This month we want to raise awareness of Stroke including the signs and symptoms to look out for. Show support by wearing purple this month.  A Stroke occurs every 5 minutes in the UK. It can happen to anyone at any age and time. There are around 80,000 people a year who are admitted to hospital with a Stroke. There are approximately 1 million Stroke survivors in England.

Signs of a Stroke:

Face: can the person smile? Has their face fallen on one side?

Arms: can the person raise both arms and keep them there?

Speech Problems: Can the person speak clearly and understand what you say? Is their speech slurred?

Time: The quicker the person seeks help the quicker they will receive appropriate treatment

Other symptoms of Stroke:

  • Sudden weakness or numbness on one side of the body, including legs, hands or feet
  • Difficulty finding words or speaking in clear sentences
  • Sudden blurred vision or loss of sight in one or both eyes
  • Sudden memory loss or confusion, and dizziness, or a sudden fall
  • A sudden, severe headaches

Risk factors of a Stroke

  • Age – commonly occurring over 55 years old
  • Gender- women are at a higher risk than men due to birth control pills and pregnancy
  • Prior stroke
  • High blood pressure
  • Smoking
  • Diabetes
  • High cholesterol
  • Obesity
  • TIA’s
  • Some blood disorders e.g. sickle cell anaemia
  • Heart disease
  • Excessive alcohol intake
  • Sleep apnea

A Transient Ischaemic Attack (mini Stroke)

A TIA is similar to a stroke, but the only difference is that the blockage usually caused by a blood clot is temporary and the blood supply returns to normal causing symptoms to disappear. Approximately 1 in 3 people who have a TIA will eventually have a stroke.

How to prevent a Stroke

  • Decrease stress levels
  • Have regular medical checkups
  • Reach and maintain a healthy weight
  • Get your blood pressure checked regularly
  • Be physically active – Try to do 30 minutes of exercise a day

by Anita Singadia, Osteopath and Sports Massage Therapy