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Lower Extremity Interventions

Chapter 9
Lower Extremity Interventions
Rehabilitation techniques of sensorimotor complications post stroke fall into one of two categories: the compensatory approach or the restorative approach. While some overlap exists, the underlying philosophies of care set them apart. The goal of the compensatory approach is not necessarily improving motor recovery or reducing impairments but rather teaching patients a new skill, even if it only involves pragmatically using the non-involved side (Gresham et al. 1995). The restorative approach focuses on traditional physical therapy exercises and neuromuscular facilitation, which involves sensorimotor stimulation and resistance training, designed to enhance motor recovery and maximize neurological recovery (Gresham et al. 1995). In this review, rehabilitation of mobility and lower extremity complications is examined. An overview of literature pertaining to the compensatory approach and the restorative approach is provided. Treatment targets include balance, gait, strength, cardiovascular fitness, and spasticity/contractures. Technologies used to aid rehabilitation include assistive devices, exercise machines, robotic devices, electrical stimulation, and virtual reality.
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