Can You Fully Regain Arm Strength After Stroke

One of the most common side effects of a stroke is the loss of arm strength, which can be difficult to regain. For some, the weakness may be permanent, though others may regain full use of their arms with the proper treatment.

During a stroke, brain cells are damaged or die, causing issues with the rest of your body. Part of recovery includes stroke rehab, a customizable program featuring several therapy options, including physical therapy, which is crucial for stroke patients. These programs help you relearn lost abilities, including strength, speech, and movement. Trained therapists work with you to regain independence and improve your quality of life.

If you are in Queens, NY, contact us for more information on outpatient or inpatient rehab therapies.

Physical therapist giving arm therapy to a senior woman to regain arm strength after stroke.

Arm Strength After Stroke – Is Regaining it Possible?

Strokes cause various issues, which worsen the longer you go without medical attention. A loss of arm strength is the most common problem, affecting over 70% of patients 1. Such weakness affects several aspects of daily life, making even simple tasks difficult.

One issue is reduced coordination, causing slow or clumsy movements. Even simple tasks like picking up small objects become almost impossible 2.

Weakness in the arm may lead to partial or full paralysis. The hand, wrist, elbow, and shoulder could all be affected on one or both sides of the body. That is one of the reasons that regaining arm strength after stroke depends on various factors.

Muscle changes often cause changes to how your arms feel, including stiff or tight sensations. Such occurrences may cause the muscles to shorten over time.

Rather than tightness, some people experience loose or floppy sensations in the muscles. These could be accompanied by hypersensitivity or pins and needles, which are extremely uncomfortable.

As well as arm strength issues after stroke, you may experience swelling in the affected limb. Muscle changes often cause pain, making the issues you’re dealing with far worse.

Can weak arms be permanent?

How much arm strength is lost after a stroke and how to regain it and how long it lasts isn’t identical for every patient. For some individuals, weakness is temporary, and they regain full use of their arm in only a few weeks 3.

For others, the damage is long-term, while some never regain the full use of their arm 4. These arm issues and other side effects depend on a few factors. These include what part of the brain was affected and how much damage was done. How quickly you seek treatment is also related to recovery.

How long will it take to get your arm back?

As we mentioned above, there is no set timeline for when you regain your post-stroke arm strength. The extent of the damage varies, so individuals don’t recover at the same rate. Proper treatment is also a factor, so consulting your doctor and beginning therapy as soon as possible is vital.

Stroke rehab includes several possible therapies to improve motor skills, mobility, flexibility, and function 5. Following your therapist’s advice closely speeds up your recovery. The more motivated you are, the faster you’ll regain arm strength after a stroke.


  1. Resistive strength training for arm rehabilitation after a stroke
  2. Upper limb management after stroke
  3. Arm care after a stroke
  4. Effects of stroke
  5. Stroke rehabilitation: What to expect as you recover
This article contains informational and educational materials and does not replace health or medical advice. For questions or concerns regarding your medical condition or health objectives, speak to a qualified physician or healthcare provider.