Treatment for stroke recovery
Treatment for stroke recovery is always a challenge. The main symptom of a stroke is paralysis and it is very important to recover a patient’s ability to move and feel during the treatment for stroke recovery. Besides cancer and heart diseases, stroke is the third leading cause of death. Approximately 1/4 of all stroke victims die as a direct result of the stroke or its complications. In this article when we discuss stroke treatment, we actually discuss paralysis treatment because at the phase of the stroke when natural medicines are joining the treatment, partial of full paralyzes of the half of the body aka paraplegia is the main symptom and main problem.
Stroke treatment involves drugs and process that helps in reducing and dissolving the blood clots. To save the life of a patient suffering from a brain attack or stroke, it is necessary to offer proper medication before it gets too late, and hence, it is important to understand the symptoms of stroke as early as possible. Listed below are stroke treatment:
Fibrinolysis or thrombolytic drugs:
These drugs help in removing any interruption in the blood flow of arteries as they significantly dissolve the blood clot hampering the blood flow. These stroke treatments are very useful to help patients suffering from ischemic strokes. The Federal Food and Drugs Administration approved the very first thrombolytic drug as an acute ischemic stroke treatment in 1996, which is known as the ‘clot buster’ Alteplase recombinant Activase.
tPA treatment for stroke:
tPA is a natural enzyme that is found in our body. Its main function is to convert plasminogen into another enzyme that can effectively dissolve blood clots in a person’s arteries. tPA enzyme treatment for stroke recovery is used by doctors in IV to speed up the process of dissolving clots in arteries. It is necessary to provide this treatment to a patient suffering from an acute stroke within the first three hours of the brain attack.
MERCI Retrieval System:
MERCI Retrieval System is used when a patient fails to attain proper tPA enzyme treatment within the first three hours of a brain attack. In such cases, when a patient is ineligible for IV-tPA treatment, doctors use MERCI Retrieval System helps in removing the blood clots to increase the flow of blood in larger vessels of the brain.
Treatment for stroke recovery depends on the stroke symptoms and how the patient feels and reacts. This is why most people are looking deep into the effectiveness of natural remedies for stroke.
What is a stroke?
Stroke, also called cerebrovascular accident or brain attack, is a sudden impairment of cerebral circulation in one or more of the blood vessels supplying the brain. Strokes interrupt the oxygen supply to the brain tissues and can cause serious damage. For anyone who has suffered a stroke, it is vitally important to restore normal circulation as soon as possible to limit damage to the brain tissues.
Although the mortality from strokes has been significantly reduced from around 90% in the 1950s, the number still hovers around 30% and stroke could soon be the most common cause of death worldwide.
Strokes can happen to absolutely anyone, it affects all people from all walks of life, young or old, fat or thin, male or female. Strokes are most often put into two major categories, these being ischemic stroke and hemorrhagic stroke.
Stroke is or should be a serious concern for everyone. It is one of the leading causes of death and disability. Stroke is usually caused when a blood clot or blood gets into parts of the brain it is not supposed to. There are basically two types of stroke – ischemic and hemorrhagic stroke. In an ischemic stroke, there is an accumulation of lipids just like you see in arteriosclerosis. These lipids form barriers called plaques. These plaques can rupture which can make the blood around the clot. Blood clots are good outside the blood vessels, but when in the blood vessels they can block the blood vessels. Blocking of the brain’s blood vessels can prevent oxygen and nutrients from entering the cells of the brain leading to stroke. In hemorrhagic stroke, the blood vessels surrounding the brain ruptures. This makes blood cross the barrier between the brain and blood – there is a barrier between the brain and blood – blood vessels get nutrients and oxygen to the brain through fluids in this barrier. When blood comes in direct contact with the brain, this can lead to a stroke.
Ischemic strokes represent 80% of stroke cases and are caused by a blood clot that blocks a blood supply to the brain. This usually occurs in either of the following two ways:
- Embolic Stroke – This is where a blood clot has formed elsewhere on the body and travels through the bloodstream to the brain, which then gets stuck in a smaller blood vessel which blocks the flow of blood.
- Thrombotic stroke – This is where a clot forms in blood vessels that are already clogged with fatty deposits. These fatty deposits usually clog major blood vessels in the individual’s neck which then reduce blood flow to the brain.
