Having a stroke can be life-changing for many patients. Stroke survivors may experience a wide range of changes in both their physical and mental health. But, not all patients will have the same experience. The effects of stroke can be different for different individuals. The impact of a stroke is also influenced by the severity, the number of strokes, the location, and the type of stroke you have had.
Here, we have discussed the different effects of stroke and how they can be managed.
Physical Effects Of A Stroke
Most patients experience physical changes after a stroke. Some of the physical effects of a stroke are
1. Weakness in the muscles
This is common in stroke survivors. If you have weakness in your arms or legs then it can become difficult for you to walk or move. Sometimes, patients only experience weakness on one side of their bodies. This is known as “hemiparesis”.
It is possible to experience tiredness or fatigue after a stroke. Many patients struggle with doing their everyday activities following a stroke. However, you can improve your fitness and stamina after a stroke with stamina training and exercises. Participating in exercises can also help you in reducing the risk of stroke.
Some stroke patients may experience burning sensations or tingling. Shoulder pain is another common effect of stroke that could be due to weak muscles. In addition to this, you may also have headaches and stiff shoulders.
Around one-third of stroke patients experience spasticity. Muscles that are extremely tight and have heightened tone are spastic. Since you would be using those muscles in a different way to compensate for the affected limb’s weakness, this can lead to stiffness and fatigue in the muscles on the unaffected side. This occurs within a week of a stroke.
Sometimes, if spasticity is left unattended then it can cause contractures which is the shortening of the muscles. These changes in your muscle can become permanent. Due to this, you will not be able to fully straighten or bend your muscles to their full length.
You may face issues in controlling your bowel movements or bladder after a stroke. Patients also report feeling worried about physical intimacy.
7. Sensory changes
Stroke survivors also report having sensory changes after a stroke such as reduced sensitivity to temperature.
Effect Of Stroke On Cognitive Functions And Communication
A stroke can change the way a person perceives the world. It can impact your cognitive skills such as memory and thinking. Some of the cognitive abilities affected by a stroke are
- Your capability to solve problems, plan and learn new skills
- Your ability to remember recent events i.e. short-term memory
- Your concentration and focus on details
- Your orientation which is your ability to remember the time and day
In addition to these cognitive effects, a stroke can also affect communication if it has impacted the region of the brain involved in activities such as reading, communication, and speaking. This can lead to issues like
- Dysphasia or aphasia: You may struggle in finding the right words to express yourself or understanding what others are saying
- Dyspraxia: You may find it difficult to speak because of a dysfunctional nerve connection between your brain and mouth
- Dysarthria: This is the weakness of the muscles responsible for speech
Another effect of stroke is weakness in the hands or issues with the vision that could lead to problems while writing or thinking.
Effect Of Stroke On Psychological Health And Personality
A stroke can affect your personality and mood in different ways. Patients can feel depressed after a stroke as a consequence of the damage induced by the stroke or due to the range of emotions felt in response to the changes brought by a stroke. Depression is commonly found in the first year after a stroke. The effects of stroke on your mental health can be described below:
- Feeling sad most of the time
- Feeling extremely tired
- Loss of interest in going out or eating
- Difficulty in sleeping
- Feeling of worthlessness
- Feeling anxious such as being worried all the time and having recurring thoughts that can further aggravate the anxiety.
People may begin to point out changes in your personality or you may also begin to notice certain behavioral changes such as
- Increased Aggressiveness
- Lack of motivation or apathy
- Socially inappropriate and impulsive actions
- Repeating the same behavior or word
Managing The After-Effects Of Stroke
After a stroke, you may need to make changes to your accommodation. Your daily life constituting activities like going to work, driving, or participating in relationships can also be compromised. You may find it challenging to adjust to your new lifestyle after having a stroke. But, by relying on the right support, you can overcome the challenges because of a stroke. Most of the effects of stroke can be managed with rehabilitation.
Rehabilitation is a promising approach that allows patients to retain their independence. Rehabilitation is tailored to patients’ needs and constitutes sessions with physiotherapists, occupational therapists, and sessions with speech and language therapists. By participating in a rehabilitation program, patients can retrain, improve their mobility and overcome any challenges that they may be facing with respect to their speech.
With MediGence, you can avail quality rehabilitation from board-certified rehabilitation experts at an affordable price. Our rehabilitation services are tailored to your needs and are outcome-based for your holistic recovery.
Avail Stroke Treatment Across The World
A stroke can bring many unexpected changes in your life. It can affect you both physically and mentally. Many stroke patients are able to manage the after-effects of a stroke with rehabilitation. If you or your loved ones are seeking rehabilitation, connect with our experts.