Every 40 seconds, someone in America has a stroke. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, stroke is the leading cause of long-term disability, but only 10 percent of survivors fully recover. So how can you maximize your recovery?
"So, if you're having trouble with reach and grasp of the arm, the key is to not let that dangle and open the peanut butter jar just with your good hand but to actively engage and try to use your hand in meaningful tasks," Carmichael said.
A strict physical and occupational therapy schedule should show results in the first four months, and many patients continue therapy up to two years after their stroke, but be careful. There are things that can slow recovery.
"There are certain few things that may make things worse and that's if you strengthen some of the muscles that are preserved," Carmichael continued. "I've had patients who will do a lot of arm curls, and that's actually the wrong thing to strengthen because there's a natural mismatch."
Stroke recovery apps like Medisafe, Constant Therapy, and Elevate help with workouts, reminders, speech, and cognitive therapy.
Researchers at the Ohio State University College of Medicine have developed a novel stroke therapy that works better than the standard of care when tested in mice and dogs. Phase-one clinical trials are the next step.