How Long Does it Take to Recover From a Stroke?


Every 40 seconds, someone in the Unites States suffers a stroke.  Approximately 10% of them make a full recovery. Another 25% recover with some impairment, and approximately 40% will have severe impairments that require special care. The best way to increase the likelihood of a maximum recovery from stroke is to start a strong stroke rehabilitation program right away. But it’s also important to remember that recovery won’t happen overnight.

When someone experiences a stroke, one of the first questions their loved ones ask is how long it will take to recover. There is no single answer to this question. Some patients will recover in a few months, and others may take as long as a few years.  Stroke recovery depends on where in the brain the stroke took place, how much of the brain was affected, the health of the patient prior to the stroke, how committed the patient is to recovery, and the strength of the patient’s stroke rehabilitation program.

Exercise for stroke recovery

Exercise is an important component of recovering from a stroke. It can help you restore your balance; recover your fine motor skills, coordination, and muscle functions; control your cholesterol levels; fight high blood pressure; and stave off the depression that can creep in after experiencing the trauma of a stroke. In essence, exercise can help improve your overall wellness, and reduce the risk of further stroke.

In the early days following s stroke, the patient may only be able to perform passive exercises, where they use the non-affected side of their body to assist the affected side. Even though this may not feel like the kind of exercise the patient is accustomed to, these stroke exercises help to reconnect mind to muscle and increase the likelihood of regaining muscle function and overcoming paralysis. The types of exercises for stroke rehabilitation include:

  • Strengthening exercises

  • Eye exercises

  • Balance and coordination exercises

  • Range of motion exercises

  • Speech exercises

An effective stroke rehabilitation program will include a customized exercise program overseen by a team that may include doctors, physical therapists, occupational therapists, speech therapists, and other care providers.

What to look for in a stroke rehabilitation program

The sooner stroke rehabilitation begins, the higher the likelihood of maximizing recovery.  Stroke rehabilitation usually begins with physical therapy sessions at the hospital soon after the stroke, and depending on the severity of the stroke and the needs of the patient, will either continue through home care, at an outpatient facility, or at a stroke rehab center. When looking for a stroke rehabilitation program, there are a number of factors to consider:

  • How long has the stroke rehab center been in operation?

  • Does the program offer a range of therapies for stroke patients?

  • Is there a team approach to patient care?

  • Is the staff experienced in stroke recovery?

  • Is medical care available at the stroke rehab center?

  • Is there a formal system for evaluating the progress of stroke patients?

Patient comfort is also crucial when it comes to stroke rehabilitation. This includes safety and security in a residential setting, comfort with care providers, and additional services that help meet the emotional and physical needs of patients. Visiting facilitates and meeting care providers in person prior to committing to a particular stroke rehab center is an important part of determining whether or not the program will be a good fit.  

Stroke rehabilitation at Bella Vista Health Center

At Bella Vista Health Center, we strive to create a comfortable and nurturing atmosphere for all of our patients. Our team of doctors, therapists, and other care providers are compassionate, highly skilled, and committed to helping each patient recover, rehabilitate, and regain the maximum amount of independence possible. If you or a loved one is in need of stroke rehabilitation, pulmonary rehabilitation, physical therapy, occupational therapy, speech therapy, short term rehab, or any of our other services, please come visit our skilled nursing facility in Lemon Grove or give us a call at 619-644-1000 today.