Exercise after a stroke

A stroke is a very dangerous disease in which a person loses all his functions. A massive stroke can make a person disabled. Physical therapy helps him recover. About what it is, what exercises you need to do after a stroke - we will tell below.

What it is

Therapeutic exercise after a stroke is a set of measures that increases the mobility of brain neurons that are close to the disease.

Exercise therapy after a stroke at home:

  • maintains joint mobility, restores muscle tone. This is especially important because in patients after such an ailment, motor activity in the limbs is reduced;  
  • prevents the appearance of bedsores in a person, which form in the feet, back, i.e. in those places where there is increased pressure;  
  • restores normal motor activity in the hands;  
  • relieves symptoms of paralysis, restores motor activity in the limbs, throughout the body;   
  • relieves muscle hypertonicity, normalizes the work of the affected muscles.

How to practice

Gymnastics for recovery after a stroke is necessary. But it is important to properly prepare for it. During the early rehabilitation period, the nurse should:

  • Change the position of the patient once every 2-3 hours. This prevents the appearance of blood stasis in him;
  • 1 time in 2-3 hours to engage in passive gymnastics with a patient after a stroke. So the patient will be able to move, but he needs to perform all movements with the help of a medical worker. Such movements perfectly relieve tension from the muscles.
  • To deal with a patient after a stroke with a respiratory set of exercises included in exercise therapy. It activates gas exchange, helps to normalize muscle function.  
  • Engage in active physical exercise. For example, the patient may be walking. Such exercises bring the patient's body back to normal after a stroke, reduce the risk of relapses at home.

Remember: exercising with a patient after a stroke can only be done when his condition has stabilized. It is strictly forbidden for him to overexert himself. Therefore, all exercises for rehabilitation after a stroke can initially be done only 1-2 times.

What gymnastics can the patient do

A person after a stroke has the right to do the following exercises:  

  • passive;
  • active;
  • performed from a sitting position;
  • performed from a standing position;
  • intended for the eyes;
  • intended for hands;
  • intended for legs;
  • aimed at the development of articulation;
  • aimed at developing proper breathing.

Additionally, the patient can exercise on simulators. And he has the right to do a special set of exercises used after a stroke at home.

Features of performing passive exercises

Such classes begin with a massage. It is performed by a specialist.


  1. Easily strokes the patient's body with his hands. First, the head, collar area, and then the legs are massaged.
  2. Works on the back. Light, tapping movements are used.
  3. Massages the chest. First, the impact is on the center, and then the movements move to the armpits.
  4. works on all limbs. First, the forearm is massaged, and finally, the fingers. Foot massage begins with the buttocks, and ends with the fingers.

Remember: massage is done on a healthy part of the back.

And then the patient does the following exercises after a stroke at home.


  1. First, a relative can give the patient a ball in his hand. The latter tries to keep it in his hands as long as possible. Such a physical exercise, used after a stroke, perfectly strengthens the fine motor skills of the hands, restores the movements of the hand and fingers.
  2. The patient can bend and unbend his legs himself. And the leg should straighten itself. The patient only needs to roll it forward on the bed, but he must control his movements.
  3. The patient can bend and straighten the fingers on the affected limb.
  4. The patient can raise and lower the injured arm. Classes begin with the shoulder joint.

And the patient can hang his arm or leg on a towel, an elastic bandage. And then he needs to rotate it a little. During rotation, it is advisable to move the hand to the left and right side.

These exercises prepare the patient for the basic physical education used after a stroke at home. You need to do them 2-3 times a day, for 30 minutes.

What kind of active exercises can the patient do

The patient can engage in an active set of exercises included in gymnastics after a stroke. But they perform it only in an acute period.

