705-252-0330 hello@berginmotion.ca
Select Page

Ischemic strokes are the most common type of stroke. An ischemic stroke occurs when an artery that carries blood to the brain either becomes blocked or clogged, which results in a lack of blood flow.

Ischemic strokes are the most common type of stroke. An ischemic stroke occurs when an artery that carries blood to the brain either becomes blocked or clogged, which results in a lack of blood flow.

The Two Types of Ischemic Strokes

There are two types of ischemic strokes: thrombotic and embolic. Thrombotic strokes result from a blockage in an artery in the brain. Embolic strokes occur when a blood clot comes from somewhere else in the body and lodges in an artery or vein of the brain.

The Carotid Artery

Cartoid artery

The most common location for ischemic strokes is in the carotid arteries, which supply oxygen-rich blood to your brain. Ischemic strokes can also affect other areas in your brain. Carotid arteries are known as the “artery of memory.”

The carotid arteries run from the neck to the brain. They split at the back of your mouth into two arteries, which enter your skull and leave through holes called foramina in each side. Blood flows from these arteries to several parts of your head.

Why Ischemic Strokes Happen

Ischemic strokes occur because a blood clot (thrombus) blocks the blood flow to the brain. The site of blockage depends on which artery is affected. For example, an ischemic stroke affecting arteries in the right hemisphere of the brain may cause paralysis on one side of your body (hemiplegia). If the stroke affects arteries on both sides of your brain, it may affect consciousness and cause a coma.

A thrombus is a blood clot that forms in an artery or vein. Blood clots can form when there is damage to cells lining an artery or when the inner layer of cells (endothelium) stops working as it should.

People who have had an ischemic stroke are more likely to have another one because many factors can cause a blockage or increase your risk of developing blood clots. Some people with an ischemic stroke may be at increased risk for having a hemorrhagic stroke. A hemorrhagic stroke occurs when a blood vessel in the brain leaks or ruptures and spills into the surrounding tissue.

Risk Factors for Ischemic Strokes

Risk Factors

Risk factors for ischemic strokes include:

  • High blood pressure (hypertension)
  • Atrial fibrillation occurs when your heart’s upper chambers quiver and prevent the heart from moving forward with a regular beat
  • Heart disease, including previous heart attack, damage to the heart muscle or a condition that causes your blood vessels to narrow
  • Diabetes mellitus is a condition in which your body does not use insulin properly and can result in nerve damage, kidney problems and other health issues
  • People over the age of sixty-five are more likely to have a stroke
  • Smoking or chewing tobacco. People who smoke or chew tobacco for a long time, such as those who work in factories, are at increased risk for developing high cholesterol and atherosclerosis, which is when plaque builds up inside your arteries

Ischemic Stroke Symptoms

Major and Minor Symptoms of A stroke

Symptoms of ischemic strokes include:

  • Sudden weakness or numbness of the face, arm, or leg on one side of your body
  • Sudden confusion, trouble speaking or understanding speech
  • Sudden difficulty seeing in one or both eyes
  • Sudden headache with no known cause that is different from previous headaches
  • Sudden loss of balance or coordination, especially while walking

If you recognize these symptoms in yourself or someone else, call 911 immediately because time is crucial when treating a stroke. Emergency medical treatment can help minimize damage to brain tissue.

Most people who have an ischemic stroke recover completely. However, approximately one-third of people have a disability after their stroke.

Preventing ischemic strokes happens by making lifestyle changes, such as quitting smoking, eating healthy foods, and exercising regularly. If you are taking medication to lower your cholesterol levels or treat another condition, continue taking medicine unless your doctor tells you otherwise.

Even if you have had an ischemic stroke, you can take steps to help prevent another one.

If it is possible, your doctor may recommend surgery to clear blocked carotid arteries. If the first surgery is not successful or if you cannot have surgery, your doctor can prescribe medication to reduce blood clotting and prevent future strokes. A stent device may be placed in clogged arteries to keep them open so blood can flow normally.

If you have an ischemic stroke, your doctor can prescribe medications to lower your blood pressure if it is high or treats conditions that may complicate recovery.

Because several types of strokes affect the brain differently, it is essential to work with a doctor who has experience treating patients with better outcomes.

Recovery From a Stroke

Stroke Physiotherapy Bergin Motion Barrie, Ontario

Most people who have an ischemic stroke recover entirely; however, approximately one-third of people have a disability after their stroke.

Even if you have had an ischemic stroke, you can take steps to help prevent another one.

If it is possible, your doctor may recommend surgery to clear blocked carotid arteries. If the first surgery is not successful or if you cannot have surgery, your doctor can prescribe medication to reduce blood clotting and prevent future strokes. A stent device may be placed in clogged arteries to keep them open so blood can flow normally.

If you have an ischemic stroke, your doctor can prescribe medications to lower your blood pressure if it is high or treats conditions that may complicate recovery.

Because diverse types of strokes affect the brain differently, it is essential to collaborate with a doctor who has experience treating patients with better outcomes.

Additional Resources

The Mayo Clinic explains what is an ischemic stroke

The American Stroke Association has an article on ischemic stroke, 

About the Author

Sybille Bergin PT is a certified physiotherapist and one of the owners of Bergin Motion. Bergin Motion is a family-run Barrie Physiotherapy Clinic located in Barrie’s Southend. Sybille has been providing in-home physiotherapy for over 30 years. She specializes in treating acquired brain injuries, stroke recovery, and other related ailments. Sybille is a certified NDT practitioner. Neuro Development Therapy is a specialized hands-on treatment technique that promotes mobility, balance, core strength, and gross motor skills in a playful, fun, and dynamic way. Sybille leads a team of dedicated professionals providing first-class therapy at Bergin Motion to Barrie Ontario and surrounding areas.

About Bergin Motion

Barrie Ontario Physiotherapy

Bergin Motion is a Barrie Physiotherapy Clinic. Bergin Motion offers physiotherapy in Barrie to clients with a wide range of conditions.

The clinic in Barrie specializes in orthopedic, neurological, and pelvic health disciplines.

Bergin Motion treats clients both at their clinic and in the comfort of their own home if they cannot travel to the clinic.

Located in the south end of Barrie, Ontario, the physio clinic boasts 9000 sq. ft., with seven treatment rooms and a fully equipped gym.