Professor shares health tips for preventing stroke

Having a stroke can be a debilitating and life changing event for an individual and their family. Regardless of one's age or family history, 90 percent of strokes are preventable.

In honor of World Stroke Day on October 29, University of the Sciences Associate Professor of Physical Therapy Greg Thielman, PT, MSPT, EdD, is sharing tips for preventing stroke. Stoke is a disease that affects the arteries leading to and within the brain and is the fifth leading cause of death in the U.S., killing nearly 130,000 people a year.

"There are many things that you can do to modify your risk of a stroke," said Dr. Thielman. "The effects of a stroke are so varied and can have great ramifications on a patient and their family that prevention is paramount."

Stroke prevention tips:

- Get moving: Being inactive, obese, or both can increase high blood pressure, diabetes, heart disease, and stroke. Getting out and active for a total of 30 minutes of exercise a day can reduce the risks. In patients who have already experienced a stroke, active circuit training may reduce the chance of another stroke, according to ongoing research conducted at USciences by Dr. Thielman.

- Be aware of Afib: Atrial Fibrulation (Afib) is an irregular or "racing" heartbeat that can cause blood to collect, thus forming a clot, which can travel to the brain and cause a stroke. Afib increases the risk of stroke by 500 percent, but nearly all Afib-related strokes are preventable. Check if you have Afib by doing a monthly pulse test. Checking each month will help you identify irregularities:
Step 1: Turn your left hand so your palm is facing up. Place the first two fingers of your right hand on the outer edge of your left wrist just below where you wrist and thumb meet
Step 2: Slide your fingers toward the center of your wrist and press your fingers down onto your wrist until you feel your pulse. Be careful not to press too hard. Your pulse should be easy to feel.
Step 3: Pay attention to the rhythm of your pulse for 60 seconds. Don't count the beats.  A regular pulse will feel even and consistent. An irregular pulse, a sign of Afib, will be erratic and unpredictable.
Afib is treatable with anti-coagulation treatments or blood thinners or other non-prescription treatments, such as electrical stimulation (cardioversion) to restore a regular heart rhythm.

- An apple a day: Eating a diet low in saturated fat, trans fat and cholesterol is important to heart and brain health. A diet that includes five or more servings of fruits and vegetables may reduce the risk of stroke.

-Quit smoking: Nicotine and carbon monoxide found in cigarettes produces several effects that damage the cerebrovascular system and can cause stroke. The risk of stroke is increased in women who smoke in combination with using oral contraceptives.

It is also important to know the signs of a stroke, said Dr. Thielman. The acronym FAST is an easy way to remember the sudden signs of stroke: Face drooping; arm weakness; speech difficulty; time to call 9-1-1.

"Taking the time to be aware of the risk factors of stroke is worth it in the long run for both you and your family," he said.


University of the Sciences


  1. Miles Prada Miles Prada United States says:

    It doesn't help when your doctor now requires 2 office visits per year to receive cholesterol medication so have to cut own dosage in half so only have to go to doctor once a year.

  2. Raj kumar Bhushan Raj kumar Bhushan India says:

    Pulse test to find irregular heart beat/arrhythmia is a simple way to diagnose personal health.If it occurs then what a person need to do?If a person finds this situation what he/she suppose to do,till to reach a doctor.

  3. Raj kumar Bhushan Raj kumar Bhushan India says:

    Is it justified to go for ECG,if this situation persist?What a doctor prescribe is generally a set of tests.They may be necessary or a burden.Why not a diagnosis is made clear?If sign and symptom a doctor study then it can be applied in practice too.It is quiet awkward in India to find,most of the professional are going to be at business side.If every thing a report has to do only then what they study?

  4. Raj kumar Bhushan Raj kumar Bhushan India says:

    My one known friend's relative was admitted into AIIMS for cardiac problem.Dr. prescribed  a set of tests without writing at least a provisional diagnosis for that patient.After a huge bunch of reports dr. advised to undergo bypass surgery.Now it happened and later on complications developed.Dr. and hospital refused to burden responsibility and patient went back with disappointment.Now as i run a digital health care services co.,he approached to me.I analyzed and shown to my expert team of USA,they were shocked.What exactly was done the thing was actually related with ventricle muscle weakness and valve irregularities.It was over sighted and the angiography was done simply(as aorta was having cholesterol deposits).Now as per suggestion i made an appointment in USA and that person got treated for both malfunctions.Later time is over for more than 2 years.But that patient has never complained about any complication yet.This is Indian side of top college treatment.Under medical tourism many NRI ask me to arrange for AIIMS or like wise hospitals in India for cheap treatment.I say better go t Italy,Japan,Singapore but not here.

The opinions expressed here are the views of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of News Medical.
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