Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Resistance Training After Stroke

Got a good question the other day about resistance training the other day. Please see the Q&A, below...
     I am a 43 year old stroke survivor(2010).  I walk ok(not too pretty), can do light manual work, and can't run.  My left affected side is considerqbly weaker than my dominnant, nonaffected right side.
    I want to return to higher impact activities one day, but I just don't think I have the physical strength to do so.
  I have read several articles by Sroke survivors who benefitted greatly from barbell-base systematic weight training as a  means to advance recovery.  
    One writer mentioned (book) as a good place to begin.  It emphasizes combination weight exercises that employ multiple muscle groups and run through a full range of motion.
    Do you have any opinions or clinical experiences on the subject  of Strength Training following Stroke or could direct me towards some materials to get started?
     I did a quick review of the literature (example) and found that there's a general consensus that resistance training is a good thing post stroke. A really good thing. But there seems to be no consensus on what type of resistance training it should be. 
    Keep in mind: Resistance training can injure. There are a ton of questions before you begin, like...
  1. How stable is your "bad" shoulder?
  2. Will you have the strength and coordination to hold whatever (barbell, band, etc) and not drop it?
  3. Do you have sensation enough to know if you are injuring the limb?
    One concern that therapists mistakenly have is that if you use muscles that have spasticity you will increase the spasticity. This is wrongheaded, and not true. So don't worry about using spastic muscles to help move you.
    I have seen people who've had a stroke run again. They're almost always young (younger than 60). I would think that as long as you are okay with "a new normal" the sky is the limit.
The hard part, of course, is putting the work in.
Previous article I wrote about this subject.


oc1dean said...

Thanks for the stroke running video. I was wondering about possible ways to do that.

Barb Polan said...

Good to see. I look forward to loping like that eventually.

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