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Exercise after minor stroke
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Exercise after minor stroke

  I'm an active, healthy 32-year old woman who had a minor stroke in December
  1997 that affected the right side of my body.  
  I have none of the risk factors for stroke, and the cause is still unknown
  and probably will never be known. I'm at about 95% now, but still have some
  arm and leg weakness and "quivering" especially when I'm exercising or have
  had a high-activity day. My neurologist told me to walk hills and run
  and bike ride as much as I can, because most of the recovery will happen in
  the first two years.  When I'm exercising and my arm and leg are feeling
  heavy, tired, and quivering, should I just keep going and keep exercising
  anyway, or is it ok for me to take a break?  My tendency, when I get tired,
  is to start doing everything that I can with my left arm and leg, and give
  my right arm and leg a rest, but will doing this reduce the ability of my
  right side to recover completely in the long-term?
  Thanks in advance for your opinions on this,
Hello Pam!
Go ahead and exercise to the best of your abilities, but use common sense. Don't kill yourself or overdo it. You will recover equally well if you're lifting 25 pounds versus 75. The important thing is to use the affected side and strengthen it gradually.Take as many breaks as you need.  Your brain will recover to whatever extent it is going to on its own, but using the affected arm/leg prevents contractures from forming and helps remind the brain so to speak that using this part of the body is a desired, important thing. Consistent gentler exercise all day long may be preferable to killing yourself, exhausting the right side, and leaving it useless at the end of the day. Expect, of course, that as you get tired in general. that the weakness or other symptoms you experience will get worse out of proportion to the rest of your body. This is expected and should not concern you. Good Luck as you continue the recovery process. If you're interested in a second opinion on the cause of your stroke to make sure all the bases were covered so to speak, Dr. Cathy Sila is one of our stroke neurologists with a special interest in stroke in the young, and is in fact actively engaged in clinical reserach on some new causes for strokes in young people. Seeing her may provide you with some new diagnostic possibilities and/or provide you with some reassurance. Our number is 1-800-223-2273 extension 45559. Please remember that information we provide on the forum is intended for general medical informational purposes only, and that the actual diagnosis and treatment of your specific medical condition should be strictly in conjunction with your treating physician(s). We hope you find the information helpful.

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