Sunday, November 13, 2016

Exercise Helps Stroke/ Paraplegic Victims

Research has said that over 7 million people in the U.S. survive a stroke each year.1 This means that millions have all suffered from “potentially fatal reduction in the brain’s blood flow from restricted blood flow (ischemia) or bleeding (hemorrhage).”3 Because of this brain injury and the site of the injury in the brain several effects can happen involving motor and sensory impairments. Cognition and being able to speak are also possible consequences from suffering a stroke.

Physical and Psychologic Conditions and Comorbidities in Stroke Patients3:
  • Physical: aphasia, balance, falls, fatigue, muscle weakness, obesity, paralysis, paresis, spasticity, visual impairments
  • Psychologic: cognitive impairment, emotional instability, depression, memory loss, low self-esteem, social isolation
  • Comorbidities: coronary heart disease, diabetes mellitus, hypertension, hyperlipidemia, obesity, peripheral vascular disease

How Exercise Can Help
From American Stroke Association
Our bodies are amazing machines. When a person suffers from a stroke, their psychologic and comorbidities can be connected to their physical impairments. However, exercise can help with those physical impairments. When a person has a stroke, and possibly becomes paralyzed, they do not realize that their muscles still work. Yes, they may not be able to move them by themselves but they can be moved and they can become healthy.

At Tarleton State University, the Kinesiology Department has a best kept secret, the Laboratory for Wellness and Motor Behavior (LWMB). This lab helps stroke victims with activities with their bodies they thought they would never be able to do again. Through using high repetitions with low resistance and having a caring team of Kinesiology interns, clients are able to enter in a wheelchair and then leave walking. The interns “work on the weakest parts of the body – the ones that others say will never move again.”2 Dr. Priest, director of the lab, believes that exercise is the best medicine, and at the LWMB they are putting that phrase into truth for these 50 plus clients.2

Dr. Priest from Tarleton State University in the Laboratory for Wellness and Motor Behavior

1Association, A. S. (2016, October 27). Life After Stroke. Retrieved from American Stroke Association:
2Jacobs, C. (2016, Spring). Pedaling for Their Lives. The Tarleton State University Magazine, pp. 10-13.
3William D. McArdle, F. I. (2007). Exercise Physiology; Energy, Nutrition, & Human Performance. Maryland: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.

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