Exercises For Stroke Patients

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picture exercises for stroke patients 1

Exercises For Stroke Patients

Reclaim Mobility With Leg Exercises For Stroke Recovery Saebo Monday, September 28th, 2015 Caregiver AdviceEvidence-Based TreatmentLegs and MobilityMobilityOccupational Therapist InfoPhysical Therapist InfoRehabilitation NursingSaeboStepstrengtheningTherapist AdviceWeakness Reclaim Mobility With Leg Exercises For Stroke Recovery Stroke recovery can be a long process. Managing the ongoing need to rebuild bodily control and strength after neurological damage is no easy task. Each year nearly 800,000 people in the United States alone will suffer from a stroke, leaving them with ongoing physical and neurological damage. If you have suffered from a stroke, loss of balance and control can make standing and walking difficult. While outpatient stroke recovery therapy is vital to improving this problem, you can also continue improving after returning home with the help of these leg exercises for stroke recovery. Richard Sealy, director of The Rehab Practice, a private neuro-therapy rehabilitation program in the United Kingdom, regularly works with individuals, families, and caregivers to establish custom exercise routines to aid in recovery from from long-term neurological problems, like the damage caused by stroke. While he acknowledges that each patient should have a custom exercise routine specific and personal to their struggles, he recommends a series of exercises to help strengthen the legs and improve range of motion during stroke recovery. Sealy understands the importance of fast progress after a stroke, and including ongoing at-home exercises can improve health and well-being. These low-impact strength and stretching leg exercises for stroke recovery are a good complement to use in conjunction with the Saebo MyoTrac Infiniti biofeedback system. As with any exercise program, please consult your healthcare provider before you begin. If you notice increased pain, discomfort, or other troubling systems, stop these exercises immediately and talk to your doctor. Exercise #1 – Standing and Balance Balance and coordination are often lost after a stroke. This can make simple actions, like standing and walking, difficult. In addition, weakness can occur around the muscles on the exterior of the hip area. Exercises for standing and balance are vital to helping you regain your quality of life after a stroke. When performing these exercises, always hold onto a table or similar stable surface to avoid a fall. Basic Level Standing and Balance Exercise Hold on to a stable surface, standing straight and tall while you transfer your weight to one side. Swing the other leg to the side. Use your balance to hold this position for 10 seconds. Slowly lower your leg back down. Repeat a few times, as long as you have the strength, and then switch legs. Intermediate Standing and Balance Exercises Once you have mastered the first exercise, move on to the intermediate level. Again, hold on to a stable surface, keeping your back tall and straight. Transfer your weight to one leg, and bring the other leg up in front of you, bending the knee. Hold this position for a count of 10, and slowly lower it back down. Repeat, then switch legs. Advanced Standing and Balance Exercises Finally, progress to the advanced level. This time, stand straight and tall and transfer your weight to one leg. Swing the other leg out behind you as far as you can. Hold for 10 seconds, if you can, and lower it back down slowly. Repeat and switch legs. This progression of exercises will strengthen the hip muscle and improve balance, so you can regain normal use of your legs. This exercise series pairs well with the Saebo MayoTrac Infiniti biofeedback triggered stimulation system. Exercise #2 – Bridging Often after a stroke, the hips and the core muscle groups, which are crucial to standing and walking, become weak. Bridging exercises help to strengthen these core muscles. Like the standing and balance exercises, bridging exercises move through a progression to help rebuild your strength and coordination. Basic Bridging Exercise The basic bridging exercise, called “Inner Range Quad Movement”, builds strength in the thigh muscles. To perform this exercise, lay down and place a pillow or rolled towel under the knee joint. Then, press the back of the knee into the pillow or rolled towel to lift your heel off the floor. Intermediate Bridging Exercise “Ski Squats” take bridging exercises to the next level. For this exercise, lean against a flat wall, placing your feet in front of you. Using the wall to support your weight and your back, slowly bend your knees to lower yourself down. Hold this position for 10 seconds, if you can. Slide back up, supporting your weight on the wall, until you are in a standing position. Advanced Bridging Exercise To take bridging exercises to the advanced level, repeat the “Ski Squat”, but place a gym ball between yourself and the wall when you bend your knees into the squat position. Exercise #3 – Clams If the lower legs are affected after a stroke, Clams can provide strengthening and improved range of motion. Clams focuses on building strength and coordination in the lower leg, increasing range of motion and control. Basic Clams Exercise – In Sitting Before starting Clams, you must stretch the calf muscle and build coordination in the lower body. In Sitting helps with this. In a sitting position, create a stirrup around one foot using a towel or belt, placing the stirrup around the ball of the foot. Gently pull the stirrup up towards your body to stretch the calf muscle. Then, pull it with the outer hand to turn the foot out, continuing to stretch the muscle. Intermediate Clams Exercise Once you have build some flexibility, you are ready for the Clams exercise. Lay down on your side, and bend your knees, resting one on top of the other. Then, while you keep your feet together, lift the upper knee away from the other knee, holding them apart for a count of 10 seconds. Slowly lower your knee back down. While performing this exercise, make sure that you do not roll your hips back. Advanced Clams Exercise After mastering Clams, take it to the next level by lifting the knee and the foot of the upper leg. Again, hold the position for a count of 10 seconds. Lower it back down. Repeat a few times to build strength and range of motion. Rebuild Strength and Coordination with Stroke Recovery Exercises Strokes can occur in people of any age, although nearly 75% of all strokes occur after the age of 65, and an individual’s risk doubles after 55. Each year, approximately 600,000 people suffer from their first stroke, and an additional 185,000 have a recurrent stroke. If you have suffered one or more strokes, it can be easy to feel discouraged at the lack of mobility and control you experience. Stroke exercises, like these, can help you regain that control and build up your strength again, so you can recover from the neurological damage of a stroke. For extra support in advancing your recovery after a stroke, check out the many advanced products from Saebo to help you every step of the way. ___________________________________________ Whether you are a caregiver, occupational therapist or even a stroke survivor yourself, Saebo  provides stroke survivors young or old access to transformative and life changing products. We pride ourselves on providing affordable, easily accessible, and cutting-edge solutions to people suffering from impaired mobility and function. We have several products to help with the stroke recovery and rehabilitation process.  From the SaeboFlex, which allows clients to incorporate their hand functionally in therapy or at home, to the SaeboMAS, an unweighting device used to assist the arm during daily living tasks and exercise training, we are commitment to helping create innovative products for stroke recovery.  Check out all of our product offerings or let us help you find which product is right for you. All content provided on this blog is for informational purposes only and is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. If you think you may have a medical emergency, call your doctor or 911 immediately. Reliance on any information provided by the Saebo website is solely at your own risk. 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exercises for stroke patients 1

