Getting our hands (and everything else) useful again

A place to discuss what the group(s) established by who’s in thread find useful

@Mrs5K can you merge the relevant posts from the other thread here please :slight_smile:


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This is an image of the basic principle for heat and cold therapy.

My go to ice pack is a bag of frozen peas I keep flat in the freezer for such times, easy to break up loose when needed.

I understand what you’re aiming for, I’m just thought I’d share this suggestion here as I doubt I’ll have time to join a zoom session. And this something I did do for my arm and leg when I was getting them working again. It’s a therapy I learnt many years ago from my osteopath and was something he always had my doing after a session, when I got home and periodically between sessions. He’s worked on various issues I’ve had over the years and always used this with them.

It can help loosen up locked muscles and tendons over time.

For my stroke leg, with the aid of my hubby, I used to take a bowl of ice water up to bathroom and fill the bath with warm water. I could sit/stand with feet in ice water then walk up and down or just swirl feet in bath and alternate between the two for half an hour. Certainly gets the circulation going.


In the book: “the brain that changes itself” the author speaks of mentally rehearsing whatever exercise or endeavor that might help an affected limb etc. Studies seem to show it is almost as effective as real-time work. Example, when I am relaxing or in bed before sleep, I am imagining playing my piano with phantom fingers. Sometimes playing scales over and over. When in my relaxing chair I imagine doing my Qi Gong-like dance but with emphasis on creating a realistic “feel” with eyes closed. I just started doing this and we’ll see what happens.
This is , of course, done to increase neuro-plasticity.
Also we need to take note that the traps, shoulder, elbow and hand are one big neuron unit and all parts need to be worked.
Chess players use this mental imagery to become better players. When I was on a powerlifting team we would mentally imagine the lifts we were to perform the next day and it really worked to increase strength.


That’s fine, Simon,

There’s so much to work on. My strategy is to work lower limb, and when it has had enough, or needs a break, it’s time to work on upper half. There is always something to do, and your idea to establish support groups is great.

Today, I’ve got a new book arriving called “Rehab Science” perhaps @Outlander might know it

I don’t think it’s stroke orientated, but I’ll report back when it arrives.
Let’s hope there’s enough response to get the rehab support group going

ciao, Roland


We tend to be a bit cold and stiff particularly in winter months, use some heat therapy and stretches for the affected arm before you start.
And then some hot and cold therapy at the end along with some stretching. Worth doing to get most out of any type of hand arm work.
For heat and cold therapy at the end, start with cold and end with heat, so 5mins cold, 5mins heat, repeat for a couple of cycles but always finish with heat. Just to warm up or loosen up any built up tension afterwards.

Sports people will do warmups prior to playing any kind of sport or fitness workout. So why not warm up the muscles, tendons and joints to loosen them up a bit before doing any rehab exercise, even if its just trying a bit of penmanship.

Ok, you don’t want to be doing that every time you sit down to dinner or write a quick note. But it would certainly be beneficial to do it once or twice a day for the affected arm/leg.

Certainly for your arm, warm up the armpit and all over the shoulder/shoulder blade to spine and neck…the common area most people tend to forget/neglect is the whole armpit area from under arm to side of ribs. So don’t forget to tuck a bag of frozen peas under your arm and a heat pad after :wink:

Most of us know this and been covered in physio, but I just thought I’d put it here anyway for anyone reading who’s not in the know :slightly_smiling_face:


Then I don’t fall within the category of “most”… That is to say I have awareness of what you’re saying but not at a level of usable practical application - and no it’s never been explained by anybody in any of the physiotherapy etc encounters I’ve had

I am familiar with the idea of a warm-up activity such as rolling your shoulders and neck head etc before more strenuous activities.

Something that is more defined in procedural terms with timings and instruction and contraindications etc etc is a sort of thing I’m talking about a sharing not just the conceptual but the actual knowledge required to make something able to be applied


If you get a chance please read my post above and let me know what you guys think.
An important addendum to real-time movement.


Nice posts Derek,

I would like to know how you fared after your tough time / rough time with increasing spasticity, and the therapists who claimed they had never seen you walk so badly? Has your performance continued to decline/ stayed the same / or improved ? Especially interested in your outlook now that some time has passed.

Hope it’s reasonable, ciao, Roland


@pando Roland: Two big things I have to go through first. An infected tooth which means oral surgery and a Cat-scan of my carotid artery which is near the danger zone (clogged) and possible surgery to clean it out. These things will happen during the next two weeks. Stay tuned my friend.


Okay, Derek,

Ah, you’re still not giving me any feedback.
Well, good luck with tooth and possible surgery.
ciao, Roland



Hi @Outlander

I for one do read your posts :slight_smile: and I’ve read multiple times about The sources you have seen for imagining being useful nearobplasticity. I too have sources, different ones but they say the same thing :slight_smile: I’m fully bought into the concept and have been since well before my stroke. It is however good to have reminders .

I also use the last however long of the day in bed and I believe suspect that might be the most useful time just before the subconscious gets to run riot - I often find when I wake up in the morning and practise my movements before getting out of bed I see the most improvement - but it fades during the day

Are you interested in joining our intended peer support group? If so the timing should be towards the end of our afternoon so you and @DeAnn and anybody else in the US has a more friendly time.