After a Stroke

How to self-manage your health after a stroke, or a mini-stroke (TIA)?

If you have had a stroke, or mini-stroke (TIA), in the past, your risk of having another stroke is increased. Here is NHS advice on reducing your risks, healing after a stroke and enjoying better health.

  1. First, you need to understand the cause of the stroke you had: NHS Choices on causes of strokes , and discuss with your doctor.  Often, the top 3 causes of a stroke are high blood pressure, smoking or an unusual heart beat (AF). Then, look at NHS Choices ways to prevent another stroke.

2.    Healing after a stroke (rehabilitation)

NHS NICE has produced info. for the public on stroke ‘rehabilitation’ or how to get back to as normal a life as possible after a stroke [NICE CG162]. As it explains: “A stroke occurs when blood flow to part of the brain is cut off – it is a ‘brain attack’ (in the same way that a heart attack happens when the blood supply to the heart muscle is cut off). Without blood supply, brain cells can be damaged because they may not receive enough oxygen or nutrients. The brain controls almost everything that the body does. This means that a stroke can affect many different body functions. Some people will make an early recovery after a stroke, but others will need more help and time to recover. Some people have a stroke that gets better completely within 24 hours, known as a TIA (transient ischaemic attack) or a ‘mini stroke’. This could be a warning of more to come if the cause of the stroke is not treated quickly.”

“After your stroke you may need help to regain your independence, by learning new skills and managing your remaining disabilities. For example, you may need to learn how to dress yourself or walk again. This process is known as ‘rehabilitation’. Rehabilitation can take place in hospital, in community clinics, in your own home or in a care home.”

3.   Your NHS stroke healing (rehabilitation) team

“For stroke rehabilitation, you should be cared for by professionals from different health and social care teams who are experienced in helping people after a stroke. This team could include physiotherapists, speech and language therapists, occupational therapists, clinical psychologists, social workers, nurses and doctors who specialise in stroke rehabilitation. The role of each member of the team involved in your care should be explained to you and to your family/carers at each stage of your recovery”.

Some treatments described may not be suitable for you depending on your exact needs. If you think that you need more treatment or care, talk to your stroke rehabilitation team. Questions to ask:

  • Can you tell me more about how my brain can recover after a stroke?
  • What are the benefits of healing/rehabilitation actions?
  • How much recovery can I expect?
  • How many people will be looking after me and who should I talk to if I have a problem?


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page updated 23 July 2018.  © 2018 social enterprise™ Ltd.