If you experience stroke like symptoms, you should seek medical attention immediately. Seeking stroke treatment quickly can minimize brain damage because permanent brain damage often occurs in the first few hours. Initial treatment focuses on either controlling bleeding for hemorrhagic stroke or increasing blood flow for ischemic stroke. Your physician will perform imaging studies such as a CT Scan or MRI to determine if you've had a CVA and the type of CVA it is. Stroke treatment may include medications, surgery, and rehab.
Medications given will vary depending on the cause of stroke. See the chart below as an example:
CAUSE OF STROKE or SYMPTOM TO BE TREATED:
TYPES OF MEDICATION THAT MAY BE GIVEN:
EXAMPLES (not an exhaustive list)
High Blood Pressure
Medication to lower blood pressure
Calcium Channel Blockers
Angiotensin II Receptor Blockers
Thrombolytics (Clot –dissolving medication)
Anti-platelet medication (prevent blood from sticking together)
Anticoagulants (blood thinners)
Swelling in Brain
Hypertonic Saline Solutions
Medicine to lower cholesterol
Note: The above medication information is for educational purposes only and not advice for treatment. Please consult your physician for treatment of stroke.
SURGERYStroke treatment may include surgery. Again, the type of stroke you experience will determine surgical treatment options. Some surgeries performed may include:
Moving or draining blood due to a brain bleed from hemorrhagic stroke
Brain aneurysm repair
Repairing an arteriovenous malformation
After a patient has been medically stabilized, they will begin physical rehabilitation in an attempt to regain as much function as possible. Physical rehabilitation after stroke may include physical therapy, occupational therapy, and speech therapy. Physical therapy focuses on returning movement, balance and coordination for activities such as walking, sitting, lying down, and transitional movements (sit to stand, moving from bed to chair, etc.) Occupational therapy helps a stroke patient regain independence in activities of daily living (ADLs) such as eating, grooming, dressing, toileting, and bathing. Occupational therapists often focus on improving upper extremity movement and fine motor skills so patients can perform self care activities. Speech therapy helps a patient improve language and speaking skills, swallowing, and cognitive abilities. Click here to find out more about specific stroke rehab exercises.
Proper stroke treatment is imperative for the best recovery. Make sure you as a patient or caregiver are aware of all the available treatment options and discuss these options with your physician.
Have you had a good experience with your stroke rehabilitation and treatment? Please share your favorite and most effective stroke rehab exercises or treatment below. Please note that submissions from others are for informational purposes only and are not professional medical advice, diagnosis, treatment or care, nor are intended to be a substitute. Always seek the advice of a physician or other qualified health provider concerning questions you have regarding your health or a loved one's health concerns.
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