When does the recovery from a stroke start?

When blood clots or broken blood vessels stop blood from getting to your brain, you have a stroke. More than 795,000 people in the United States have a stroke every year. Almost 1 in 4 strokes happen to people who have already had one.

Strokes can have a big effect on a person’s ability to talk, think, move, and feel. Because of this, it is thought to be the most common cause of serious long-term disability.

Getting better after a stroke can take a long time and require patience, hard work, and dedication. It may take a long time to get better.

After the doctors have stabilized your condition, you can often start to feel better. This means getting the blood flowing again to your brain and lowering any pressure in the area. It also means getting rid of any things that could cause a stroke. Because of this, you may start getting better during your first stay in the hospital. Starting the healing process as soon as possible can help improve your chances of getting your brain and body to work again.

Where can you get help after a stroke?

How you get better depends on what kind of problems you’re having and what your insurance will pay for. Your doctor and clinical social worker can help you figure out which setting will work best for you.

Rehabilitation Units

Some hospitals and clinics have places for people to get better. Some units are in hospitals or clinics, but others are in separate buildings. If you go to an inpatient unit for treatment, you will have to stay there for a few weeks. If you get care outside of a hospital, you will come in every day for a certain amount of time to work on your recovery.

Skilled Nursing Homes

Some nursing homes have special programs to help people recover from a stroke. Others can help you get better by giving you physical, occupational, and other kinds of therapy. Most of the time, these therapy programs aren’t as hard as those in hospital rehabilitation units.

Your House

You might be able to get help from experts who come to your home. Even though this may be more comfortable and convenient than going to rehab outside of your home, it is still not a perfect solution. You probably won’t be able to do exercises that need special equipment, and your insurance company may not cover this kind of care.

After a stroke, how does the brain get better?

No one really knows how the brain heals after a stroke. There are a few possible ways to explain how brain rehab works:

  • Your brain may be able to start working again if you change how you do things.
  • If blood flow was restored to the damaged part of your brain, some of your brain cells might be hurt instead of killed. So, over time, these cells will be able to start working again.
  • One part of your brain may take over the tasks that the affected part of your brain used to do.

How can I get my skills back?

The goal of rehabilitation is to improve or restore your speech, cognitive, motor, or sensory skills so you can be as independent as possible.

Speech Skills

Aphasia is a type of trouble with language that can be caused by a stroke. If you have this condition, you might have trouble talking in general. Also, it’s common to have trouble finding the right words or speaking in complete sentences.

Damage to the muscles that control speech could make it hard for you to talk. Speech and language therapists can help you learn to speak in a clear, organized way. They can also teach you other ways to talk if the damage is too bad.

Cognitive Skills

A stroke can make it hard to think and reason, make you make bad decisions, and mess up your memory. It can also change how people act. You may have been outgoing in the past but are now shy, or the other way around.

You may also have less self-control after a stroke, which could make you do dangerous things. This is because you no longer understand what might happen if you keep doing what you’re doing.

This makes people worry about their safety, so it’s important to work on getting these skills back. Speech and language therapists and occupational therapists can help you get these skills back. They can also help make sure your home is safe.

Motor Skills

Strokes can make the muscles on one side of your body weaker and make it hard to move your joints. This makes it hard for you to walk and do other physical things because it affects your coordination. You may also feel painful spasms in your muscles.

Physical therapists can teach you how to improve your balance and build muscle strength. They can also help you get rid of muscle spasms by showing you how to stretch. As you learn to walk again, you may need to use a walking aid.

Sensory Skills

When you have a stroke, a part of your body might not be able to feel things like heat, cold, or pressure. Therapists can help your body adjust to the change by working with you.

What are some other problems that can be fixed?

Problems with speech, thinking, or moving around can add to the problems. Some problems can be taken care of. These things are:

Bladder & Bowel Control

Strokes can lead to problems with the bladder or the bowels. You might not know that you have to leave. Or maybe you can’t get to the bathroom quickly enough. You could have diarrhea, and constipation, or you might not be able to control your bowels. There can also be a lot of urination, trouble urinating, and a loss of bladder control.

A doctor who specializes in the bladder or bowels can help treat these problems. You might need to keep a toilet chair close to you all day. Medicines can sometimes be helpful. In the worst cases, your doctor will put a urinary catheter into your body to drain urine.


After a stroke, it can be hard to swallow. You might forget to swallow while you’re eating, or you might have nerve damage that makes it hard for you to swallow. This can make you cough up food, choke, or get hiccups. Speech therapists can help you get back to eating and swallowing normally. Dietitians can also help you find healthy, easy-to-eat foods that are good for you.


After having a stroke, some people become depressed. Therapists and antidepressant drugs can be used to treat this disorder by a psychiatrist, psychologist, or other mental health professional.

Is it always possible to get better?

The National Stroke Association says that about 10 percent of people who have a stroke recover almost completely, and about 25 percent recover with only minor problems. Another 40% have moderate to severe disabilities that need special care. This means that you have a disability that makes it hard for you to do things in your daily life, whether at work or at home. And 10% need long-term care in a nursing home or some other place.

Recovery from a stroke depends on a number of things, such as:

  • How much damage was done by the stroke
  • How quickly you start to get better
  • How motivated you are
  • How hard you work to get better
  • How old you were when it happened, and if you have any other health problems that could slow you down.

The doctors and nurses who help you get better can also have an effect on how well you get better. The more skilled they are, the more likely it is that you will get better.

Your family and friends can also help you feel better by giving you support and encouragement. By doing your rehabilitation exercises on a regular basis, you can improve your chances of getting better.