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What is Stroke and how can we manage it?

Strength and Conditioning exercises for elderly

Stroke is Singapore’s fourth leading cause of death, but with 4 out of 5 strokes preventable by exercise and lifestyle changes, it is important that we know more about this disease to take the steps to prevent and reduce the risk of stroke.

29 of October marks World Stroke Day, an opportunity to shed light on a topic that affects countless lives globally. Knowing what a stroke looks like and how we can deal with it is not common knowledge, and it is important that we know how to spot the signs and symptoms to helped identify stroke in ourselves and our loved ones before it is too late.

Knowing the signs of stroke

A stroke is an emergency. By recognising stroke and calling an ambulance to get to the hospital as soon as possible, a patient may be offered treatments which can only be administered in the first few hours from the onset of stroke. Early treatment is proven to improve health outcomes and reduce complications.

1. Sudden numbness or weakness — You may experience sudden numbness or weakness in the face, arm, or leg, typically on one side of the body. For example, your smile might look lopsided or one arm may feel weak and face difficulty moving.

2. Trouble speaking or understanding — You might have difficulty speaking or understanding others. Your speech may become slurred or garbled, or you may find it challenging to find the right words to express yourself.

3. Confusion or trouble with vision — Stroke can cause sudden confusion, disorientation, or difficulty understanding your surroundings. You may also experience trouble seeing in one or both eyes, which can result in blurred vision or loss of vision.

4. Severe headache — A sudden, severe headache with no apparent cause can be a sign of a stroke. It is often described as the worst headache of your life.

5. Trouble with coordination or balance — Stroke can affect your balance and coordination. You may feel dizzy, have difficulty walking or maintaining balance, or experience a sudden lack of coordination.

Signs and Symptoms to look out for in a stroke

6. Facial drooping — One side of your face may droop or feel numb, making it challenging to smile or control facial expressions. It's often a noticeable asymmetry between the left and right sides of the face.

7. Sudden onset — Stroke symptoms typically appear suddenly, without any warning. The symptoms can worsen rapidly within minutes or hours, so it's crucial to seek immediate medical attention.

Remember that these signs can vary among individuals, and not everyone will experience all of them. If you or someone you know shows any of these signs, it is essential to call emergency services or seek medical help right away. Time is critical when it comes to treating a stroke to minimise long-term damage and improve outcomes.

Physiotherapy plays a vital role in helping stroke survivors regain their mobility, strength, and independence. It involves various techniques and exercises tailored to meet each individual's specific needs.If you know someone in need of rehabilitation post-stroke, drop us an email today.

For more information on stroke and rehabilitation, check out our resource on neurological rehabilitation here.

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