Stroke is a life-changing condition, which leads to physical disability and mental setback. After returning from the hospital, a patient suffering from a severe stroke may feel depressed and helpless as a result he might refrain from doing the prescribed exercises. Through this blog, we will provide you with exercises, which will not only improve patients function but also will boost their confidence for doing the tasks independently.

These exercises are based on Active-Passive Bilateral Therapy, a therapy in which a patient is asked to use the unaffected and the affected arms and legs together. This helps the two sides of the brain to work better together, as severe stroke is a condition that affects the balance between the two sides of the brain therefore these exercises help to restore the balance and improves hand and leg function.

 

1: ARM STRETCHING EXERCISES

 

·         Sit on a chair with a table in the front, place 2 boxes on the table, now place your hand on the box and extend your elbow and stay in this position.

 

·         Lie down and hold your wrist with your healthy hand lift your arms backward lift as far as you can and stay in this position.

 

·         Place your elbow over a towel on the table. Hold your wrist with your unaffected hand extend your elbow with the help of your unaffected hand stay in this position.

 

·         Hold the hemiplegic wrist with the unaffected hand extend your hemiplegic arm behind your back with the help of your unaffected hand, stay in this position.

 

·         Place your elbow on the towel over the table. Hold your wrist with your unaffected hand turn the forearm with the palm of your hand facing you extend the elbow with the palm of your hand towards the ceiling, and then stay in this position.

 

·         Place your hemiplegic hand on the table open your hand and extend your fingers with the help of your unaffected hand stay in this position keeping your hand on the table.

 

·         Place your hand on the table with the help of your other hand extend your thumb.

 

2: LEG STRETCHING EXERCISES

·         Sit on the bed by your side supporting yourself on your healthy hand with legs bent kneel to sit on your heels put a cushion under your buttocks, sit down on it. Straighten your back and stay in this position.

·         Place two chairs opposite one another and extend your hemiplegic leg on the chair, press down on your knee with your unaffected hand lean forward without bending your knee and maintain this position.

·         Stand on the stairs holding onto the handrail let your heel hang off the edge of the step while moving your heel downwards then extend your knee. Maintain in this position.

·         Place your hemiplegic foot on a low height stool against the wall with your heel hanging off the edge move your heel downwards while extending your knee move your pelvis forward without lifting your heel. Maintain in this position.

 

 

3: ARM MUSCULAR STRENGTHENING

 

·         Lifting an object

Sit on a chair and hold a bottle full of water with both hands lift the bottle as high as you can put the bottle back on the table

·         Extending the elbow

Place your elbow over a towel on the table hold bottle full of water in the hand lift the elbow as much as possible and bring down, take the help of the healthy hand.

·         Extending the wrist

Place your forearm on the pillow or a box with your hand hanging then extend your hand as high as you can try to take the help of your unaffected hand.

·         Hand-Opening
Place your forearm on a box with your hand hanging then  open your hand as much as you can with your wrist extended  try to take the help of your unaffected hand

 

4: LEG MUSCULAR STRENGTHENING

 

·         Extending your leg outwards

             Stand opposite to the wall and hold the wall with both your hands, extend your hemiplegic leg outwards without extending the pelvis without putting your foot on the floor and start again.

·         Extending your leg outwards

Stand opposite to the wall and hold the wall with both your hands, move your hemiplegic leg backward without putting your foot on the floor and start again.

·         Extending  your knee

Sit comfortably on a chair with your back straight then extend your knee as much as you can.

·         Extending your knee

Sit on a chair with your back straight then extend your knee and lift your foot as high as you can.

·         Bending your knee

Lie down in bed on your stomach, bend your knee, bring your foot towards your buttock, gently bend it back.

·         Standing on tiptoe

Stand opposite to the wall with both your hands on the wall and your feet apart stand on tip-toe and move back down again.

·         Extending your toes

Sit in a chair place a towel under your knee with your foot hanging loose extend your toes as much as you can.

 

5: GETTING UP FROM A FALL

 

Hemiplegic patients have a greater risk of fall, therefore if a stroke patient had a fall he should follow the following steps to stand or get up:

 

·         Assume a side-sitting position with the unaffected side close to a heavy chair or other objects that will not move.

·         Place the affected forearm on the seat of the chair and lean on the elbow or hand. Shift weight forward onto your knees and lift your hips until you are in a kneeling position.

·         Supporting yourself with your affected arm, bring your unaffected foot forward and place it flat on the floor. Keep the affected limb in the kneeling position while placing the unaffected one in the kneeling position.

·         Lift yourself by pushing with your unaffected arm and leg. Twist your hips toward the chair and sit on the seat.

 

The forces needed to move the disabled arm or leg with the help of your healthy arm or leg while doing stretching and strengthening exercises reduces spasticity, helps to prevent muscle shortening and joint stiffness. Repeatedly using the hemiplegic arm and leg arm to do tasks is effective for recovery after a stroke. And this repetitive practice is now considered key to stroke rehab.