Wednesday, March 2nd, 2016
One of the most common impairments resulting from stroke is paralysis, which can affect a portion or the entire side of the body. Problems with body posture, walking, and balance can be significant. Two thirds of the patients are unable to walk without assistance in the first week after stroke (Jorgensen HS et al. Arch Phys Med Rehabil, 1995). Approximately 35% of survivors with initial paralysis of the leg do not regain useful walking function (Hendricks HT et al. Arch Phys Med Rehabil, 2002). Although 65% to 85% of stroke survivors learn to walk independently by 6 months post stroke, gait abnormalities and poor endurance persists through the chronic stages of the condition (Wade DT et al. Scand J Rehabil Med, 1987).
It is true that recovering from a stroke will be an uphill battle for many, however, it is also accurate that the latest research findings regarding neuro recovery are more promising than ever before. Listed below are some of the common interventions supported by research that have shown positive results.
Mobility and Leg Research Findings
What Do These Interventions Mean?
A Leg Bike is a stationary cycle designed to strengthen and condition the lower body, as well as the cardiovascular system, by using the legs.
Biofeedback or electromyography (EMG) is a non-invasive technique used for measuring muscle electrical activity that occurs during muscle contraction and relaxation.
Electrical stimulation or neuromuscular electrical stimulation (NMES) is a technique used to elicit a muscle contraction using electrical impulses. Electrical current is then sent from the unit to the electrodes and delivered into the muscle causing a contraction.
EMG-Triggered Stimulation is based on the user’s voluntary movement, or intent to move. Electrodes, controlled by a unit, are placed on the skin over a specific area. Once the user attempts to contract his or her muscles and reaches the prescribed threshold, stimulation is triggered (delivered) to the same muscles. Various visual and auditory feedback options monitor the progress.
An Exercise Aid is a piece of equipment used during physical activity to improve strength and coordination of the body region targeted.
Foot Drop Brace
A Foot Drop Brace is a rigid or flexible support that offers dynamic or static assistance to the weakened foot so functional mobility and exercises can be possible.
Body Weight Support
Body Weight Support uses a suspension system and a harness to support a percentage of the user’s body weight during standing, walking or exercise.
Lower Limb Robot-Assisted Therapy
Lower Limb Robot-Assisted Therapy consists of an electromechanical device, designed for the leg, that is used to assist users (through powered mobility) with exercise training and activities of daily living (ADL).
Virtual Reality/Exercise Games
Virtual Reality/Exercise Games consists of computer-based, interactive exercise games and activities that allow players to engage in entertaining tasks while being physically challenged. These games rely on technology that tracks body movements or reactions. Some advanced games allow users to set goals, grade and customize, receive instantaneous feedback, reinforce behaviors, and record and analyze results.