Home Therapy for Stroke

Monday, September 12, 2011

A study on stroke patients has found that home exercise can be as beneficial as therapy in a rehab setting in helping those patients improve their walking. Dr. Edward Hill discusses the study in todays 60 Second Housecall.

Dr. Hill:

When it comes to helping stroke patients walk again, home-based rehabilitation may work just as well as specialized treadmill training in a rehab facility, according to a study by Duke University researchers.

The key to the success appears to be the intensity and frequency of the exercise, not where its performed or even how long after stroke patients wait to start physical therapy.

The study is said to be the largest study on stroke rehabilitation ever conducted in the United States. It found that about half of 408 participants, who were partially paralyzed when they started therapy, were able to walk longer distances at faster speeds a year after their strokes, whether they received physical therapy for 90 minutes three times a week for three months at home or on a body-weight-supported treadmill in a rehab facility.

Even participants who started their rehabilitation programs later, about six months after their strokes, saw just as much improvement as those who began rehab just eight weeks after the event.

For North Mississippi Medical Center, Im Dr. Edward Hill.