Movement and Gait Therapy Following a Stroke
Movement and Gait Therapy Following a Stroke
A stroke causes a loss of blood and oxygen to part of the brain, this can damage that area. Symptoms can be hugely variable, depending on the area that has experienced the damage. You may experience a weakness or loss of sensation in the body or limbs. This often presents on one side of the body, but can affect both.
Muscle weakness: You may find that the muscles in your arm, leg and/or body have got weaker, making it difficult to move as you did previously or impacting your safety.
Sensation: You may find that the feeling in parts of your body has changed, or your ability to know where your body is in space has been affected. This can make it very difficult to move and function normally.
Contraction/muscle spasm: Stroke can sometimes cause spasticity – when your muscles feel very tight. This can decrease the range of motion in some joints or be painful, making movement more difficult.
Neglect: Some patients can ‘neglect’ an affected limb, meaning that they do not use it as much as they can or are not always aware of it. This is something that the physiotherapist and occupational therapist can work on with you.
On admission to Circle each therapist will carry out a thorough assessment and this will include a gait assessment by the physiotherapist. The physiotherapist will work with you on the problems identified; this may include stretching, strengthening and sensory work, depending on your needs. It may be that you need to walk with assistance or with a walking aid initially. Our priority will always be to maximise your function whilst maintaining your safety.
Your movement and gait rehabilitation will be overseen by our Circle Rehabilitation physiotherapist.
3D Gait – gait analysis: While many gait analysis systems are only able to capture information in two dimensions, the 3D Gait system we use at Circle captures information in three dimensions. We are then able to analyse your results against the world’s largest database of 3D biomechanical walking and running data and tailor your gait therapy precisely.
Treadmills: We have a number of different types of treadmills available which can help your muscles strengthen as you work on improving your ability to move.
As you start learning to walk and move properly once again, you may feel nervous of falling. This is a very common and completely understandable fear. We have two specialised treadmills on-site. These provide an opportunity to practice you walking in a supportive environment, decreasing the fear of falling. They also enable some of your weight to be supported which is very useful if you have some weakness.
- AlterG anti-gravity treadmill: driven by technology from NASA, this helps to shorten recovery time, improve mobility and reduce the risk of injury
- Aqua Treadmill: this is a walk-in unit with an integrated treadmill which can be filled with water from calf- to shoulder-height. The buoyancy of the water helps to cushion weak leg muscles and reduces the load on painful or weak joints. This provides you with a safe way to regain muscle strength in your legs and confidence in standing and moving again.
LiteGait: At Circle we also have a LiteGait. This is an assistive device with an adjustable harness design. This design allows our therapist to adjust weight-bearing from zero to full weight-bearing and to manipulate your legs and pelvis manually as you learn sustainable walking patterns. Patients are safe and supported, and the therapists can use their hands to help specific muscles or movements.
Gym equipment: From a leg press to exercise bikes, we have a range of functional equipment that can help strengthen your muscles and your core, all under the expert guidance of our therapists.
Balance: One of the most common things affected by a stroke is balance, and so we have the Biodex Balance System SD available to help increase balance and agility, all in a safe and effective way. Improving balance can help improve your gait and your functional movement.
Regaining the ability to move safely and efficiently following a stroke is a significant achievement, and we know that it takes a lot of focused work and dedicated practice.
All your assessments, exercises and therapy will be facilitated and observed by a Circle physiotherapist or occupational therapist, helping to ensure you perform any movements safely.
Circle’s rehabilitation services are built around proven, evidence-based models of rehabilitation. With state-of-the-art equipment and three hours of therapy a day as standard, you will be in good hands when you visit with us.
If you are a stroke patient who is now experiencing a decline in your functional movement, or you are finding it harder to walk than you would like, please get in touch with us to see how we can help.
Our highly-experienced therapists, including physiotherapists and occupational therapists, will expertly guide you through training exercises, support and care tailored just for you in order to restore your movement and improve your gait.