Pilates training may help stroke survivors to improve functional balance and quality of life, concluded authors of a small study published in the International Journal of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences(2013; 2 , 204–11). This research was on stroke survivors have had a stroke within the preceding 3–6 months.
Researchers from India, conducted the study to determine whether a Pilates practice could help stroke survivors, since other studies had found Pilates valuable for improving postural stability and balance in older adults.
The study had an randomized and divided 23 subjects between two groups: Pilates or a control group. Pilates subjects took 8 weeks of 45-minute Pilates classes three times per week in addition to receiving conventional post stroke therapy. Control participants only attended conventional therapy.
Data analysis revealed significant improvement in Pilates group members compared with control subjects in both functional balance and quality of life. The control group participants also showed some balance improvement, they did not experience quality-of-life enhancement. Improvement was expected because they were also in therapy.
Pilates exercises used in the studio you might be able to try at home:
- alternate toe taps
- side to side
- side kick
- spine twist
- side leg lift (standing)
- tandem stance (standing)
- ball wall-squat (standing)
Conventional physical therapy for stroke survivors consisted of basic stretching, strengthening, training in the activities of daily living, and gait training.