Close to 800,000 people in the United States experience a stroke each year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The effects of a stroke can last long after the stroke occurs, and some may arise over time. These effects can be distressing, and prescription medications can only go so far in treating them, which is why many patients are turning to alternative treatments for stroke recovery.
Common Post-Stroke Symptoms
A stroke happens when there is an interruption of blood flow to an area of the brain. This causes brain damage, which is why the effects of a stroke can vary widely and be debilitating. Common post-stroke symptoms go beyond the physical and can be emotional and social as well.
Common physical symptoms include:
- Weakness or paralysis on one side of the body.
- Feeling off-balance and having difficulty with coordination.
- Changes or disruption in vision.
- Difficulty communicating.
- Cognitive challenges.
- Muscle pain, headaches, back pain and neck pain.
- Difficulty sleeping.
- Muscle spasticity.
Emotional and social symptoms can stem from the sadness and depression some experience after a stroke. Some patients also experience behavioral changes post-stroke.
Alternative Treatments for Stroke Recovery
Traditional treatments for a stroke are limited. Physical and occupational therapy can provide powerful results, but many patients are left taking medications with significant side effects for pain, difficulty sleeping and seizures.
Alternative treatments can aid stroke recovery, helping patients lead a better quality of life so they can more fully focus on therapy. Some promising alternative treatments include:
- Acupuncture. This practice has its roots in Chinese medicine, and it may help with pain, spasticity and cognitive function.
- CBD oil. CBD acts as a neuroprotectant, so it may help repair the damage from a stroke. CBD can also help with pain, depression, muscle spasms and insomnia. CBD oil can be taken as a capsule, a tincture (a liquid taken under the tongue), a spray and as a topical treatment.
- Yoga and tai chi. Both practices focus on slow, deliberate movements which can help with balance and strength.
- Massage therapy. Massage can improve mood and relieve pain.
- Herbal and plant-based remedies. A wide range of plant-based and herbal remedies can help with post-stroke symptoms including pain, difficulty sleeping and muscle spasticity.
Which Treatment Is Right for You?
The right treatment for you depends on several factors: your specific symptoms, your prescription medications and your overall health history. To make an informed decision about which treatments to pursue, it’s essential to visit an integrative medicine professional. Doctors who practice integrative medicine take the best of both conventional treatments and alternative treatments for stroke recovery. They make decisions based on what will best serve you as a patient.
Dr. Daniel P. Stein is an integrative medicine practitioner with a background in neurology, which gives him in-depth insights into stroke recovery. He has more than 25 years of practice experience and provides friendly, professional care. He works closely with patients to help them live the highest quality of life possible.
Ready to learn more about alternative treatments for stroke recovery? Contact Dr. Stein today for an appointment.