by Nikita Modh
Question: Hi....I want to know why when a stroke patient tries to do movement on his affected arm, there is simultaneous movement on his non-affected arm.....and this make his movement on affected arm easier....what is this reaction is called?
Answer: I believe you are probably talking about associated reactions. Associated reactions occur when movement of one limb produces movement of the opposite limb. An example is having the patient try to bend his arm against resistance and the other arm bends as well. Another example is trying to close the weak hand and the strong hand is closing as well (or asking the patient to close the strong hand to improve closing of the weak hand).
I sometimes use associated reactions in the early stages of stroke to try and elicit movement. I might apply resistance to the strong side during a movement and have the patient try to produce the same movement with the weak side at the same time. Resistance is not necessary to produce the movement on the opposite side, but I sometimes use resistance to enhance the result.
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