Busting 10 myths about Stroke

A stroke can have a massive impact on one’s life, so it is imperative to seek the best rehabilitation in Bangalore or anywhere in the world. Before we delve into the myths of stroke, let’s understand what’s the story behind it. 

Stroke was first recognized over 2,400 years ago by Hippocrates. It was called apoplexy at that time which meant ‘struck down by violence’ in Greek. In those times, doctors didn’t have much understanding of the brain and its function, even the cause of stroke and how to treat it. 

So, what is a stroke? 

A stroke occurs when the blood supply to the brain is interrupted. It is also known as a “brain attack”. With so many people affected by stroke worldwide, many people are still confused about what a stroke is and where exactly it occurs. Many misconceptions surround this medical condition. So, let’s bust them one by one. 

Myth 1: Only elders get a stroke

Age doesn’t play a factor when it comes to a stroke. Anyone of any age can suffer from it. The factors that contribute to it are excessive drinking, smoking, obesity, diabetes, and family history. So, it is very important to stay educated and maintain a healthy lifestyle to avoid not just a stroke but any other disease for that matter. 

Myth 2: A stroke is extremely painful

A stroke might not show any symptoms, at times, it can be silent. Some of the symptoms that indicate a stroke are difficulty in speaking or comprehending, weakness, paralysis in the face, arm, or leg, blurred or double vision, dizziness, and loss of balance and coordination. Few painful symptoms of a stroke are sudden, severe headaches that result in vomiting or loss of consciousness. 

Myth 3: Immediate treatment is unnecessary for stroke

In case of a stroke, immediate medical attention is very crucial. Quick medical attention on the onset of the symptoms will increase the chances of stroke recovery. Within 3 hours of the symptoms, it is mandatory to provide thrombolytic therapy that involves giving a medication that dissolves the blood clots. 

Myth 4: Occurrence of a stroke is rare

According to research, it is the second leading cause of death worldwide. The cases of stroke have increased quite alarmingly in India — more than 100% which is a very serious problem. 

Myth 5: It’s not easy to detect a stroke

A stroke can happen to a person at any time. A simple test called BE FAST (Balance, Eyes, Face, Arm, Speech, Terrible headache) can be used to detect the onset of a stroke. Once the signs are identified, the next action is supposed to be immediate medical care. This will help in reducing any damage to the brain. 

Myth 6: The heart is affected due to stroke

This is one of the most common misconceptions. A stroke is caused when the blood flow to the brain is interrupted. This happens when a clot escapes the heart and travels to the brain where it blocks the artery. 

Myth 7: You can’t prevent a stroke

Yes, you can. All you need to do is maintain an active lifestyle and reduce bad habits like excessive drinking, smoking, and binge eating unhealthy food. 

Myth 8: Stroke is not hereditary 

Genetic factors do play a role in high BP, stroke, and other related conditions. A family history of stroke is likely to share common environments and other factors that increase their risk of stroke. 

Myth 9: You can recover from stroke quickly

No, that’s not true. It takes a lot of time to recover from a stroke. Even if the treatment makes it better, that doesn’t mean you are out of risk. It is important for people who have suffered from stroke to control the risk factors that induced the stroke because it tends to come back into your life. 

Myth 10: Mini strokes don’t need any treatment

Mini strokes, also known as Transient Ischemic Attack (TIA), may come all of a sudden and exit quickly as well. But symptoms of TIA are similar to a stroke which means there will be numbness on one side of the body, vision problems, or slurred speech, but they will go away within 24 hours. Just because it goes away quickly doesn’t mean that the treatment needs to be ignored. An unattended TIA can result in a stroke. 

A stroke can result in some critical damages to the human body. But the aftermath can be taken care of by undergoing the following therapies: 

Stem Cell Therapy —  A non-surgical procedure wherein stem cells are injected into the patient’s body to replace the damaged cells.

Physiotherapy —  A treatment that improves the patient’s mobility, posture, and balance.

Occupational Therapy —  This allows the patient to become independent by improving their capability to complete daily activities such as walking, having a meal, or taking a bath.

