Cerebrovascular Accident AKA Stroke

This week at Elite Physical Therapy and Balance, we are examining cerebrovascular accidents (CVA), otherwise commonly known as strokes.  A stroke is the sudden lack of oxygen to the brain caused by a blockage or rupture of an artery to the brain.  Arteries supply blood, oxygen, and nutrients to the brain. There are three ways an artery can be damaged resulting in a CVA.

    • Embolic Stroke – A piece of the fatty debris that is found in arteries can break away and block blood flow to the brain.
    • Thrombotic Stroke – Caused when a blood clot is formed in the artery blocking blood flow.
    • Hemorrhagic Stroke – Also called a cerebral hemorrhage, is caused when there is a torn artery in the brain, causing blood to spill out.

There are many different signs and symptoms of a CVA. All symptoms depend on what area of the brain the damage has occurred. Below is a list of the most common symptoms of a stroke.

    • Doubled or blurred vision
    • Difficulty swallowing, talking, walking, and/or understanding
    • Weakness, tingling, and/or numbness to one side of the body
    • Dizziness
    • Headaches

Living a healthy lifestyle helps to prevent risk of a CVA. Listed below are several risk factors associated with risk of a stroke.

    • Smoking
    • Excessive drinking of alcohol
    • Heart disease
    • High blood pressure
    • Family history
    • Diabetes
    • Atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries)
    • High cholesterol

A CVA can be diagnosed by performing a full medical history and a physical examination by your doctor. Tests are done to search for treatable causes of a stroke and help prevent further brain damage.  A CAT scan is often done to show bleeding into the brain; this is treated differently than a stroke caused by lack of blood supply. A CAT scan also can rule out some other conditions that may mimic a stroke.

If you or a loved one is recovering from a stroke, please come see us for a free consultation to see how we can assist you in your recovery.  To request an appointment, click here, or call directly to one of our three locations during regular business hours:

Cool Springs: 615-224-9810
Shelbyville: 931-684-0027
Spring Hill: 931-489-2022

Disclaimer:  The information in this blog is intended to be informational only, and is not intended to be used in lieu of medical care.  Consult a doctor or a physical therapist before attempting treatment on your own.

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