Here exercise therapy after a stroke is that the patient:

  • Takes hands behind the back of the bed. In his mind, he counts up to "1". At the same time, he stretches his arms and legs. You can't overdo it. Returns to its original position.
  • Straightens the injured arm. And he should start with the fingers of the hand, and then move on to the hand and forearm. Next, he must take a splint or bandage, fix his hand. After such an exercise, motor activity in the hands is restored faster.
  • Slides with the foot, but with some effort. For this exercise, he lies on the bed, and bends his legs at the knees, pulls him towards him. In this case, the feet should not come off the bed. The complex is required to be performed 8-12 times.
  • Turns head to the left and right. Such gymnastics relieves hypertonicity in the cervical region.
  • Lies straight, hands pressed to the body, the body relaxes completely. At the expense of "1" he bends his right arm at the elbow, hold it for 1-2 seconds. And then he puts her down on the bed. On the count of "2" he bends the other limb, repeats the gymnastics with it. And the patient can hang the limb on an elastic bandage. And then he can bend it, unbend it, rotate it.
  • Bends fingers into a fist, unbends them. Moreover, it is difficult for a person after a stroke to perform all the gymnastics, but it is necessary to do this.

Additionally, the patient can work out on the ring expander.

Remember: physical activity after a stroke can only be done after talking with your doctor. But usually it is prescribed to disabled people and patients with an acute stage of the disease.

Exercises that are recommended to be performed from a sitting position

This restorative gymnastics, used after a stroke, can be switched to at the end of the acute period. For this complex, the patient must:

  • Sit straight on a chair with a back. At the expense of "1" the patient takes a breath, reduces the shoulder blades. At the expense of "2" he returns to his previous position. Such a complex develops the shoulders perfectly.
  • Turn your head. And you need to do 8-10 exercises in each direction. This exercise must be performed very carefully, the movements should be soft, smooth. The patient can easily dislocate or break the cervical vertebrae.
  • Pick up a stick. It needs to be placed on the floor. It should become a point of reference for the patient. Then the patient takes it with both hands, and begins to swing back and forth. In this case, the stick cannot be released. It is desirable to gradually increase the amplitude. You need to carefully monitor your breathing. It should be even, not stray. Such a complex perfectly relieves the tone of the back.
  • Bend and straighten your fingers several times.
  • Sit on a chair, bend back a little, bring the shoulder blades together, hands and head also take a little back. It is recommended to hold this position for 2-3 seconds.
  • Sit on the bed, hang your legs down, and then try to make them a few swings. At first, the swings are performed slowly. And then the pace gradually increases.

Exercises performed from a sitting position

Such gymnastics after a stroke is done at the last stage of physical rehabilitation. It has a positive effect on the heart and blood vessels.

Physical exercises used by a patient after a stroke at home look like this. The patient needs:

  • Stand up straight, spread your legs shoulder-width apart, put a chair in front of you. On the count of "1" raise one leg, put it on a chair. Hold on for a few seconds. Return to the previous position. On the count of "2" raise the other leg. The complex must be performed 3-6 times.
  • On the count of "1" raise both hands up. Hold for 1-2 seconds. On the count of "2" lower both hands down. And they raise their hands as they inhale, and lower them as they exhale.
  • Perform an exercise called "False Steps". To do this, the patient needs to put his feet shoulder-width apart. On the count of "1" put your foot forward, take a false step with it. At the expense of "2" put it in its place. And at the expense of "3" repeat the gymnastics with the other limb. The complex begins to be performed with a healthy limb. It is performed 5-7 times on each leg.
  • Pick up a small ball. Then the patient transfers it from hand to hand. This exercise is great for restoring coordination. But it is desirable to perform the complex together with a medical worker, a relative.
  • Stretch a little. To do this, the patient needs to stand on his toes, stretch his arms high up, aiming for the ceiling.
  • Walk on the spot. Moreover, it is desirable for the patient to perform this complex for 30 seconds. Later he must do it for 1 minute.
  • Stand up, put your hands on your belt, twist your body to the right, and spread your arms to the sides. The position must be held for 1-2 seconds. Next, the complex must be repeated with the other side.
  • Squat. After an ischemic stroke, these exercises included in the rehabilitation are performed with extreme caution.
  • Stand up, put your hands on your belt, tilt your body to one side, to the other.
  • Stand up, do a few lunges on your feet, change legs.
  • Stand up, spread your legs shoulder-width apart, raise your left leg, make circular movements with it. Then he raises the right limb, repeats the complex.

