When you think of “stroke” most people think of someone who is older (in their 70’s or 80’s) or in poor health. You may even think that stroke is a freak accident or unavoidable condition. The reality is, you never think stroke is going to happen to you. According to the Heart & Stroke Foundation of Canada stroke “can happen at any point in a person’s lifetime, from infancy to adulthood.”
A study done by Dr. Eric Smith called PURE-MIND also revealed that individuals in their late 30’s can even be at risk of covert strokes which links to dementia.
Managing the risk factors that contribute to stroke can help prevent one from happening to you.
Facts on Stroke
- Stroke is when blood stops flowing to any part of your brain due to plaque build-up, clot, or weakened blood vessels that rupture. Without blood, brain cells become damaged.
- “About four of every 100 strokes happen in people ages 18 to 45” according to Neurologist Dr. Rick Swartz
- There are various types of strokes and each one is associated with a different outcome/symptoms (see types of strokes below)
- A covert stroke can be linked with dementia and can happen in your late 30’s
- There are certain risk factors that increase your chances of experiencing a stroke. These risk factors can be managed and help with prevention of stroke (see Stroke Prevention below)
- Effective treatment after a stroke can include a multi-pronged approach that includes physical therapy, occupational therapy, dietitian, speech-language pathologist and more
Types of Stroke
The type of stroke you experience can determine the amount and type of damage (symptoms) you are left with. The part of the brain affected and the size of damage can also predict the outcome. If you have experienced any type of stroke (minimal or otherwise), it is vital that you seek treatment to reduce your chances of another stroke and to help with post-stroke symptoms.
When a blood clot stops blood flow to an area of your brain due to plaque build-up inside an artery wall. The clot can happen in the brain or in another artery of your body and then travel to your brain.
Transient Ischemic Attack
According to the Heart & Stroke Foundation, this can be referred to as a “mini-stroke or warning stroke” because symptoms may not last long. It is caused by a small clot that briefly blocks an artery but could be a warning of a more serious stroke to come and require immediate medical attention.
This is when an aneurysm (weakened artery in your brain) breaks and causes damage to your brain. High blood pressure can be linked to weakened arteries.
This type of stroke weakens the connections in your brain and affects your ability to plan, organize, process information, make decisions and more. According to Dr. Eric Smith:
“These strokes occur five times more often as other strokes and can be responsible for 1/3 of all dementia.”
Signs of Stroke
- Face droop
- Weakness or paralysis in the arm
- Slurred speech
- Trouble understanding others
- Blurred vision in one or both eyes
- Sudden dizziness or loss of balance
- Impaired mental function/dementia
Stroke Treatment & Prevention
The risk factors associated with stroke can be prevented with regularly prescribed exercise plans, dietary guidance, and lifestyle modification. Some factors that increase the risk of stroke include high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes, and an inactive lifestyle. At Bourassa & Associates, our university-trained physical therapists, occupational therapists, and exercise physiologists are educated in helping reduce the risk factors and in helping to regain independence post-stroke. Using individually designed programs tailored to your needs, we can help you to prevent or manage your stroke symptoms.
Book Your Appointment & Start TODAY!
Since both prevention and treatment after a stroke is vital to optimal health it is best to book an appointment right away. At Bourassa & Associates, you can get started right away, no doctor’s referral needed. Book an assessment online or contact our location nearest you to book your appointment via telephone.
Let us use our 30 years of experience to help you prevent stroke or manage living with post-stroke symptoms! We want to help you live your best life.