7 exercises to improve your ability to walk after a stroke
The stair climbing movement supports the strength of the hip folding muscles, quadriceps and buttock muscles, improving foot space, foot length, force formation speed and gait.
This exercise also helps stabilize the pelvis and supports the body’s ability to balance, avoiding falls after a stroke.
Patients can practice on the stairs or use a stool to simulate this movement. Step your right foot and then your left foot up the stairs or chair, and then step down.
Repeat 5 times, then continue this exercise 5 more times but step your left foot forward. Patients can increase the difficulty of the exercise by choosing higher steps or stools.
Patients who have just recovered from a stroke may still be weak and unfamiliar with these exercises, which in turn leads to easy loss of balance and falls.
Relatives should provide support in the early stages until they are able to perform alone.
Exercises at home such as stretching, stepping sideways, climbing stairs … can help stroke sufferers improve their ability to walk, balance, prevent falls.
A stroke can affect the parts of the brain that govern mobility. When brain signals are affected, the brain and muscles do not coordinate rhythmically with each other, causing many problems with movement and walking.
Many patients suffer from muscle weakness, muscle stiffness, numbness in the legs, loss of balance and easy fall after a stroke.
Regaining motor function is one of the main objectives of the rehabilitation process for patients after a stroke. Besides physical therapy, stroke patients can do some of the following exercises to improve their ability to walk.
Foot stretching exercises
The foot stretching exercise is simple but will significantly improve the range of bending and stretching of the feet, while strengthening the muscle strength folding the big toe.
This exercise also improves the height of the foot during the rotating stage (the space of the foot), thereby helping the patient to keep better balance and reduce the risk of falls.
To perform this movement, the patient needs to sit on the floor, his legs stretched forward. Using a band of resistance around the feet, the hands hold the two ends of the wire.
Slowly pull the tip of the wire so that the feet curve towards the body to stretch the muscles here. Lightly drop the ends of the wire to bring the feet back to their original position and relax the muscles. Repeat this exercise a few times.
The patient can also sit on a chair, place the resistance bandage perpendicular to the foot and slowly pull the bandage vertically.
Once mastered, the patient can increase the difficulty of exercises by gradually increasing the resistance of the ice.
The goal of this exercise is to strengthen the hip folding muscles to improve the space of the feet, while increasing the stability of the foot when standing and changing the center of gravity.
The patient sits upright in the chair, his legs perpendicular in front of him.
Raise one leg, hold it with your hands for 2 seconds and then lower your leg.
Raise the other leg and do the same. Another version of this exercise is knee shrinkage when standing.
Patients should choose a standing position next to tables, chairs, walls or fixtures to ensure safety as needed.
From the two-legged standing position, gradually shift the focus to one leg and slowly raise the other leg, hold it still for 2 seconds and then lower it. Do the same thing with the other leg.
Patients need to prepare a yoga mat when performing this exercise. Start with your back, hands parallel, legs slightly bent, and feet flat on the carpet.
Insert your belly, squeeze your buttock muscles to lift your hips, hold it here for 5 seconds and then lower it. Keep your back straight, especially the waist.
This exercise helps to increase the strength of the buttock muscles, improving the ability to generate force, step length and speed of walking.
Sitting – standing exercises
Changing the posture from sitting to standing and vice versa strengthens the quadriceps and buttock muscles, thereby improving the strength and stability of the legs, preventing falls for patients after stroke.
The patient begins from sitting upright in the chair. From here, lean slightly forward and lift the person up, trying not to use his hands to push himself out of the chair.
Slowly lower yourself back to your chair and repeat this exercise 10 times.
Patients stroke have become accustomed to sitting – standing exercises can use an extra band of resistance around the knee to increase the strength of the buttock muscles or use a low chair to make movements more difficult.
Sideways step exercises
This is a simple exercise but can improve the strength of the buttock muscles, the body’s ability to balance and stabilize when moving.
From an upright position, closed legs, the patient should move the right leg and left leg to the right.
Repeat a few times and then switch sides. Adding a band of resistance around the knee will increase the stimulation of the buttock muscles during the procedure.
Focus switching exercises before – after
From the upright position, the legs parallel, the patient steps one foot forward, the other leg to focus forward.
Lower your hind paws, raise your front paws and shift your focus backwards. Repeat a few times, then switch sides.
If you’re not used to it, stand by a table, chair, or wall to lean on when you lose your balance.
This exercise will improve the gaps in the legs, the stability of the pelvis and the ability to balance when switching focus.