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Exercises to Help Stroke Survivors Improve Balance at Home

Play time doesn't stop when you leave your physical therapist. Work on regaining your sense of stability by doing these simple exercises to improve balance, strength, and flexibility. These tasks are easy to manage and can easily be added to your daily exercise routine.

1. Ankle Circles

Sit in a chair with your legs extended in front of you, point your foot forwards, and draw circles with your toes. If this is too difficult, practice flexing and extending your feet. This exercise will increase strength and flexibility in the ankle, offering increased stability when you stand or walk.

If you have foot drop, or use an AFO, sit with one leg up on the opposite thigh and rotate your ankle with your hand. This will help relieve any stiffness and keep your ankle flexible.

2. Practice on a Pillow

Challenge yourself by compromising your firm footing. Stand on a pillow, couch cushion or small pile of towels and rock back and forth. If you feel particularly unstable, try standing with your back in a corner with a chair in front of you. You can catch yourself against the chair or the wall if you begin to feel uncomfortable.

Even though this simple move might seem silly, it’s a great way to strengthen your ankles and increase your propioseption. (Propioseption is your body’s ability to perceive spatial relationships and one of the three components of balance.)

3. Toe Raises

Stand perpendicular to a counter and hold yourself steady against the counter. Raise and lower yourself on your toes. This exercise strengthens your leg muscles and increases flexibility. This would also be beneficial to stroke survivors suffering from spasticity in their lower extremities.

By: Kayleen Cohen, Stroke-Network.com

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"Work on regaining your sense of stability by doing these simple exercises to improve balance, strength, and flexibility."

Leaning to One Side?

If you find yourself falling to one side more often than the other, the direction you fall is your weaker side.

  • Practice side stepping to your weaker side.
  • Practice weight shifting to your weaker side.

Community Classes

Check into a class at your community rec center and start beefing up your balance. Check out the Stroke-Network’s suggestions and pick the right course for your recovery.

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