A stroke is a serious medical condition and occurs when the blood supply to part of the brain is adversely affected in either one of two ways; an ischaemic stroke or a haemorrhagic stroke.
An ischaemic stroke occurs when the blood supply to a part of the brain is occluded by a blood clot (70% of strokes are of this sort). A haemorrhagic stroke is where one of the blood vessels in the brain ruptures. In both cases, damage is caused to the brain leading to the symptoms associated with strokes including loss of speech, loss of the use of one side of the body and eyesight disturbance.
Stroke patients may encounter early warning signs including sudden numbness or weakness of the face, arm or leg, especially on one side of the body; sudden confusion, trouble speaking or understanding; sudden trouble seeing in one or both eyes and sudden trouble walking, dizziness, loss of balance or coordination. Certain factors can increase the risk of a stroke such as smoking, high blood pressure (hypertension), obesity, high cholesterol levels and a family history of heart disease, or diabetes.
If you have had a stroke, you can make great progress in regaining your independence, however, some problems may continue. These include weakness, on both or one side of the body; trouble with thinking, awareness, attention, learning, judgment, and memory. People who have had a stroke may also have problems understanding or forming speech or pain in the hands and feet that worsens with movement and temperature changes.
Your doctor should be able to give you advice and support on things you can do to help with your health following a stroke including physical therapy.
If you are immobile for extended periods of time, this can cause your feet to swell so you may benefit from wearing extra wide fit shoes as well as extra roomy socks and hosiery. Roomy shoes for stroke patients can provide some welcome pain relief for swollen feet.
Find out more about stroke.