Speech Therapy — This helps the patient regain their communication skills through various techniques including non-verbal communication.

These treatments are vital for a stroke patient’s recovery and help them get on the road to a happy and healed life. 

Effective Exercises to Alleviate Back Pain

Around 60-80% of adults endure back pain at some point during their lives. If you’re one among them tossing between the thought of having a chiropractic chair at your workplace, to working in bed, or lifting heavyweights in the gym every day, there are chances that your back might be feeling less than normal.

Suffering from shoulder pain and a creaking lower back — that’s the price we pay for lazing on soft furnishings and working with our laptops balancing on our chests. It isn’t just about where we work that can cause problems — it’s also how long we stay in one position. Our brains tend to switch off muscles such as our glutes and hip flexors which remain static for a long period. This is why many of us find ourselves stiff when we get up to move and exercise. Hunching over the screen pulls the body into abnormal positions. The less mobile you become, the more you are prone to muscular variation and weakness. 

However, there are things you can do to ease back pain even if you won’t be returning to your 9-to-5 job in an office for a while. There are a lot of exercises and stretches which target the source of the pain and provide relief. Remember to always be on the go — whether you’re making a cup of coffee now and then, getting up to peek out of the window, or spending your lunch break doing a few exercises. Always make sure that you’re not spending the whole day stock-still. Consistent movement is going to help you against stiffening muscles.

The good news is, there are a lot of rehabilitation centres in Bangalore, and across India that offer strengthening exercises for relief from back pain. You can also try doing these at home to help increase blood flow to the area, reduce stiffness, and speed up the healing process. Let’s take a look:

 

  • Floor Back Extensions

 

  • Lie flat on your stomach facing the floor
  • Keep your arms alongside the body (place a towel under your forehead, if needed)
  • Breathe in
  • As you breathe out, lift your bust and legs off the ground at the same time
  • Get back to your starting position, take a deep breath and repeat 5 times
  • Be sure to tuck in your stomach to tighten your ab muscles and protect your back throughout the exercise

 

  • Arm/Opposite Leg Lifts

 

  • Lie straight on your stomach with your face down
  • Keep your arms extended in front of your head
  • Take a deep breath
  • Breathe out, lifting one arm and the opposite leg together at once; make sure to lift your entire leg off the floor, with your toe pointed to the ceiling
  • Come back to your initial position. Repeat the process with your other leg and arm
  • Remember not to lift your limbs too high. Smaller movements are enough to work out your back muscles

 

  • Flat Back

 

  • Stand straight, bend your legs a little
  • Keep your arms above your head so that they stick out of your torso
  • Always aim at making yourself taller as you do this exercise
  • Bend your body at the waist until your bust is parallel to the floor
  • Stay in the position for 10 seconds then get back to the initial upright position while keeping your back straight
  • Breathe in from where you started, and breathe out as you lower your bust. Please make sure you don’t curve your back
  • Remember to keep your stomach tucked in to tighten your ab muscles and thus protect your back while you exercise

 

  • Plank

 

  • Lie straight, facing down
  • Lean on elbows and toes, raise your pelvis slightly so that your body is in a straight line
  • Keep your elbows right below your shoulder joints at 90 degrees
  • Remember to tuck in your stomach as much as you can without cutting off your breathing
  • To do this exercise more effectively, rest on your knees instead of your toes, while keeping your pelvis forward
  • Breathe through your nose, breathe out slowly through your mouth
  • Always ensure that you do not lower your pelvis too far to avoid lower back pains

When to Consult a Doctor for Your Back Pain?

If you suffer from any of the below conditions, it indicates a more serious cause. Please get in touch with a doctor at a reputed rehabilitation centre if you experience any one of the following red flags:

  • Prolonged back pain with no relief for more than six weeks
  • Sudden, severe back pain that seems to get worse without improvement 
  • Pain if the spine is lightly tapped
  • High fever
  • Unexplained weight loss
  • A history of autoimmune disease in the family
  • Numbness or tingling of legs

If you are looking for an effective solution for your back pain, seek professional help at Plexus – your one-stop rehabilitation centre in Bangalore.