Standing is a feature of normal human movement, and forms the foundation for more complex activities such as walking, standing on one foot and running. In many instances the ability to stand can be retrained to be straighter, stronger and for longer with the right therapy, intensity and programs.
Sensation, or the sense of touch, is a complex and important part of the body’s system. It consists of a chain of nerve endings and receptors that connect our skin to our brain, and helps us feel sharp, blunt, hot, cold and vibration.
Balance is an essential part of everyday movement. We need appropriate balance to be able to stand and walk without falling over, and to stabilise ourselves in different lighting or challenging environments.
Retraining arm movement is often a neglected part of the rehabilitation journey, and yet it contributes heavily to our ability to live independently. The arm forms a strong part of how the body finds its balance and is used to sense touch – if this is not addressed the body’s usual systems are even more impaired. In some cases, the arm may not be able to achieve enough recovery for function, but working on releasing tone and minimising contracture are important goals to maintain the health of the arm.
Smooth coordination is a feature of normal human movement, and can be improved in many neurological conditions. The difference between reduced coordination (ataxia) and normal coordination can be reliance on other people to perform daily activities such as walking and transferring, and increased energy use. This often makes coordination seem worse at the body struggles to make corrections.
It seems like a silly question, but there are many reasons why strength training in the setting of neurological disease and disability is an important part of not just rehabilitation but also healthy living.