A silly but apparently, effective, way to train your coordination with affected arms is to “monster walk”: My occupational therapist last year told me to do it in the privacy of my room every day. I have to incorporate it into my daily routine, so I’ll report back later on if it really does improve by much. But I find it hard to quantify the improvements you can make for coordination as a whole, so it can’t hurt to try.
What is “monster walking”? Essentially, you get down on all fours and take dramatic but intentional, confident “steps” with your hands and knees. Fingers straight, hands extended to ninety degrees at the wrist, much like the foot as you take normal steps. Take thirty “steps” alternating hands and knees in one direction and make the return trip.
Actually the idea is quite silly and fun. Make it a game and do it with a friend, family member, or significant other, slowly but deliberately. Make sure the movements are precise.
Coordination is probably one of the most formidable of challenges in the stroke rehab arena. Some strokes mostly affect strength (pretty straightforward), and others, like mine, jostle your equilibrium so that the main focus of your rehab aside from strength and movement is coordination and balance.
Similarly, for gait, I also recommend getting ahold of an agility ladder, which you can lay down on the floor to mark space for your strides. Walk slowly and intentionally, like with the monster walk, making sure to lift your foot as close to ninety degrees at the ankle as possible and striking with your heel. Go back and forth ten times, or as many times as you think works with the length of your ladder. But be careful! (You can easily trip.)
I’ll see what I can do about getting a short video up of myself attempting to do both these exercises. I’m currently at my parents’ restaurant and therefore unable to do it, but I will try later this week.
To our healing,