A hemorrhagic stroke is caused by a blood vessel located in the brain breaking, then leaking blood into the brain itself. This type of stroke accounts for approximately 20% of all strokes and can happen in either of the following two ways:
- Intracerebral Hemorrhage – This is where the blood vessel in the brain bursts and spills blood into the actual brain tissue which then proceeds to damage cells. Brain tissue in the surrounding area also gets deprived of oxygen and are also damaged.
- Subarachnoid Hemorrhage – This is where the bleeding starts in a blood vessel on and very near the surface of the brain and then spills blood into the space between the surface of the brain and the skull itself.
There is also a related condition known as a transient ischemic attack which is often referred to as a mini-stroke. This occurs when a clot or debris interrupts or blocks blood flow to a certain part of the brain. It often goes unrecognized as the symptoms are very slight and most commonly last for just a short moment. The effect of several of these mini-strokes can be as debilitating as a severe stroke.
What causes a stroke?
There are similar causes of stroke and heart diseases, but in stroke, the result is more severe. Any delay in rescuing will result in the death of the victim. Here are some causes of stroke:
A diet high in saturated and Trans fats causes bad cholesterol to build up in your blood vessels in the brain, blocking oxygen needed for the cells thus increasing the risk of stroke. Also, an unhealthy diet causes high blood pressure making your heart work harder to pump blood to your body as a result of heart diseases. High blood pressure also causes the blood vessels in your brain to harden and thin, increasing the risk of stroke.
Smoking is one of the causes of stroke that has a devastating effect on the health of the smoker but also on anyone that inhales its toxic fumes. Cigarettes contain high levels of cadmium that cause the blood to clot activity of cells as the result of blocking blood flow and damaging the blood vessels in the brain.
Excessive alcohol consumption
Moderate drinking is good for your heart, but excessive drinking can raise levels of some fats in your blood causing cholesterol to build up in the arteries and blood vessels in the brain increasing the risk of stroke.
People with diabetes tend to develop heart disease or have strokes at an earlier age than other people. Diabetes with an unhealthy diet causes high blood glucose levels that damage nerves and blood vessels, leading to complications such as heart disease and stroke, the leading causes of death among people with diabetes.
Obesity – a body mass index of 30 or higher
Study shows that even after adjusting for other stroke risk factors such as high blood pressure, diabetes, high cholesterol, smoking, cardiac diseases, moderate alcohol consumption, and physical activity; obesity is still associated with the greatest risk of stroke in men and women.
Use of birth control pills
Birth control pills are also one of the causes of stroke because it contains estrogen and one of two other hormones, lynestrenol or norethisterone that increase the risk of blood clotting, which can lead to ischemic stroke especially in woman who smoke and who are older than 35.
Symptoms of stroke
Listed below are stroke symptoms
- Sudden trouble in standing is an early symptom of stroke as a result of the circulation of blood that carries oxygen suddenly deplete caused by narrowing of arteries and high blood pressure.
- Dizziness and loss of balance: The brain coordinates information from the eyes, the inner ear, and the body’s sense to maintain balance. If the cells of that part of the brain get damaged as the result of depleted oxygen will cause dizziness and loss of balance.
- Having trouble speaking and understanding: Having trouble speaking and understanding is one of the stroke symptoms that occurs when the brain cells in the area of the Broca, Wernicke, and angular gyrus in the left hemisphere area begin to die because they stop getting the oxygen and nutrients they need to function.
- Sudden severe headaches: Headache is a condition of pain in the head, sometimes neck or upper back pain may also be interpreted as a headache. It ranks amongst the most common local pain complaints and may be frequent for many people but sudden severe headaches may be caused by an early symptom of heart disease as we mentioned in previous articles, by rupturing a brain vessel or depletion of oxygen in some parts of the brain.
- Sudden trouble seeing: This may be an early indication of stroke when the oxygen in the blood supply to the part of the brain is suddenly interrupted or when a blood vessel in the brain bursts, spilling blood into cells that control the vision area of the cerebral cortex in the brain.
Natural remedies for stroke
Natural remedies for stroke often appeal to stroke patients that prefer to avoid the unwanted side effects of medication. While modern medicine can play an important role in recovery, the following solutions can help boost your recovery from stroke naturally. Listed below are natural stroke remedies:
Home treatment for stroke
Home treatment for stroke is a natural remedy for stroke that has been proven to be effective. Listed below is a home treatment for stroke
Exercises for stroke patients essential part of the treatment for stroke
Exercises for stroke patients are one of the most important and essential parts of the home treatment for stroke that can help patients regain mobility and strength in the body. In the early stages of stroke recovery, patients often exercise with the help of an expert team. Using stroke recovery exercises both physical and occupational therapists become a great asset to your recovery journey.