Remember: in the beginning, all exercises are performed under the supervision of a specialist. Later, a patient after a stroke can do therapeutic exercises at home.

Gymnastics for the eyeballs

After a stroke, you need to perform physiotherapy exercises for the eyes. It restores oculomotor functions in people with nerve paresis, muscle weakness.

Therapeutic exercises after a stroke are performed as follows. Patient:

  • moves eyes to the left, right side, up, down;
  • makes eyes "eight";
  • strongly compresses the eyelids;
  • makes circular movements with the eyes;
  • blinks frequently.

Complexes that develop hands

After this disease, it is the hands that most often suffer in people. And the following physical exercises help to restore their motor activity, accelerating the recovery of the patient after a stroke.

He must:

  • squeeze your fingers tightly, and then unclench them;
  • make swings with the upper limbs. It can be the usual "Mill", "Scissors";
  • move your hands in a circle. At first, you can make movements clockwise, and then against it;
  • bend your arm at the elbow, and then slowly straighten it;
  • slightly load the shoulder joints.

Complex to help develop legs

The following post-stroke exercises help increase leg mobility.

For them, the patient must:

  • bend, unbend fingers on the lower extremities;
  • move your leg to the side. Moreover, the complex is required to begin with the hip joint;
  • pull the toe of the foot towards you;
  • bend, straighten the leg at the knee.

Remember: such exercises for recovery after a stroke are indicated for people with cardiovascular diseases.

Exercises to help develop articulation

Very often, people who have had a stroke lose their speech. It is very difficult to restore it, but it is possible.

For this, the patient after a stroke needs to do special exercises for the face.

Articulation gymnastics for a patient after a stroke is carried out as follows. He must:

  • stretch the tongue forward as much as possible;
  • flick your tongue lightly. Moreover, all exercises for the face after a stroke are done from top to bottom;
  • curl your lips into a tube;
  • bite first the lower, and then the upper lip;
  • lick the lip first clockwise and then counterclockwise.

Additionally, a patient after a stroke can do the following exercises at home. He must:

  • smile slightly. This position must be held for 5-10 seconds;  
  • roll the tongue into a tube;  
  • stick out the tongue, rotate it clockwise, counterclockwise;  
  • pronounce all the letters of the Russian alphabet;  
  • speak simple, familiar words;
  • pronounce difficult words, tongue twisters.

Remember: a patient after a stroke needs to do such exercises at home 2-3 times a day, for 15-30 minutes.

Additionally, after a stroke, you need to do breathing exercises.

To do this, he must:

  • perform rhythmic inhalations, exhalations;
  • inhale, exhale with different frequency;
  • first use abdominal breathing, and then suddenly switch to chest breathing.

Thanks to such physical therapy at home, the patient after a stroke will improve the flow of oxygen to the brain, gas exchange.

Additionally, the patient can inflate balloons.

What simulators can the patient use

To speed up the rehabilitation process, a patient after a stroke needs to perform a set of exercises on simulators.

He can work on:

  • Exercise bike. Such exercises restore human motor activity, train the cardiovascular system, reduce the risk of relapses after acute ischemia of cerebral structures. And it also heals the body.
  • Mini-simulators designed for limbs. For the hands, the Bud simulator is used, and for the legs, the Shagonog.
  • Verticalizer. He perfectly trains the vestibular apparatus. And he gives the body the correct position, prepares it for straight walking.
  • "Active-passive" simulators. Such exercises perfectly train damaged limbs.
  • Trainer "Lokomat". This is a medical exoskeleton. He teaches the patient to walk, improves physical activity.
  • Walkers. With their help, a person will learn to walk correctly.

Remember: there are many simulators that help a person who has had a stroke. Only a doctor can choose the right simulator. He can also suggest how to carry out exercise therapy at home after a stroke.

To summarize: the exercises included in the period of rehabilitation of a person after a stroke at home must be performed. So the patient will be able to return all previously lost functions, mobility to the limbs. Without gymnastics, he risks remaining disabled for the rest of his life.