Following a stroke, being able to walk with confidence is the first step to regaining your independence. However, there are a few obstacles in the way, namely dizziness, weakness, poor coordination, and visual field loss.
Our specialists at Momentum Physical Therapy, located in Los Angeles, California, work with stroke patients, helping them regain strength and improve their balance with the use of physical therapy. Read on to learn about how strokes affect your stability and coordination and how physical therapy can help.
Many stroke patients suffer from muscle weakness, loss of muscle control, and the inability to coordinate movements. When your legs are weaker and you don’t have full control over your movements, your risk of falling is higher.
Vision problems can lead to poor balance. Gaze stability, or the ability to rotate your eyes instead of moving your head to keep your gaze fixed on a certain point, is key to maintaining balance.
Strokes can also impact your ability to concentrate, making it more difficult for you to remain focused on bodily movements.
Lastly, some people experience side effects from medications. Medications that negatively impact your ability to balance yourself include the following:
If you suspect one of your medications is affecting your vestibular system and your sense of balance, talk to your medical provider about finding a safer alternative to your current medications.
Physical therapy can help you in a number of ways. Our specialists customize exercises to help you address muscle imbalances, muscle weakness, and coordination issues.
The goal of the exercises is to improve your ability to walk, climb stairs, and improve your day-to-day functioning. During physical therapy, you’ll also learn to improve your focus and become more aware of your bodily movements.
The American Stroke Association recommends stroke survivors with balance and motor issues to begin physical therapy as soon as two days after their stroke.
However, it’s never too late to learn to adapt and build strength in your muscles. If you want to learn more about our customized exercises for stroke patients, contact us to schedule an appointment. Our experts are happy to answer all of your questions and discuss what physical therapy looks like, how long it will last, and how long it will take to see results.