Join the Movement, Don’t be the One

World Stroke Day - October 29

Sanam Rana
MPT (Orthopedics), CIHSR

Stroke occurs when there is obstruction or rupture of blood supply to the brain causing death or damaged to brain cells and leading to weakness or paralysis of opposite side of limb and trunk. This leads to restriction in mobility, daily activities of living, communication through speech is affected and loss of memory too depending on the extent of damage to the brain.

In 2017,  a survey was conducted by the Indian council of medical research (ICMR) among Indian population and found that Indians are at higher risk of developing strokes when compared to people living in US. It is also said that every 1 minute 3 Indians suffer from stroke and there are estimated 105-152 cases of stroke per 1 lakh Indian population.

Every year, world stroke day is observed on 29th of October to bring awareness in the public platform on the prevention of stroke and its potential complications leading to impairment and disability. According to world-stroke organization 1 in 4 of us could develop stroke and it is the leading cause of disability worldwide.

Prevention plays a key role to avoid stroke and stroke associated impairment. Avoid sedentary behavior as this is a common risk factor that can lead to lifestyle diseases such as Hypertension and Diabetes which can increase the chances of developing stroke. Take every possible way to prevent stroke by getting engaged in physical activity and do all sorts of movements. Let’s not be among 1 in 4 in developing the risk of stroke.


Stroke is preventable and it can be prevented by addressing the risk factors mentioned below.

•     Manage High Blood Pressure and take low salt diet

•     Control Diabetes and High cholesterol. Avoid diet rich with trans fats, and saturated fats

•     Seek medical treatment for Heart condition known as Atrial Fibrillation

•     Quit Smoking & consuming Alcohol

•     Reduce Obesity

•     Avoid Stress and Depression

•     And be physically Active


Recognizing the signs of stroke and seeking medical help FAST can help to prevent further damage to the Brain and improve the outcome of stroke. FAST is an acronym and it’s an indicator to understand and recognize the signs of Stroke and seek medical treatment as early as possible to prevent potential complications cause by stroke.

F (Face) - Drooping of face on one side 

A (Arm) - Arm weak on one side when compared to the other side

S (Speech) - Difficulty to speak or slurred speech 

T (Time) - Time is precious in stroke. Act FAST when someone have stroke and take the patient to the nearest hospital for medical management immediately to reduce damage to the brain cells. When you act FAST, survival and recovery outcome is better.


During the medical treatment when patient’s hemodynamic and vitals are stable then Rehabilitation should begin immediately to prevent stroke associated complications of musculoskeletal origin. Intensive rehabilitation can be started once patient is shifted to ward from critical care unit.After Stroke, early rehabilitation plays a major and critical role in the treatment program. It can make a huge difference in improving the lost function and will also help to regain independence in mobility and day today activities. It could also achieve a better quality of life. 

In stroke rehabilitation,evidence supports that multidisciplinary team approach showed improved & better outcomes when compared to conventional approach or a one team approach.Multidisciplinary team includes Physician, Physiotherapists, Occupational therapists, Prosthetist & Orthotist, Speech & language pathologists, Clinical Psychologist, Social worker, and includes the caregiver too. Multidisciplinary team provides a holistic care approach and make a significant amount of contribution to rehabilitate stroke survivor giving a better quality of life. Therefore, team work plays an outmost importance role in stroke rehabilitation.

Physiotherapists are Rehab professional experts in movement and mobility and are the key integral component of stroke rehabilitation team. Physiotherapists addresses the physical function issues and plan early recovery of the patient by providing a specialized care in prevention of stroke associated impairments and focus on improving strength, balance, coordination, and mobility which ultimately helps to achieve functional independence. This gives a positive impact on the Quality of life of the patient. Studies have found that intensive physiotherapy after stroke could reduce poor outcome and enhance the recovery rate when the therapy is started early. 


•     Do not delay in Medical treatment and Rehabilitation to achieve early & maximum possible recovery by avoiding the complications.

•     Advised not to do any form of massage in stroke as it can lead to a permanent damage to the paralyzed side of shoulder joint leading to subluxation or impingement syndrome and also sometimes massage can trigger &develop a painful disorder of the paralyzed limb known as shoulder-hand syndrome. 

•     Seek Stroke rehabilitation from Qualified Rehab Professional. 

“Be Physically Active and Engage in all Sorts of Movement”

(The writer is Senior Physiotherapist at Christian Institute of Health Sciences & Research, Dimapur)