A stroke occurs when your brain is deprived of oxygen for a period of time, and as you can imagine, it can have major consequences for your physical and mental health. Temporary or permanent damage can occur after a stroke if your brain can no longer effectively communicate with certain parts of your body. In fact, over 50 percent of people who suffer a stroke are left with some degree of paralysis.
When a patient is left with partial impairment as a result of a stroke, physical therapy is oftentimes recommended to help them relearn movements and adapt to their current restrictions, and don’t be surprised if your PT recommends a Pilates-based approach to physical therapy. In today’s blog, we explain why a Pilates-based physical therapy program can be helpful after a stroke.
Pilates-Based PT For Stroke Patients
Every stroke will be unique to the individual, but oftentimes patients face similar challenges in the wake of a stroke. Below, we take a closer look at some of the physical issues that may linger after a stroke, and why incorporating Pilates into your rehabilitation routine can be so beneficial.
- Range Of Motion Restrictions – Certain movements can become more difficult in the wake of a stroke, and when people can’t safely or comfortably perform normal movements, they can easily shift to a more sedentary lifestyle. Decreased mobility can lead to muscle atrophy, balance problems and weight gain, all of which can make life that much more difficult after a stroke. Work to regain or maintain flexibility in key joints and structures in the wake of a stroke through Pilates-based PT, which will carefully test different muscle and joint systems through controlled movements.
- Gait Problems – Although we don’t show it on the outside, numerous bodily systems have to work in unison to allow us to walk with a normal stride pattern. If these systems are temporarily or permanently affected as a result of the stroke, you’ll want to work with a physical therapist to restore a more normalized gait. Pilates can help to strengthen your hips, pelvis and core, which all play essential roles in an aligned gait. Pilates exercises will also help to improve balance and stability with each step.
- Weakened Breath – Breathing issues affect many stroke patients even after they’ve been discharged from the hospital. A stroke can easily disrupt the muscles that help to regulate diaphragm function, which can make breathing difficult and negatively affect your posture and your heart rate. Pilates focuses on helping you improve your breathing and develop healthy lung function, which is crucial for many stroke patients.
We offer a number of different Pilates-based physical therapy programs at our clinic, and we’d be happy to help tailor a specific recovery program to your needs after a stroke. Having an experienced professional by your side to assist with your recovery can make all of the difference after a life-changing event like a stroke, and we want to be here for you in your time of need. For more information about our stroke recovery programs, or for help with a different physical issue, reach out to the team at OrthoRehab Specialists today at (612) 339-2041.