My husband’s physical therapist used Theraband therapy to help Steve, a stroke survivor, to walk more fluidly six weeks after a massive stroke paralyzed his left arm and leg. He is being discharged from the hospital’s stroke rehab unit to go to a nursing home for more therapy. So his therapist demonstrated the Theraband technique so I could videotape it and show the nursing home therapists how it is done. We want to make sure that there is no lapse in the quality of stroke rehab that Steve is getting.
The stroke made Steve’s left leg so weak that he can’t bend his knee or lift his foot to walk without extreme exertion. So his therapist used the tension of the elastic Theraband to do what Steve can’t do on his own. With repeated use of the Theraband therapy, Steve’s brain will develop new pathways and “remember” how to walk again. Repetition is key.
Each color of a Theraband designates a certain tension, so it’s very important to use the right color. You can see in the video below how the Theraband is attached, and how well it works. It did most of the lifting of Steve’s knee and foot, but if the tension is too weak, it won’t lift it properly. And if the tension is too tight, it would do too much work and Steve wouldn’t be able to control his leg at all. Therabands or their counterparts can be purchased at most home medical supplies stores.
I thought it was ingenious of his physical therapist to use something as simple as a Theraband to help a stroke survivor to walk again. Since Steve’s stroke 6 weeks ago, his balance had to be reestablished. In his first therapy session it took four therapists to help him stand, so you can see what great progress he’s made. But you can also see in the video how worn out Steve gets walking only a short distance. Walking is something we all take for granted, and something we should all be thankful for.