Everybody benefits from doing regular stretches and exercises. Many do not, and they are feeling the response to not doing a regular workout as time goes on. I have been doing certain stretches and exercises since early on after the strokes when I was home from the hospital.
I remembered this one exercise I would do with my right (affected) foot trying to draw out each capital letter of the alphabet almost every day for over a year. I didn’t get much positive response to it, so I discontinued the exercise. I spent at least a half-hour a day during the first couple of years after the strokes doing the movements attempting to get my affected side awakened.
Some of these movements I found that they are helpful, and I will still do them. I found other stretches that didn’t seem to help me, and I have stopped doing them. I can always do more, but stretching and exercising my affected side is essential.
If you pay attention to the reaction to the stretch or exercise, you will decide if you will stay with it in your repertoire or stop doing the movement. The importance is to do something still and notice the result.
Two exercises that I do periodically involve some parts to perform them.
The first exercise uses two pieces that you need to purchase. One is a unique long pole that is called the SaeboGlide. The prices are USD (United States Dollar). It costs $66.00 plus shipping at the time of writing (January 2022). The other part is Finger Fist Brace for Stroke Hemiplegia Hand Training (called on Amazon as the “Finger Splint Brace ability, KIKIGOAL Finger Fist Gloves Brace Elderly Fist Stroke Hemiplegia Hand Training”). It costs $10.79 plus shipping.
This first exercise allows you to stretch and exercises your affected shoulder, arm and hand. The SaeboGlide has a gliding sleeve around the long pole. You place your affected hand onto the gliding sleeve. You hold the long stick at various positions and exercise your affected limb appropriately for your strength level. Included with the SaeboGlide, are many stretches and exercises you can perform.
For example, you can start with little strength in your affected upper extremity. You lie down on your side with your unaffected limb. Put the SaeboGlide between your legs and hold in with your knees. Hold the SaeboGlide with your unaffected hand by your head. The pole is parallel to your body. With your glove, affix your affected hand to the gliding sleeve. To do the exercise, attempt to raise and lower the affected limb 10 times. Repeat the set two more times.
You can see how this movement will benefit returning your complete shoulder extension and flexion. If it hurts, don’t do it. Only do it to the point it goes from sore to painful.
The second exercise uses a 5-foot section of 1” diameter plastic pipe. You can get it at your local hardware store. You can tape close the ends of the tube. I bought a 1” rubber cap for the bottom. The rubber cap will last longer than the tape when you perform this exercise outside. Use the Finger Fist Brace on your affected hand. Affix your hand to approximately the chest height of the pole. Then you can walk with this pole. Short distance first, then longer as you get more comfortable. For example, 10 yards (or meters) at first, 100 yards (or meters) as you get some practice.
These 2 exercises are excellent to do whether you had an injury, an illness, or without any condition!