A stroke is a life changing condition that needs time to recover.  Everyone who has suffered a stroke will present with different symptoms and recover in different ways.


Signs of a stroke

A stroke is considered a medical emergency.  The ACT FAST campaign highlights the main signs of a stroke because the sooner you can get medical treatment the better the outcomes.

The FAST test

  • F – Facial weakness: can the person smile? Has the face fallen on one side?
  • A – Arm weakness: can the person raise both arms and keep them there?
  • S – Speech: can the person speak clearly and understand what you say? Is the speech slurred?
  • T – Time to call 999

Act Fast

Other signs of a stroke may be:

  • Sudden blurred vision
  • Sudden severe headache
  • Sudden numbness or tingling down one side
  • Sudden confusion or dizziness

Transient Ischaemic Attack (TIA)

A TIA is when you experience signs of a stroke but they are only temporary, from few minutes until 24 hours.  This is still a medical emergency and you should call 999.

What causes a stroke?


A stroke can be caused by either a clot in the blood supply (ischaemic) or by a bleed (haemorrhagic).

  • Ischaemic – the clot lodges itself in a blood vessel in the brain and prevents blood flowing to certain areas. When there is no blood supply reaching the brain, the small area affected doesn’t get all the nutrients it needs and stops working.  This is the most common cause of all strokes.
  • Haemorrhagic – this occurs when a blood vessel/ aneurysm bursts and then bleeds into the brain. The resulting increase in pressure causes damage to the brain.

Risks of stroke


A stroke can unfortunately happen to anyone of any age.  However there are some things that increase the risk of a stroke.

High blood pressure: the increased pressure and strain throughout the blood vessels can make the vessel walls weaker. This can make the blood vessels more likely to block or burst and bleed.


High cholesterol: Cholesterol is a fatty substance in the blood. There are good and bad types of cholesterol and the build-up of too much bad cholesterol in the blood vessels can harden the arteries.

Atrial fibrillation (AF): AF is an irregular heartbeat. Due to this irregularity the blood may not pump through the vessels as smoothly and lead to small clots.  These clots could then cause an ischaemic stroke.

Diabetes: Diabetes is a condition which causes too much sugar in the blood. This can affect the balance of the blood and hardens the arteries increasing the risk of stroke.

Lifestyle factors: these include smoking, drinking too much, being overweight, eating an unhealthy diet and living an inactive lifestyle.


Symptoms of a Stroke


A Stroke can affect different people in different ways.  Depending on the location of your stroke in the brain there may be a change to the way you move, feel, think, see and speak.  It is also common to feel tired and fatigued for a few weeks following a stroke.  You may find that you have difficulty doing your previous daily activities, moving around at home, walking outdoors or returning to work.

How we can help


Stroke can be a life changing event for you and your family but there are many things that can help you manage your life after stroke.  Unfortunately we cannot tell how each person will recover but we can advise and help you to try to relearn some of the movement you may have lost.  It is important to start rehabilitation as early as possible following a stroke to give the brain and body the best chance of recovery.

Neurological Physiotherapy can help with problems such as arm or leg weakness, inco-ordination and balance.  We can help you to work on the best way to transfer, move safely in your home and in the community and provide you with an individualised home exercise programme.  We can also signpost and provide onward referrals to other agencies if necessary, for example orthotics, social services, psychological input, occupational therapy, local gyms and community support groups.


Top tips for stroke care


  • Your recovery from a stroke will take time – try to be patient with yourself and pace your activities
  • There may be changes in your emotions – don’t be afraid to ask for help to cope with feelings such as sorrow, frustration or anger
  • Keep motivated and practice movements and activities as advised by your physiotherapist
  • Stay healthy and enjoy the best quality of life you can.

Useful Local Groups


Stroke Association – 0303 303 3100

Stockport support group, Torkington – Jean Johnstone 0161 434 1934

Moving on Group, Cheadle – Paula Bernhart 07818 090677

Monday Welcome support group, Romiley – Pat Carlisle 0161 430 5807

Stockport Gardening Group, Reddish – Paul Edgerton 07594 438094

Fishing Group, Denton – Joyce Booth 0161 330 4006/ 07506733927

Headway Group, Heaton Moor – Janet Penny 0161 628 6114

Stockport Brush Strokes – Lucy Eyles 0161 430 6313

Useful Links





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