Yoga may benefit stroke recovery patients

June 1, 2012 at 8:31 PM
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SAN FRANCISCO, June 1 (UPI) -- An eight-week yoga program for recovering stroke patients improved balance and flexibility and provided other benefits, U.S. researchers said.

Arlene Schmid, rehabilitation research scientist at the Richard L. Roudebush VA Medical Center in Indianapolis, Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis and IU Bloomington, said the men and women had completed their post-stroke occupational and physical therapy before the yoga study but continued to experience impairments.

Schmid said loss of functional strength, flexibility and endurance is common after a stroke, but it can lead to long-term disability.

The researchers said as a result of the yoga there were significant improvements in functional strength, flexibility and endurance.

The yoga activities, Schmid said, might have "improved neuromuscular control, likely allowing for strength improvements in affected limbs, sides or areas of disuse."

Schmid concluded it might be appropriate to include yoga in the in-patient or out-patient rehabilitation people receive after a stroke.

The study was presented at the annual meeting of the American College of Sports Medicine in San Francisco.

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