Cochrane Summaries

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Physiotherapy treatment approaches for the recovery of postural control and lower limb function following stroke

Pollock A, Baer G, Pomeroy VM, Langhorne P
Published Online: 
21 January 2009

Physiotherapy, using a mix of components from different treatment approaches, appears best for promoting functional independence following stroke; no single physiotherapy approach is clearly best for promoting recovery after stroke. A stroke interrupts the blood flow to the brain, often leading to damage to some brain functions. This can cause paralysis of some parts of the body or other difficulties with various physical functions. Physiotherapy is an important part of rehabilitation for people who have had a stroke. A number of physiotherapy approaches have been developed based on different ideas about how people recover after a stroke. This review of 21 trials found there is no evidence that any one approach was clearly better than another for improving leg strength, balance, walking speed or the ability to perform everyday tasks. However, physiotherapy using a mixture of components from the different approaches was better than no treatment or placebo treatment for improving aspects of function following a stroke.