Walking pace

Question: Hello, my brother-in-law aged 43 suffered a stroke 7 months ago. He has been walking with a single stick support, but his pace of walking has been slow. Do you think with more rehab and exercises he will be able to attain the capability to walk at a faster pace like us. How can we improve the walking pace ? Also, since he is young we are hoping that one day he will be able to walk without the stick.

Answer: In order to improve gait speed, it is good to perform exercises 4 to 5 times a week that involve a variety of movements (e.g. getting up and down, turning, side stepping, stair stepping, walking over uneven surfaces) combined with traditional exercise machines such as treadmills and bikes if the stroke patient is able. Of course, these type of exercises would not be appropriate for all stroke patients, and it is important to talk with one's MD or therapist to make sure what exercises can be done and if assistance from someone else is needed. There is a helpful exercise manual put out by the University of British Columbia called Fame. It can be found at http://neurorehab.med.ubc.ca/fame/. You have to first enter some info to access the manual, but it is just for their information on how the manual is being used and by whom. As stated before, stroke patients should check with the medical professional involved in their care to see if the exercises are appropriate.

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