Listed below are stroke recovery exercises:
- Wrist curls are one of the exercises for stroke patients used in improving range of motion and strength in the forearm and hand. To achieve this exercise, hold a lightweight such as a can of beans or water bottle in your palm. Rest your forearm faces up on a table or your lap. Flex your wrist by bringing your palm toward your forearm. You can also work wrist extension by turning your forearm face down and bringing the back of your hand toward your forearm.
- Shoulder Openers is a stroke recovery exercise that helps in improving strength and range of motion in the shoulder and preventing complications like frozen shoulder or shoulder subluxation. To achieve this, bend your elbows to 90 degrees and hold them at your sides. Externally rotate your arms like you’re opening a door. Think about initiating the movement by squeezing your shoulder blades together.
- Table circles is a stroke recovery exercise used to improve strength and coordination in the arms and promote neuroplasticity (reorganization of nerves and brain cells). To achieve this, clasp your hands together and place them on a table in front of you. Using a large “churning” motion, trace a large circle with your hands around the table. Use your strong arm to lead if necessary. Try 10 times clockwise then 10 times counterclockwise.
Yoga for stroke recovery – another effective treatment for stroke
Yoga for stroke recovery is a stroke recovery treatment that helps increase flexibility, improved balance, increased strength, a greater range of motion in the neck and hip, less pain, and enhanced energy levels. Also, because yoga requires intense focus, it enhances neuroplasticity — the ability of the brain to reorganize itself and form new connections. This enables the brain to correct or adapt to damage caused by a stroke.
The benefits of yoga for stroke recovery
- Improves mind and body correction
- Improves Balance, Range of Motion, and Strength
- Improves walking and balance
- Accessible for All Stroke Patients
Massage – very popular form of natural treatment for stroke
Massage is a home treatment for stroke. Massage is a unique kind of touch therapy that has been revealed to reduce depression and lesser blood pressure. Some research has shown that it is helpful to stroke survivors since it helps to reduce the quantity of anxiety and depression they feel over their restrictions. It can also bring enhanced blood flow to muscles that are either paralyzed or spastic.
Homeopathy for stroke – one of the most effective forms of natural treatment for stroke
Homeopathy is one of the most popular natural stroke remedies. The aim of homeopathy for stroke is not only to treat stroke symptoms but to address its underlying cause and individual susceptibility. As far as homeopathy for stroke is concerned, several remedies are available to treat stroke symptoms that can be selected based on cause, sensations, and modalities of the complaints.
Listed below are homeopathy medicine for stroke:
- This is believed to be a valuable homeopathy medicine for brain stroke. The homeopathic medications deal with mild to severe symptoms, including inflammation of the brain, headache, vomiting, insomnia problem, stroke/convulsions, and seizures.
- This is useful for post-stroke symptoms in the elderly. These types may tend to take cold easily, suffer from dementia, or slow metal grasp. They become slow and inept. They have difficulty concentrating and become shy towards strangers, almost childish. They may suffer from senility and other types of cardiovascular disease.
- This is homeopathy for stroke that is well-indicated post-stroke when the event has just happened. There are great fear and anxiety and it may have been precipitated by an emotional shock or a fright. These types feel restlessness and tossing about.
- Nux is one of the homeopathy medicine for brain stroke, it is a suitable drug for the treatment of ischemia as well as for passive cerebral congestion.
Acupuncture for stroke – best treatment for stroke in the rehabilitation phase
Acupuncture for stroke is popular because most of the patient who underwent this kind of treatment shows faster and easier recovery from stroke than the control group that was treated traditionally.
Acupuncture is one of the TCM techniques medical practice that has been around for almost 4000 years. It involves the use of fine, disinfected needles inserted into the skin by a certified acupuncturist. These needles are placed on specific areas of the body that are said to release various forms of natural healing energy. For example, pressure on the “point of the third eye” between the eyebrows is believed to relieve headaches.
Although acupuncture is primarily recognized as a natural treatment for chronic pain, its potential benefits go far beyond that. It has been used to improve sleep and digestion. This practice is also believed to relax the mind and relieve stress or anxiety.
