Many people with neurological conditions such as traumatic brain injury (TBI) and stroke regain the ability to walk but still experience problems with increasing walking speed, jogging/running or jumping/hopping making it difficult to return to previous hobbies, occupational or sporting activities. Regaining these skills demands different training or therapy to those used for retraining walking as the physical requirements of strength, balance, coordination and movement control are also different. Retraining the ability to walk at speed or return to running is possible! It requires the right sort of training, time and effort.
Anybody who has regained the ability to walk independently following acquired brain injury has the potential to improve their walking speed and in turn performance other high-level mobility tasks.
Neurological physiotherapy beginning with a comprehensive assessment will identify which key aspects of strength, balance, muscle tone/tightness, coordination, confidence, motor control need to be addressed within a task specific training program. This means individually tailored exercises incorporating strength, balance etc specific to the demands of fast walking, stairs or jogging. Neurological rehabilitation for walking and running involves physiotherapy sessions and performance of exercises at home – just like any fitness program.
Find a neurological physiotherapist. If you still receive rehabilitation services through the public health system then ask your neurologist to refer you to your nearest neurological physiotherapy outpatient service. If you are keen to access neurological physiotherapy privately, www.choose.physio website will help you find a neuro physio near you. Transitions Physiotherapy Perth provides mobile rehabilitation to your home, recreation centre or park; and in conjunction with Kingsley Studio offer neuro circuit therapy. Transitions Physiotherapy Perth can help you get back to running following acquired brain injury.
For inspiration, there are videos on YouTube of people returning to running following brain injury and stroke.