Stroke Facts



  • In the UK, over 157,000 people have a stroke or mini-stroke every year
  • Most people who have strokes are over 65, but one in four strokes happen in younger people.  That’s 40,000 people a year
  • There is an increasing body of literature showing that exercise is of benefit to people after stroke:
  • Promotes physical recovery
  • Enhances mood
  • Reduces stress
  • Increases self-confidence


What is a stroke?

Strokes happen when the blood supply to the brain is disrupted. This damages or destroys parts of the brain. There are two main types of stroke:

Ischaemic strokes occur when the blood supply to part of the brain is blocked. This starves that area of oxygen, killing or damaging the brain cells there.

Arteries supplying the brain with blood can be blocked by blood clots, fat globules or air bubbles in the blood stream. About 85% of strokes are ischaemic strokes.

Haemorrhagic strokes occur when an artery in or on the surface of the brain bursts and starts bleeding. This kills or damages brain cells in that region. Around 15% of strokes are haemorrhagic strokes.


Stroke symptoms

The symptoms of a stroke vary depending on what type of stroke it is, what area of the brain is damaged, and how severe it is.

Stroke symptoms usually come on very suddenly, although sometimes new symptoms appear over the course of hours or days. They can include:


  • Weakness, numbness or inability to move your face, arm or leg on one side of your body
  • Blurred vision or loss of sight in one or both eyes
  • Difficulty speaking or understanding what people are saying
  • Confusion
  • Severe headache
  • Dizziness and/or losing your balance
  • Difficulty swallowing – this can increase the risk of choking
  • Passing out

Symptoms, treatment and medication for haemorrhagic strokes are different from ischaemic stroke. 

Symptoms for haemorrhagic stroke may include headache and vomiting.


Benefits of exercise after stroke

  • Improved overall fitness

  • Improved muscle strength
Improved co-ordination and balance

  • Reduced risk of falls

  • Reduced fatigue

  • Enhanced mood
Improved quality of life

  • Improved confidence
Social benefits

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Step Ahead Aberdeen Registered charity number SCO44783

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Step Ahead Aberdeen c/o Spear Physiotherapy

Aberdeen Sports Village

Linksfield Road


AB24 5RU

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