Each year approximately 795,000 people suffer a stroke.  Nearly three-quarters of all strokes occur in people over the age of 65 years old.  There is a wide range of debilitation that may occur from a stroke.  When one’s balance and walking is compromised, the rehabilitation is far more effective when the exercises are “functional”.  The focus cannot be on strengthening alone.  Rehabilitation for stroke patients is complicated, the exercises must have strengthening, balance and flexibility built within each exercise.  For example, a common exercise used in our clinic is the Stride Forward Reach.  In this exercise, one leg is forward with the knee bent while one or both arms are reaching forward.  This is a “Functional” exercise because this is an activity that everyone does everyday in life..we reach forward to get something.  It requires strength, balance and flexibility to perform without falling.

~Peter St.Germain, PT