a stroke in the United States each year. Affecting nearly every group or demographic, strokes are not just something to think about as we age. Hospitalization rates for young stroke patients increased more than 40% in the last decade and the rates of ischemic strokes, the most common type, continues to rise for both men and women under the age of 45. In older patients, covert – or silent – strokes have become more common in patients after elective surgeries. As the rates of strokes continues to rise, it is more important than ever to understand the signs of a stroke, how to manage risk factors and choose the best post-stroke treatment plan for recovery.
Know the Signs
Recognizing the signs of a stroke is the first crucial factor to getting help and acting fast is crucial to recovery. Among the signs that a stoke is occurring or about to occur are:
- Trouble speaking or comprehending
- Numbness or paralysis
- Sudden blurry or dimmed vision in one or both eyes
- Intense head pain
- Dizziness, loss of coordination or nausea
- Problems swallowing or breathing
If you suspect that someone is having a stroke, act FAST. The American Stroke Association has created an easy way to learn the F.A.S.T. warning signs.
F – Is the face drooping or numb? Ask the person to smile and check to see if it is uneven.
A – Is one arm weak of numb? Ask the person to lift both arms. Can they? Does one drift downward?
S – Is the person unable to speak or hard to understand? Have the repeat a simple sentence.
T – Time to Call. If someone shows any of these symptoms, even if they are temporary, call 911 and get help immediately.
Manage the Risk
There are many factors that contribute to, or reduce, the risk of stroke. Obesity, excessive alcohol, smoking, diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease and sleep apnea all make the list of the most common risk factors. Genetics also plays a part in one’s risk for stroke. Conversely, maintaining a healthy blood pressure of less than 135/85, losing weight, drinking only in moderation and treating any medical concerns such as diabetes and heart disease will go a long way towards reducing the risk of stroke. Up your exercise… not only does exercise contribute to weight loss and lower blood pressure, it also acts as an independent stroke reducer. And exercise does not have to be hard. Taking a short walk every day, choosing stairs over elevators or even completing a few 10-15-minute, mini sets of exercise can bring about significant health benefits.
Choose the Best Post-Stroke Treatment
If a stroke has occurred, the next step toward recovery is choosing the best and most effective treatment plan. As every patient experience is an individual one, so too should their care plan be tailored to their individual needs. Chiropractic Neurology offers non-invasive and drug-free treatments designed to restoring optimal health. Chiropractic Neurologists are experts in designing individualized care plans that center on the patient’s specific needs using cutting-edge methods to harness the power of the brain and its ability to heal leading to maximum recovery and improved quality of life… many times much faster than more traditional methods, making Chiropractic Neurology an excellent choice for stroke recovery.
To learn more about how Chiropractic Neurology can help you or a loved one who has suffered from a stroke, please contact the team at the Georgia Chiropractic Neurology Center today.
For a complete list of stroke factors, resources and information about stroke advocacy, please click here to visit the National Stoke Association’s web page.