Exercises That Aid in Stroke Recovery

By Charles Cheow

There are many exercises that aid in stroke recovery. There are physical, mental, and occupational exercises used by therapists during stroke rehabilitation. Some of them are:

1. Physical Exercises – As the word connotes, these are a range of bodily motions meant to tone fat, enhance muscle buildup, and strengthen the body. Stroke patients are given physical exercises to hone them to move their body, avoid spasticity of the muscles, and regain strength, balance, and independence. Samples of exercises that aid in stroke recovery include:
a) Passive Range of Motion = this aims to keep the muscles flexible and the joints lubricated through movement of the shoulder, elbow, wrist, fingers, hip, knee, and ankles.
b) Active Assisted Range of Motion = this set of exercises begin once the affected limb has been restored of its function and involves the help of another person in its performance
c) Active and Resisted Range of Motion = exercises taught during this phase enables the patient to move their own limbs without assistance through all the range of motion at every joint, such as those involving free weights, resistance bands, and the manual resistance coming from the therapist.
d) Coordination Exercises = this focuses on the regaining control over the affected limb by lifting the leg or placing it on the heel of the other leg, for example.
e) Balance and Stability Exercises = this entails the control of the person’s trunk while sitting or standing. Thus, the patient is asked to do a series of exercises involving sitting and standing with the aid of parallel bars, walkers, and canes.

2. Mental Exercises – Mental exercise to reverse the effect of stroke on the patient are normally done under cognitive rehabilitation as the case may apply. Often, exercises include memory retention and sharpening such as math functions, reasoning, logic, and concept. These exercises are repeated over time as long as it is necessary.

3. Occupational Exercises – Exercises include learning to do daily activities that will help the patient go back to normal life, such as sweeping the floor, brushing the teeth, picking up pieces, folding clothes and linen, among others. The goal is to let the patient do this things, over time, on his own.
There are many exercises that aid in stroke recovery and are used during the rehabilitation process. These exercises should always be done with caution to avoid further injury. It is best that these be performed with professionals only.

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