Enhancing Physical Activity and Brain Reorganization After StrokeBy Carr, Janet H.; Shepherd, Roberta B.; Neurology Research International, Volume 2011, Number 515938
Publication Date: 2011
Article reviewed studies on the role of early physical therapy intervention to enhance physical activity and brain reorganization following stroke. The beginning of active rehabilitation within 24 to 48 hours following stroke is recommended. Therapy can start with task specific activities such as sitting up in bed, sit to stand, and walking increasing distances overground supported by a belt with grab handles held by the therapist or nurse, such as the Handi-lift/Walk Belt. Walking on a treadmill with body weight support via harness connected to an overhead support system may be the only means of practicing walking for more severely affected patients early after stroke, and is reported to be well tolerated and effective. For a modern rehabilitation workspace, equipment recommended includes a suspended harness system that allows practice of balancing and walking tasks, feedback and computerized devices to provide information and incentive, exercise machines such as treadmills with harness suspension, stationary bicycles including an electronically braked isokinetic ergometer, and stepping machines. Some studies reviewed reported on the development and testing of electronic training aids including robotic devices and virtual reality systems. The role of therapy in increasing balance control is discussed, and techniques recommended include increasing the height of steps and chairs and increasing and varying exercise speed. The need for patients to continue exercise and increase physical activity after discharge is emphasized, as evidenced by outcomes cited from organized post discharge exercise programs.
Assistive Products Discussed: HANDI-LIFT WALK BELT (MODEL 516XM, 516M, 517M, 518M & 518XM
Published by: Hindawi Publishing Corporation (Website:http://www.hindawi.com/)
Link to text: http://www.hindawi.com/journals/nri/2011/515938/