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After a Stroke

Complications after a stroke are not uncommon. Some happen as a direct result of injury to the brain due to the stroke, others may because of a change in abilities. Clinical depression can also occur with a stroke.

The most common complications are:

  • Brain edema (swelling of the brain)
  • Seizures
  • Clinical Depression
  • Bedsores
  • Limb contractures—shortened muscles in tn arm or leg from reduced range of motion or lack of exercise
  • Shoulder pain—from lack of support of arm. It usually is caused when the affected arm hangs resulting in pulling of the arm on the shoulder
  • Deep venous thrombosis—blood clots form in veins in the legs because of immobility
  • Urinary tract infection and bladder control—urgency and incontinence
  • Pneumonia


Medical treatment may include medical supervision and drug therapies.

Physical therapy may be prescribed for range of motion exercises and to avoid limb contracture and shoulder pain. Swallowing and respiratory therapy may be prescribed to decrease the risk of pneumonia. Bladder training programs may help with incontinence.

Psychological treatment may include antidepressant medication, psychotherapy or a combination of both.