Posted in movement recovery after stroke

Exercise helps the brain to recover movements after stroke

Exercise helps the brain to recover movements after stroke. Here is how it happens! Exercise brings new neurons and new connections. This is exciting news; First, exercise stimulates neurons to release a special protein; the ” Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor” (in short, BDNF)1. This protein appears in blood only as a response to exercise. Keep in mind researchers have shown its presence as a response to aerobic exercise1; however, they believe resistance type of exercise too may also stimulate neurons to release this protein. What does this protein (BDNF) do? Second, this protein triggers a series of changes in multiple areas…

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Posted in Best practices movement recovery after stroke

Best practices to regain walking ability after stroke

Basic rules As in the case of regaining arm and hand movements, the following six basic rules to recover movements after stroke apply to regain walking after stroke. This post looks at the evidence about how caregivers should apply the above rules in their efforts of regaining walking ability. Assess severity The journey begins with a severity assessment. A specially trained physiotherapist should assess and start physiotherapy according to the NICE guidelines1. Start early Starting to move as early as possible, between 24 – 48 hours2, after stroke yields better recovery of walking ability as in the case of all…

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Posted in movement recovery after stroke

Six rules to regain movements after stroke

Yes, we can help the brain to recover movements after a stroke. Yes, for best results, it should happen in the first six months – that is what expert recommendation is. This post summarises the expert recommendations to regain movements after stroke into six rules. The six rules are; Move early Follow up with an intense activity and exercise program Choose activities that are meaningful, engaging, task-specific, and goal-oriented Repeat the chosen activities incrementally and consistently Add aerobic and muscle-strengthening exercises Set goals 1. Move early The first is to move out of bed as early as possible. How early?…

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Posted in stroke advocacy

Research – practice gap on walking promotion

The 2015 published Cochrane review (1) found only five studies that evaluated community walking sessions for people living a stroke. And, they concluded that the quality of evidence of these studies was very low. Furthermore, only 266 individuals had been involved in all five studies and two of the programs “mimicked” community programs. Walking certainly improves walking ability and speed after a stroke event; the activity itself brings a multitude of benefits not only economically but socially also. I could not find any reviews published after 2015. Citations Barclay RE, Stevenson TJ, Poluha W, Ripat J, Nett C, Srikesavan CS….

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Posted in movement recovery after stroke stroke recovery

Mobility aids: Walking sticks

A four-legged (quad) walking stick Walking sticks or canes are a very common mobility aid used by those recovering from a stroke – not by all. Obviously, canes can give only support; that means the recovering individuals should be able to stand and walk with support. A physiotherapist should decide this. Research has shown that canes improve walking ability further. Not only that, but it also boosts self-confidence and social interactions. Other than its use as a walking aid, canes have several other practical applications such as using it as a tool to turn a switch on and off, reaching…

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