Walking Helps Stroke Recovery

For those who have suffered from a stroke, seemingly effortless movements can become daunting tasks. But after a 2011 study published by the New England Journal of Medicine, many doctors are advising stroke victims to start walking to aid the recovery process.

As the Washington Post reported in March of 2012, several cases have been documented where a rigorous walking regimen has aided stroke victims.

"No matter when you start an intense, progressive program, it works," said Katherine J. Sullivan, a neuroscientist and an associate professor of physical therapy at the University of Southern California, who led the LEAPS study with Duncan.

Daniela, 18, walking after her stroke.

The article describes the case of Kris Brott in Maryland who took up walking six times a week after her stroke. Brott's recovery, which can be read in full here, was incredible and she regained nearly all of her pre-stroke mobility.

They began to see progress in six to eight weeks. "She'd say, 'Oh my God, I can feel my left deltoid.' And we'd both cry," Spring [her trainer] said. "And she'd say, 'Oh my God, I can feel my left hand grip.' And we'd both cry."

The process even inspired Brott to become a pilates instructor who now passes on her knowledge and experience by helping other stroke victims.

"Who would understand [stroke victims] better than I?" Brott said. "Who would understand their frustration?"

For 18 year-old Daniela in Vallejo, CA, walking is also helping in her recovery. City Walk spoke to Daniela about her experience. Watch her story here.