In Australia, every nine minutes, someone will have a stroke. Over 475,000 people live with the effects of stroke (known as Cerbrovascular accident or CVA), with this number estimated to increase to over a million in Australia over the next 30 years. Here are three ways to manage the effects.
Risk of stroke
Even though there are several main things that can be done to minimise the risk of stroke, such as a low cholesterol diet, not smoking, reducing alcohol intake and maintaining a healthy lifestyle, many cases are unavoidable and occur due to genetic risk.
The resulting effects of stroke vary widely, depending on the area of the brain affected. These effects can be temporary or permanent, gradual or immediate, and include, but are not limited to:
- Impaired movement or paralysis in some or all of the body (often affecting one particular side.
- Difficulty speaking due to muscle weakness.
- Aphasia, which causes you to have difficulty finding the right words to say.
- Impaired and altered vision.
- Depression and anxiety.
- Personality change.
- Impaired memory.
- Sexual ability.
To help those who have suffered a stroke, we've gathered some different ways to manage the effects, so you can get the most out of life.
Stroke: Three ways to manage the effects
Depending on the particular effects you’re experiencing as a result of a stroke, there are varied therapies and treatments. These can work to rehabilitate you to recovery, relieve specific problems, or find new ways to embrace life with these effects. It’s worth noting that for anyone on the NDIS, you should be able to have these partially or fully covered by your plan.
- Speech therapy: This can help you to rebuild strength and articulation in the muscles used for speaking. It can also help in finding the best way to manage aphasia/dysphasia.
- Physiotherapy: This helps greatly with rehabilitation of the muscles, boosting and restoring proprioception, strengthening, balance control and co-ordination.
- Occupational therapy: This is ideal for people looking to relearn skills and abilities to take care of basic tasks like grooming, cooking, cleaning and working.
- Psychology: This is ideal for helping to manage any personality changes, mood shifts and disorders and any other issues, as well as help you to adjust to life post-stroke.
Supports and braces
Daily life for many people post-stroke offers its own set of struggles. Whether it’s doing work around the house, going for a hike, practicing rehab exercises or something else, the physical impairment caused by stroke can make these simple daily tasks daunting.
The use of supports and braces in the recovery and day to day life of stroke survivors can make a tremendous difference in mobility, comfort and quality of life.
There are huge range of supports depending on your specific condition, but we’ve outlined some remedies for the more common issues below.
- Drop-foot: The severity of drop-foot ranges from mild weakness in the joint to a complete inability to lift the foot. Bracing for it ranges from a simple strap support like the MalleoTrain S up to a fully rigid support like the CaligaLoc. The distinct advantage of these supports is that they fit comfortably inside your shoes without the need to get a different size.
- Limb pain: Pain in the limbs can often be an ongoing effect of stroke. While neurological treatment and medication should be sought, the use of medical grade compression sleeves can help to manage and minimise this pain.
- Muscle weakness: Muscle weakness in the body can be frustrating and debilitating. Using a brace to support and stabilise the affected area can help to become more mobile and allow for easier rehab and strengthening of the joint.
- Spasticity: Spasticity affects one third of all stroke survivors. This can affect most parts of the body, but is best managed with a stabilising or splint brace to minimise the irritation and disturbance of such movements.
Bauerfeind are registered as an official NDIS supplier, meaning that under your NDIS plan you are likely to have access to our supports at partial or full coverage.
40 per cent of stroke survivors will have a recurrent stroke within 10 years. There are a range of lifestyle factors you can alter to help avoid being part of that 40 per cent, as well as find more comfort and relief with your symptoms currently. Here are some great simple ways to make that change.
- Diet: reduce your meat intake, focus on fruit, vegetables and legumes. Minimal cholesterol.
- Alcohol: While the occasional glass of wine should be okay, minimising your consumption will help a lot.
- Smoking. While smoking has many negative health effects, the increased risk of stroke is high amongst them. Talk to your GP today about quitting to get the best plan.
- Weight/fitness. Keep active and maintain a healthy weight.
- Blood sugar and pressure. Get your blood pressure and sugar levels checked to make sure they both stay at a health level.
For assistance selecting the right product for your needs, book a video consultation with a Bauerfeind expert: Book Video Call, or call us on 1300 668 466.
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Bauerfeind products are developed at our innovation and manufacturing facility in Zeulenroda, Germany. Based on years of scientific research, our award-winning braces and support garments are highly recommended by medical professionals and athletes worldwide.