In a clinical study performed in 2005, a large group of patients that suffered from a stroke received acupuncture for stroke recovery treatment. The goal of the therapy was to alleviate the pain and discomfort after the stroke. The researchers found that participants who received acupuncture saw improvements in wrist spasticity and the range of motion of the wrist and shoulder. Although those who received acupuncture saw greater improvement compared to those who did not receive acupuncture, the level of improvement was not considered clinically significant.
More new clinical trials proved that acupuncture for stroke combined with physical exercising and yoga poses are effective in treating shoulder pain caused by a stroke.
More research is needed to determine if acupuncture has the ultimate effect on stroke recovery.
What do you do if you notice someone having a stroke?
A stroke is an emergency situation. Seconds of panic and indecision can make all the difference in the survival of stroke victims and the quality of life after. If your loved one is having a stroke, do not panic, just remember the acronym FAST. FAST is a fast way to determine if someone is having a stroke. “F” stands for face – check the face of the person for signs of drooling and inability to control the whole or part of the face. “A” is arms – ask the person to lift both arms. Is the person having difficulty lifting both or one of his arms? “S” is for speech – can the person repeat a sentence after you conveniently? “T” is for time. if the person fails all the above tests, it is likely to be a stroke. Take note of the time and seek medical help immediately. Timing is everything!
Acupuncture after stroke – step #1 on the road to recovery after a stroke attack:
After medical treatment of stroke recovery is usually slow. Stroke can cause serious disabilities after the initial attack and a victim of stroke needs a lot of care. Acupuncture in stroke recovery can help to reinstate patients’ ability to be independent in a lot of ways after suffering from this medical condition. We are going to talk more about that further in this article.
Acupuncture and stroke recovery – #1 natural treatment for stroke
There have been so many studies on acupuncture for stroke rehabilitation. In fact, as of 2012, the studies have been increasing tremendously as western medicine has started to recognize the effect of acupuncture on pain. Studies suggest that the earlier you start acupuncture for stroke rehabilitation, the better the results and the more chances that you will get out of this condition. Also, acupuncture after stroke seems to be safe as no known studies have documented any adverse effect of acupuncture on stroke patients. So, the overall suggestion is that if you have had a stroke, you should start acupuncture as a treatment method as soon as you are stable. However, you can still do it at later stages. How exactly acupuncture improves recovery of stroke is not well known. However, studies point to an improvement of blood circulation to parts of the brain and limbs affected by stroke. These studies show things like dilation of blood vessels around the paralyzed areas. This dilation does not seem to affect normal areas. Some studies have also suggested that acupuncture for stroke rehabilitation may significantly decrease fibrinogen – a major component of blood clots in the blood vessels. Also, some studies of electro-acupuncture show an increase in serotonin levels of the platelets which help in reducing depression as a result of the effects of a stroke attack and can contribute to improving stroke. All these possible mechanisms can explain how acupuncture may work in improving the health and quality of life after a stroke incident.
Apart from the possible mechanisms, studies also show significant improvement in the quality of life of people suffering from a stroke when used along with other forms of therapy. At least seven high-quality studies from different people showed that stroke recovery is way greater if acupuncture is incorporated into peoples’ treatment regimen. This is true especially when acupuncture is commenced within 1 to 3 months of a stroke attack. The studies seem to suggest that using acupuncture after stroke three times a week for at least one month can show long-lasting positive effects in recovery from stroke. Studies generally, show improvement in motor functions like the ability to move arms and legs better, improvement in the ability to perform daily activities, better quality of life, improvement in balance, mobility and walking, and better control of emotions. A study even used CT scan as a diagnostic tool in response to Acupuncture treatment (CT scan is a standard diagnostic tool for stroke patients in conventional medicine). The CT scan showed good results with people who used acupuncture. In all, the studies show that combining acupuncture with physiotherapy and other treatments greatly improved recovery. In fact, one of the studies showed that acupuncture was more economical as it reduced the amount of time spent in nursing homes and rehabilitation centers. The study estimated a saving of $26,000 per patient. This study was done in Sweden and it is possible that Sweden may have higher costs of rehabilitation. In all, acupuncture is a cost-effective and health-effective way to add more value to recovery after a stroke.
For all questions regarding acupuncture treatment contact our team or schedule an appointment for acupuncture evaluation with Dr. Tsan.