Chiropractic Offers Hope for Post-Stroke Mobility
By Chris Brown
Strokes are the leading cause of severe disability worldwide. The chronic aftereffects of a stroke can be wide-ranging and devastating. More than half of stroke survivors suffer from a reduced ability to walk as a result of decreased muscle strength and nervous system function in the lower limbs. In a recent study, chiropractic showed great success in improving the mobility of stroke patients by measurably improving strength in the muscles of the lower leg.
The Mobility Limitations Caused By Strokes
While strokes are an injury of the brain, neurological dysfunctions can disrupt sufferer's ability to walk in a number of ways. Depending upon the area of brain damaged during the stroke, patients may feel decreased strength or numbness if motor control neural fibers are injured or a loss of balance if the stroke occurs in the cerebellum. Additionally, optimal nerve damage can impact spatial perception, increasing the risk of trips and falls. When these causes combine, they can have devastating consequences on one's ability to walk. In instances where the primary cause of limited mobility is damaged motor control areas of the brain, chiropractic has been shown to improve both muscle strength and the ability to walk effectively.
Chiropractic Improves Stroke Victims' Ability to Walk
A study published in the medical journal, Frontiers in Neurology, looked into the effects of spinal manipulation upon lower limb muscular strength in chronic stroke patients. The study attempted to determine the effectiveness of chiropractic therapy upon post-stroke muscle strength by measuring the motor evoked potentials (or MEPs) of a lower leg muscle in stroke patients before and after spinal manipulation therapy. The study found that spinal manipulation improved strength in the lower leg, but it also visually improved the walking gait of the patients. This improvement shows just how connected the nervous system is to proper functionality of the body. Chiropractic focuses on optimizing the brain-body communication network which runs signals from the brain to the legs. By removing dysfunctions in the system, a chiropractic adjustment allows better communication for the weaker post-stroke signals and increases muscular reactions.
If you or someone you love is being limited by the remnants of a stroke, stop by The Joint Chiropractic today for an evaluation and cost-affordable treatment. All patients, both new and returning, are conveniently seen by walk-in only, so you can stop by anytime during office hours for treatment. And, with over 600 clinics nationwide, one is never far from symptom relief.
To learn more about your health, wellness and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in San Antonio, Tex.