Exercises For Stroke Patients

As you go searching for the best exercises for stroke recovery, it’s incredibly important to consider your unique situation. Because every stroke is different, and the best exercises for you the best might not be the best for someone else. So before we suggest some of the best exercises, we’re going to tell you how to make the exercises that you’re already doing better. Then we will share a few examples of awesome stroke rehab exercises that came straight from our FlintFit stroke therapy DVDs. The Best Exercises All Revolve Around One Thing You know about neuroplasticity, right? We talk about it a lot on the blog because it’s the #1 thing that all stroke survivors should know about. To put it briefly, neuroplasticity is the mechanism that your brain uses to rewire itself after injury. It’s how neurons form new connections in your brain. And these new connections will become responsible for restoring movement in your body, among numerous other responsibilities. In order for neuroplasticity to take place, you need repetitive practice and immaculate consistency. Let’s break each of these down. And These 2 Other Things Repetitive practice simply involves doing exercises many times, over and over and over. This is extremely important because repetition reinforces the new neural connections in your mind. For example, each time you perform a rubber band exercise with your hand, you reinforce the neural connections responsible for hand movement in your brain. The more you exercise, the better your brain becomes at moving your hand. As you can see, rehab has less to do with your muscles and everything to do with the brain. Then, once you have repetitive practice down, you need to do it consistently. Without good consistency, the new connections in your brain will begin to weaken from the lack of stimulation. It’s just like learning a language. As time passes without practice, you begin to forget the language because the new neural connections in your brain begin to weaken. As long as you’re repetitive and consistent when you exercise, you will be in great shape because that’s how the brain recovers after stroke. Rehab starts in the brain, not the body. The Best Stroke Exercises for You Might Be Different for Someone Else The best stroke exercises for you are the ones that are both challenging yet safely doable. As you can imagine, this looks different for almost everyone. The best rule of thumb is to start small and slow and work your way up from there. As long as you feel challenged, then your brain has the stimulation it needs to recovery. This is the advantage of using rehabilitation tools that incorporate different levels of difficulty. That way  you can always find the perfect level of challenge. You will achieve the most healing possible by increasing the difficulty level of your exercises as you progress. That’s the biggest benefit behind our stroke rehabilitation video program, FlintFit, and our hand therapy device, MusicGlove. They each feature different levels of difficulty to keep you constantly challenged. Now let’s move onto some examples. Core Exercises Some of the best core exercises for stroke recovery involve isolation. Two excellent stroke exercises that isolate your core safely are trunk rotations (twists) and lateral trunk flexion (oblique crunches). Trunk Rotation (Twists) Image featuring Cassie, DPT, from FlintFit From a seated position, place your right hand on the outside of your left thigh. With your back straight, use your arm to help twist your torso to the left. And if you can’t move your right hand, then you can use your left hand to assist it. Be sure to keep your spine straight and don’t twist to the point of pain. Aim to engage your core and get a good core exercise in. Repeat on each side 15 times. Lateral Trunk Flexion (Oblique Crunch) From a seated position, dip your left shoulder down towards your left hip. Then, return to an upright position by focusing on using your core to pull yourself up. If you can’t fully complete this exercise yet, then you can use your arm to push yourself back up. Repeat on each side 15 times. Leg Exercise A great way to work on both your inner and outer leg control is with… Hip Adductions Image featuring Liliana, DPT, from FlintFit For this exercise, sit in a chair and lift your affected leg slightly off the floor. Your leg should remain bent at 90 degrees, but your foot should hover over the floor. Then, kick your leg outward like you’re kicking a ball. Then, kick your leg inward. Try to perform 20 repetitions. Arm Exercises When you exercise your arms, it’s important to focus on your arm and shoulders. It’s very important not to neglect your shoulders. So first, we will show you a great exercise for shoulder mobility called… Punching Movements Image featuring Barbara, OTA, from FlintFit While seated at a table, place a water bottle arms distance in front of you. Then, make a fist with your affected hand as best you can and glide your forearm across the table and punch the water bottle. Be sure to keep your elbow and forearm on the table. Pay close attention to shifting your weight into your affected side and try your best to avoid letting your affected shoulder lift. Elevating your affected shoulder is your body’s way of compensating for weakened or stiff shoulder muscles (and avoiding compensation is the best way to get better). If you can’t help but lift your affected shoulder, that’s okay. Putting in the effort to try is still helping your brain relearn how to use those muscles. Do 10 repetitions. Then, the best exercise for your arms is the good, ol’ classic… Bicep Curls To perform a bicep curl, grab a water bottle or dumbbell and hold it parallel to the floor. Then, bring it up towards your shoulder while bending at the elbow. Be sure to keep that elbow glued to your side. Do 20 repetitions. Too difficult? Ditch the weight and prop your arm up on a table, keeping your elbow stationary on the table to isolate your bicep. Hand Exercise You’ll notice that all the previous exercises involve 10-20 repetitions each. And in the beginning of this article, we mentioned that you need lots of repetition in order to regain movement in your body. It can be a slow process if you try to regain movement in your hand with just one hundred (or so) repetitions per day. And that’s why rehabilitation devices like MusicGlove are the best form of hand therapy available. MusicGlove incorporates thousands of repetition into one half hour session. It’s like fitting a week and a half of rehabilitation into one day. Which is why the device can help improve hand function quickly in just 2 weeks. It’s the best hand therapy exercise around. Exercise Videos for Stroke Recovery Now that you know what the best stroke rehabilitation exercises are, it’s time to put them into action. To watch all of these exercises and hundreds more in video format, checkout our FlintFit stroke therapy DVDs. Our videos are all guided by licensed therapists, and they include great verbal and visual instruction. We hope you like them!

Exercises For Stroke Patients

Exercises For Stroke Patients
Exercises For Stroke Patients
Exercises For Stroke Patients
Exercises For Stroke Patients
Exercises For Stroke Patients

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