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August 3, 2012

Yoga Helps Improve Balance Following Stroke

Following a stroke, patients generally get intensive therapy for 6 weeks up to 6 months before insurance stops paying for therapy. Studies show that patients continue to have brain changes and make physical improvements with old strokes, known as chronic stroke.

Most of the difficulty that remains for people with chronic strokes is balance impairment, putting patients at increased risk for falls. This leads to decreases in functional activity, social isolation and subsequently an increase in depression.

Yoga may be the answer. A recent study showed that patients with chronic, mostly men (see I got the men in on a blog post this time), and enrolled in a yoga class with modified poses of increasing difficultly, continued to make functional gains.

Compared to patients in the usual care group, those in the yoga groups showed significant improvements in their balance, were less afraid of falling and had higher scores for independence and quality of life.

Not only that, hospital or community-based stroke classes by a certified yoga instructor may be a cost-effective way to continue to therapy beyond what insurance will pay.

Posted by linda at August 3, 2012 6:10 AM

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