If you’re trying to recover from stroke the best way possible, you’ve come to the right place.
If you’re worried that you don’t know enough about stroke recovery to understand your best options, then this post will catch you up to speed.
But, Please Understand This First…
Although this might not be what you want to hear, it’s important to know that there is no single “best way” to recover from stroke. (Hang with us for a sec.)
Every stroke is different and therefore every recovery will be different.
There is no single best way to recover from stroke since all stroke survivors will see the best results from different forms of therapy.
There are still some “best practices” that can help boost your recovery when incorporated into whatever regimen works best for you.
Different stroke survivors can pursue different therapies and still achieve the best results possible as long as you’re incorporating all 5 “best practice” that we’re about to discuss.
Alright. Now that you know what this list is all about, let’s dig into our best stroke recovery practices.
1. Neuroplasticity – The King of Rehab
Before you even get started on any form of rehabilitation, it’s essential to understand what neuroplasticity because it’s how you will get the best results possible.
Neuroplasticity is the mechanism that your brain uses to rewire and heal itself after injury.
When part of the brain becomes damaged by stroke, the brain can actually rewire itself and train other parts of the brain to pick up the slack.
The better you can activate neuroplasticity, the better your recovery will be.
This element is sooo important.
Which begs the question, how can you activate your neuroplasticity?
2. Repetitive Practice
The best way to activate neuroplasticity is repetitive practice.
You will get the best results possible with forms of therapy that encourage you to perform a high number of reps.
Because each time you repeat something, you strengthen the new connections in your brain responsible for that task.
For example, hand therapy exercises are a great way to improve hand function after stroke.
And the BEST way to improve hand function is to practice those exercises over and over and over.
Each time you repeat a hand movement, the connections in your brain responsible for hand movement get stronger.
The more you practice, the better you get.
That’s why practice makes perfect.
3. A Consistent Regimen
We put consistency near the top of this list because it’s SUPER important for your best recovery.
Consistency helps the positive changes in your brain stick. The more consistent you are, the better your results will be.
Because each time you perform repetitive practice, you strengthen the new connections in your brain.
But if you don’t practice consistently, then the connections will begin to weaken. Your brain needs constant reinforcement while it’s healing.
4. Proper Feedback (Sounds Boring, but Super Important!)
Although feedback isn’t often considered one of the most important aspect of recovery – it is.
When you’re doing your rehab exercises, there needs to be clear success/failure cues to let your brain know that it’s doing something right or wrong.
Without this feedback, you will not see the best results.
You can learn more about what good feedback looks like here.
5. Mental Practice
Mental practice is the art of visualizing yourself doing something.
Mental practice can help you achieve your best recovery because it’s scientifically proven to help activate neuroplasticity the same way that physical practice does.
Mental practice works best when coupled with physical practice. So we recommend mentally practicing something right before physically practicing it.
For example, if you’re struggling to regain leg function and balance after stroke, then try visualizing yourself walking down the beach with perfect gait and balance.
This will help activate neuroplasticity in the areas of your brain responsible for log function and balance and help you get the best results from the physical practice you do next.
And, please, do us a favor and try not to skip this step!
Many stroke survivors disregard mental practice because it doesn’t seem substantial enough to make a big difference.
But trust us – mental practice is scientifically proven to make a huge difference when you complement it with physical practice.
The Best Way to Recover from Stroke
In summary, you will see the best results during stroke recovery if you follow this 5-step formula:
Your best recovery = neuroplasticity + repetition + consistency + feedback + mental practice
When you’re looking for new forms of therapy, make sure that it helps you activate neuroplasticity, perform a high number of reps, and experience good feedback.
Then, the consistency and mental practice is up to you.