Thursday, July 27, 2006

New way to get stroke survivors back on their feet

…The Baylor Institute for Rehabilitation is having good luck with a new way of helping stroke victims learn to walk normally.

…”We are eight for eight,”says Karen McCain, a physical therapist at the facility in Dallas.

…The technique is treadmill training with partial body weight support. The patient wears a harness to support part of his or her body weight.

…Gradually more weight is left unsupported.

…Formerly, stroke patients were helped to get around in walkers, putting their full weight down. This resulted in a sort of back and forth gait that was unnatural and put them in danger of falling.

…One patient, 72, a former marathon runner, experienced a stroke in March of 2006, causing her to lose movement in the left side of her body. After spending less than two weeks on the treadmill, she was walking again with a cane and lower leg brace and talking about running again.

…To tag up with Baylor, go to www.baylorhealth.com or call (800) 4BAYLOR.

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