Stroke Rehabilitation and Exercise

Osteoporosis is a common condition among older adults – it currently affects 1.2 million Australians, witha further 6.3 million people affected by low bone density (Osteopenia). Osteoporosis is characterised by a decrease in bone mass A stroke occurs when the blood supply to brain tissue is reduced or interrupted, causing potentially life changing symptoms. Common symptoms after a stroke are weakness, spasticity (stiff or tight muscles), difficulties with balance and coordination, contracture (joints becoming fixed in one position), changes in sensation and vision, communication difficulties, altered mood, fatigue, and pain. All of these symptoms can contribute to a reduced quality of life.

How exercise can help

Post stroke, individuals will experience different symptoms and therefore benefits from exercise may

vary. Some notable benefits are as follows:

  • Increased participation in activities of daily living
  • Reduced risk of falls
  • Increased muscular strength and improved coordination
  • Reduced general fatigue
  • Decreased risk of secondary strokes and cardiovascular events
  • Improved motor function
  • Reduced pain
  • Improved psychological wellbeing
  • Improved quality of life

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References:

Gordon, et al. (2004). Physical Activity and Exercise Recommendations for Stroke Survivors. Stroke.

Herbert et al. (2015). Canadian stroke best practice recommendations: Stroke rehabilitation practice guidelines, update 2015. International Journal of Stroke.

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