Ataxia At-Home Therapy

During your second visit to Physical Therapy, you will be given your own home exercise program with detailed instructions and pictures of stretches and exercises to perform on the days you do not come into the clinic. Because you will only spend 2-3 hours a week in therapy each week, your home exercise program will provide you with the tools to take some of your recovery into your own hands. Your HEP will provide you with exercises and strengthening, and always be something that can be referenced as needed after graduating from your time in physical therapy.

While in the clinic you will be working with the physical therapist on balancing activities. We ask that you refrain from working on high level balancing activities at home unless your physical therapist specifically prescribes them as a part of your HEP, and states that you are safe to do so.  Stretches and therapeutic exercises designed to increase ROM and strengthen muscles of the core, hips, and legs:

    • Hip abduction strengthening—Loop TheraBand around ankles and while standing at a counter or tall surface maintain weight on one leg, while lifting the other out to the side; Perform 20-30 repetitions, 2x/day.
    • Hip extension strengthening—Loop TheraBand around ankles and while standing at a counter or tall surface maintain weight on one leg, while lifting the other, with a straight knee, behind you; Perform 20-30 repetitions, 2x/day.
    • Hip Hikes—Standing with one leg on a step, and keeping knee straight, drop the opposite hip down with a slow and controlled motion, and then raise the hip back up to parallel. Perform 20-30 repetitions, 2x/day.
    • Bridges—Lying on back with knees up and feet in contact with the mat, tighten core and gluteal muscles. Press hips towards the ceiling until your body is in a straight line. Hold this position for 3 seconds before relaxing; Perform 20-30 repetitions, 2x/day.
    • Ankle strengthening—In the seated position, with a resistance band (that you will be provided in the clinic) perform light resistive ankle exercises in all 4 planes of motion; Perform 20-30 repetitions, 2x/day
    • Heel Raises—Standing with feet shoulder width apart, raise up onto your toes and then with slow, controlled motion, lower back down to the floor.
    • Calf Stretch—Standing in front of the wall, place the ankle to be stretched behind your stance leg. Lean into the wall, leaving back heel in contact with the floor so that you feel a stretch into the back of your calf; Hold the stretch for 30 seconds, 2x/day.

Disclaimer:  The information in this blog is intended to be informational only, and is not intended to be used in lieu of medical care.  Consult a doctor or a physical therapist before attempting treatment on your own.

If you or a loved one suffers from ataxia, please come see us for a free consultation to see how we can assist you in your recovery.  To request an appointment, click here, or call directly to one of our three locations during regular business hours:

Cool Springs: 615-224-9810
Shelbyville: 931-684-0027
Spring Hill: 931-489-2022

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