Stroke, otherwise known as a cerebral vascular accident (CVA), is a serious killer and cause of disability. According to the CDC, it is the fifth leading cause of death in the US, and according to the World Health Organization (WHO), it is the 2nd leading cause of death in the world. CVA symptoms can be frightening and include numbness, weakness often on one side, confusion, vision problems, slurred speech, trouble walking, dizziness, loss of balance, loss of coordination, and severe headache. Survivors are often left with long term disability and many unanswered questions:
What are the treatments available?
How do I Find a Neurologist?
Which rehabilitation facility is best?
What rehab exercises should I do?
What are the long term effects?
How do I deal with aphasia or speech difficulty?
How do I deal with dysphagia or swallowing problems?
How do I deal with drop foot and and shoulder subluxation?
How do I regain balance and bladder control?
Should I apply for disability?
And the list goes on....
This website, written by a Certified Stroke Rehabilitation Specialist and occupational therapist with over 24 years of experience, is designed to help survivors and their caregivers get their questions answered. Complete information about stroke recovery can be found here including types of CVA, long term effects, treatment, rehabilitation exercises, resources, and help for caregivers. You will not be able to absorb all the information in one sitting. Bookmark this page and refer to it as needed. If you are looking for specific stroke information, you can enter your search term in the box at the top right of this page which will direct you to the appropriate page on this website or you can visit the site map. Patients often report that they cannot find the information they are looking for or that medical staff did not educate them appropriately. There is help, and there is an abundance of information here and through other internet sources.
Navigating Stroke Rehab
If you are a patient, I encourage you to start reading the effects of stroke then move to the treatment and rehab exercise pages.
You will also want to refer to the resource page as there are many website links and references there to help you. If you have a specific question that you can't find the answer to, please feel free to ask me by clicking the Ask the Therapist tab.
If you are looking for a comprehensive guide, then check out my my e-book, Stroke Rehab: A Guide for Patients and their Caregivers.
If you are a caregiver, familiarize yourself with the effects of CVA and then go to the caregiver and resources sections. Loved ones caring for survivors will have their own set of emotions and responsibilities to tackle. You must take care of yourself first in order to help take care of a family member!
Rehabilitation is not easy for patients or caregivers. It is a long, arduous process. Make your recovery successful by seeking proper medical treatment, finding a good rehab professional, having a positive outlook, and following through with an effective home exercise program. There is help for you!
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