It is characterized by weakness or paralysis on one side of the body. It can occur following a stroke, traumatic brain injury, or after surgery. If you have it and are looking for ways to help yourself, here are some exercises that might be helpful to prevent muscle wasting.
Some simple ways to strengthen the muscles include weight-bearing exercises (i.e., using a walker), using your unaffected arm to support your affected arm during activities, and performing large muscle groups (i.e., squats).
- Physical Therapy and Exercise
You can help your child with their hemiparesis exercises by performing physical therapy and exercise. Physical therapy is designed to restore the use of muscle groups that a stroke or brain injury has damaged. This can be done through the use of exercises and activities which target the affected arm and hand.
As well as other parts of the body such as the trunk (i.e., upper body) and leg muscles, thereby strengthening the muscles, they will be able to support their body weight and maintain standing and walking.
- Occupational Therapy
Occupational therapists are trained to help patients with it. They provide information on the best ways to perform daily tasks such as dressing, bathing, cooking, and driving. Occupational therapists can also teach you how to perform activities of daily living that are independent of your hemiparesis.
These activities might include feeding yourself, feeding your dog or cat, getting out of bed, walking around your home, and using the toilet. This can help you feel more independent and regain some of your independence. In addition, you can help your child with exercises using a walker or good arm to support their affected arm during activities.
- Home Exercise Programs
A home exercise program is an excellent way to begin helping your child. Many of the exercises can be completed using a walker or wheelchair. Some activities are done on the floor with your child lying on their back, while others are performed seated in a chair. These exercises should be done at least twice a day and gradually increased over time.
- Constraint-Induced Movement Therapy
This is a form of physical therapy which aims to help people get used to their new body and learn to compensate for any weakness. It is also used to prevent or delay muscle atrophy.
The therapy is beneficial as it can be conducted in a group setting and helps you stay engaged with others and feel less isolated. You can help your child with this therapy by allowing them to learn how to do the exercises and track their progress.
- Strength Training
Also called resistance training, strength training involves using weights to build muscle strength. Exercises to consider include push-ups, chin-ups, and sit-ups. You can help your child with this therapy by allowing them to learn how to do the exercises and track their progress.
- Balance Exercises
Also called stability exercises, balance exercises aim to improve people’s ability to stand and move while standing. Exercises include heel-to-toe walking and heel-to-toe balancing. You can help your child with this therapy by allowing them to learn how to do the exercises and track their progress.
- Mirror Therapy
Mirror therapy is a simple exercise that can help with hemiparesis. When using a mirror, hold your affected arm up and out in front of you with the palm facing towards you. Then, look into the mirror and move your affected hand to where it looks like your hand is trying to reach out, then move it back.
Repeat this movement ten times and repeat this five times every day for 10 minutes. This exercise can be done by sitting in front of a mirror or standing up by holding onto something for support and moving your affected hand up and down. Be sure not to overdo this exercise as it can cause injury if you are not careful.
Your child may have it, which means they have lost control of one side of their body. It also means that they will not be able to move as well as other children their age. If you notice any changes in your child’s behavior or are concerned about your child’s continuing development, you must get help from a medical professional.