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Posts Tagged ‘exercise stroke’

Heartmoves for Stroke Survivors

November 24th, 2011

Maintaining a healthy lifestyle following a stroke is as important as it is prior to a stroke event. To this end the Heart Foundation has partnered with the National Stroke Foundation to make the Heartmoves exercise program more attractive and appropriate for stroke survivors.

“This partnership has developed a new nationally accredited training course, providing Heartmoves leaders with additional skills and knowledge on how the health teams are currently managing stroke survivors,” said Tony Thirlwell, Heart Foundation NSW – CEO.

“Participation in physical activity after stroke is important and can help survivors lead a healthy and happier life as well as reducing their chances of having another stroke. Many survivors are left with complex physical and cognitive problems after stroke which makes participation in regular exercise programs difficult, but now the Heartmoves program will help make exercise accessible” says Dr Erin Lalor, National Stroke Foundation CEO.

Building on the Heart Foundation’s successful Heartmoves exercise program, and using the National Stroke Foundations’ expertise in stroke, this new initiative equips Heartmoves leaders with strategies specifically designed to benefit stroke survivors.

“The new program will give Heartmoves instructors the opportunity to work with stroke survivors through movement and exercise that can be tailored so that individuals can work at their own pace,” said Mr Thirlwell.
Heartmoves exercise providers can continue their learning and professional development with this new nationally accredited course. It will also be available online, providing rural and remote leaders with easy access.

“Heartmoves for Stroke will provide health professionals managing stroke survivors with a safe and evidence based referral destination for their clients, following rehabilitation,” said Mr Thirlwell.

Heartmoves programs focus on delivering safe, low-to-moderate intensity exercise incorporating aerobic activity, weight-bearing or resistance exercise, stretching and balance components – all of which help to build strength and fitness as well as improve balance.

The Heart Foundation would welcome expressions of interest from existing Heartmoves trainers to take part in this nationally accredited training module. To find out more about Heartmoves for Stroke visit Heart Moves or call 1300 362 787.

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Movement And Exercise After Stroke

May 3rd, 2011

walking_feet_300

Image via tasteofhome.com

A stroke can affect parts of the brain that control your arms and legs resulting in paralysis or weakness. It is important to understand that stroke affects the brain and that the problem is not primarily in the muscles.

Although most improvement usually occurs in the first six months after a stroke, recovery may continue for several years.

Physiotherapy assessment

If you are having problems moving and balancing, it can be frustrating and sometimes devastating. Therefore it is important you receive a full mobility assessment.

Physiotherapists are specially trained to identify movement problems that may be caused by a stroke. They can provide therapy to help improve activities such as walking, keeping your balance and using your arm.

Recovery

Recovery after stroke can be slow and it is difficult to predict the level of recovery that will occur. Generally most recovery occurs during the fi rst six months but can continue for years after a stroke, especially if you keep active and use your affected arm or leg the best you can. The more you practice the more likely you are to stimulate your recovery.

Changes after stroke

Difficulties moving after a stroke can be caused by:

Weakness (paralysis) in leg and/or arm muscles.

Loss of sensation or feeling. Sometimes there can be a loss of feeling in the skin or the joints themselves.

Poor coordination or balance often as a result of weakness or loss of feeling.

Muscle or joint stiffness. Muscles and joints easily become stiff if not used normally. Spasticity (increase in muscle tone) may also limit movement.

Shoulder pain or subluxation (bones moving out of normal position) caused by weak shoulder muscles allowing the shoulder bone to move out of joint.

Lack of energy (fatigue) If you have difficulty moving you will need to put more effortand energy into moving, which may lead to increased fatigue.

Therapy

Movement problems affect each person differently. Your therapist will work with you to decide the best program to meet your personal needs and goals.

Different therapies may include:

Practising tasks/activities that you have difficulty doing. This may include rolling over in bed, sitting or standing up, walking and using your hand or arm.

Exercising to improve your strength, sensation (ability to sense or feel things), coordination, balance or fitness. Often this can be done as you practice normal activities such as standing or walking.

Exercises that use electrical stimulation and other equipment (eg. treadmills) may also be used as part of your therapy to help improve your ability to move.

Joining a fitness centre, club in the community, or exercise program at your local community health care centre to keep yourself fit.

Often after a stroke, fitness levels drop, so it is important to keep yourself as active as possible in the long-term. Talk to your therapist about whether this is right for you.

Stretching or supporting your muscles to reduce their stiffness or pain. Often when muscles are not being used normally they get stiff and can also become painful. It is important to keep the muscles flexible.

Teaching you how to safely walk which may include the help of certain aids like a frame or stick. Never use a frame or walking stick without getting advice first. Some people should avoid using these supports early after a stroke as it changes the way muscles learn to move again and limits recovery. Your therapist will help you work out if you need them.

Limiting the use of your good arm to encourage use of the affected arm. Research has found that by forcing you to use your affected arm, you can improve the extent of recovery. It is important to seek the advice of your therapist first.

What can you do?

Research has found that the more you do the better you get. You should try and do as much as you can during therapy time. Your physiotherapist should advise what is best for you to do by yourself or with the help of family or friends. You may also need to check with your doctor in case you have other medical conditions (eg. heart condition), which may limit the amount of activity you do.

Ongoing exercise will help maintain the movement you regain after a stroke and keep you as healthy as possible. You may consider joining a local gym or finding an exercise group (eg. walking group).

Remember exercising helps with your movement as well as reducing your risk of further strokes. Exercise is also known to help people feel more positive and have more energy.

More information

If you or your family have any questions you should ask your Physiotherapist.

Note: This fact sheet is number 8 in a series. For a complete list of fact sheets, click here.

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Physio Chi in WA

December 7th, 2010

physio-chi
Tai Chi is known as a healing art and a form of exercise that focuses on movement, posture and breathing. It is intended to improve the circulation of blood around the body and strengthen, relax, improve balance and ease tension.

Physio Chi is a modified form of Tai Chi developed by West Australian physiotherapist and Tai Chi instructor Moh Tapper.

Moh designed a gentler form of this exercise for her patients, including stroke survivors, so they could reap the benefits of the movements within their own physical capabilities. Physio Chi retains the principles and form of Tai Chi but is easier to learn and suitable for people who are not able to stand for long periods of time, something required by traditional forms of Tai Chi.

Moh’s special adaptation of Tai Chi takes the eastern approach to this ancient exercise and incorporates some western physiotherapeutic approaches. Moh explains that Physio Chi doesn’t involve pivoting or twisting on the feet or require bent knees for long periods of time. People who can’t stand at all can practice Moh’s Physio Chi in a sitting position. It can be used with a fit ball, done as a sitting exercise, in groups and even in water.

For more information click here.

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