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Therapeutic Benefits of Forward Flexion
Encouraging forward flexion is extremely beneficial to stroke survivors and can be used during any stage of recovery. I begin as soon as my patient is medically stable. It lays the foundation for better function including transfers, sit to stand and self care. It also encourages better ROM of the hips and shoulders.
Begin by providing a good base of support with both feet flat on the floor. Position yourself on their weak side, resting your hand on their scapula or trunk.
|Ask them to come forward, only to the point of any discomfort and NO further. Do not do this activity if they have had a hip replacement, other orthopedic considerations or a history of back pain.|
|Three or four times is usually enough. If your patient is fearful or can't flex as far forward, a therapy ball can be helpful.
Giving your patient a goal such as "reach for your shoe laces" can also make a difference. Making this a part of each treatment sessions will help your patient be more functional and less fearful.
For more treatment ideas: Teaching Independence: A Therapeutic Approach to Stroke Rehabilitation (TI).
For more treatment ideas: Functional Treatment Ideas & Strategies in Adult Hemiplegia (FTI).