Updated: Oct 28, 2022
You will find that I don’t refer to things as “Good Side/Bad Side”. There are a couple of reasons for that. One reason is I don’t like the sounds of those terms. All your sides are Good!
The terms I was trained to use, and really like, are More Affected/Less Affected. Those terms have a less negative aspect to them. Also, they are a better description of what is happening after Stroke (as we know it right now).
The brain is complex and we continue to learn more and more about it. For people with one side more affected by stroke, there is typically significant damage to one side of the brain and a physical representation of the damage on the other. That is because 90% of the pathways from one side of the brain have pathways that “run” the other side of the body. That is where most of the impact of the stroke is seen. However, there is the remaining 10% of the pathways. Those pathways are directed to the same side of the body. This is why someone may feel that their Less Affected side is not quite the same either.
This may seem like bad news, but it is not. When we look at this situation in the opposite way, we can see there is an opportunity to make use of that 10% of pathways. If you have one side of your brain not damaged by a Stroke, then you have 10% of the pathways of that brain tissue sending signals to your More Affected Side! I think this is why there are benefits found in scientific studies on improvements in strength on a non-exercising body part when a strength program for the opposite body part is completed. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5465979/ Go here for a study that references many experiments that are in the literature)
If there are benefits for non-stroke survivors, there should also be benefits for Stroke Survivors.
That is why I offer one sided fitness classes. Working on strength, mobility and fitness using what moves more easily can offer a simple way to get moving. And, it allows you to indirectly influence your More Affected side. In addition to getting indirect stretch and mobility because you are working on movements that incorporate movement through your trunk, you also are using those 10% of pathways going to your More Affected Side. The science is developing, but as part of what is offered through Thrive Stroke, we will continue to explore how using what is easy to use and moving into ease can help improve your mobility and control of the side that has been more affected by Stroke. If you want a sample of one sided work outs, you can sign up for our newsletter to get details on the opening of the program and special offerings www.thrivestroke.com/newsletter