Today marks World Stroke Day and Urban Poling is proud to say that stroke clients can absolutely benefit from pole walking–as many already do. For those of you who may not know, stroke is a neurotraumatic injury which typically affects one side of the body a lot more than the other. Stroke clients often experience greater muscle weakness and spasticity on one side and need to have their muscle and neural pathways re-strengthened (Mani, 2019).
Research by Sun and Zehr (2019) has indicated that strength training significantly impacts neuroplasticity, even with unilateral training. Engaging both the upper and lower extremities, however, provides even greater benefit. Rhythmic movement training, such as pole walking, is an excellent way for stroke survivors to re-gain lost strength because such movements are actually governed by the same neural pathways. This means that “engaging multiple limbs in training programs can have an impactful influence on regaining strength after stroke” (Mani, 2019).
For all those stroke survivors out there, know that there is hope. Studies have shown that our nervous systems are plastic and thus, can be re-moulded. Participating in rehabilitation activities to amplify strength therefore, is certainly possible. Here’s wishing all the stroke survivorsand their caregiversa healthy step forward. We know it’s not an easy journey but ask that you come with us, as best you can, towards the road to recovery. Urban Poling walks right alongside with you.
*Urban Poling is grateful to contribute 1% of our ACTIVATOR proceeds to the MODC Stroke Recovery Canada program*