Struggling at the moment

Hi everyone just wanted to run this by you. I have recently been issued with a new 4D laser AFO and have started 7 weeks (one hour once a week) with a Neuro Physiotherapist to help me improve my walking pattern.

Unfortunately he has picked up on the bad habits I have developed over the years and has given me some tips to correct these, which I know is a good thing:

Getting my weight more onto my affected left side.
Lifting my left knee more as I walk.
Getting my right left further forward as I walk.

All this sounds very simple but I am really struggling to implement all of this :sleepy:, my brain seems unable to cope with 3 instructions at once. My husband has told me to work on one thing at a time but I’m finding it very difficult.

I’m 7 years post stroke following a hemorrhagic stroke which paralysed my left side, so I feel that I should be able to cope with things like this but I’m not coping very well at all. Any thoughts or suggestions would be appreciated.

Regards Sue


Hi Sue, sorry to hear you’re struggling at the minute. Maybe that’s because you had settled into your walking pattern (bad habits or otherwise) & now you feel like you arexstarting again. It’s good that you have these sessions & i’m sure you will pick up everything as you go along. I agree with your husband about focusing on one thing at a time although I realise some things might be interdependent.

Just do what you can & yhen when you go back to your next appointment tell tyem how you’re struggling & ask them to simplify it a bit for you or tell you which is the priority to focus on.

Sending a big hug :hugs::hugs:



Hello Sue,

I’m 21 months post hemorrhagic stroke, and fighting hard to improve my own walking. Bad habits are unavoidable ; we must accept that the first stage is to walk, no matter how, then of course we work at more efficient walking, and finally, if we’re adding finishing touches, a bit of elegance. Please accept that we cannot achieve perfection on our first attempts.

I work seriously at my rehab, as a refusal to succumb to weakness and atrophy. At a certain stage I realized my rehab was moderately flawed, and full of “skipped” stages, lacking foundation and the correct building blocks to guarantee my progress. I am half way through an excellent online rehab course by Arjan Kuipers called and he has filled me in on many things that I feel I missed out on, particularly CORE work, and integrating physio with the vestibular system for balance.

That would be my tip, but focus on one thing at a time, as your husband suggests. I hope brain rehab helps, because the functional Neurologist who created it put in a huge amount of work, and his explanations and insight are second to none, in my opinion,

Good luck, ciao, Roland


I feel you are over thinking this, and your brain is overwhelmed because it can’t cope with multitasking. But also, this is not going to be an overnight miracle and your Neuro Physiotherapist knows that! I think this is the ultimate goal.

But the immediate aim is to just get weight onto the affected side first and that will take as long as a piece of string :wink:

And the simplest way of doing that is standing still and just lean more weight onto that foot. You can do that while watching the telly for a while.

Have the back of chair beside you to hold onto (or anything else such as wall or doorframe) and then just take a step forward putting all your weight onto the affected foot. Then step it back again.

And chances are the rest may naturally follow through as you get more used to this.

My motto since my stroke is keep things “simple stupid”. My brain is less likely to become overwhelmed and want to run away on me.

When you’re bored with that little exercise, just stamp your foot…remind your brain who’s boss :wink: Maybe even kick out with it. It all helps to send signals back to the brain :smile:


Taking 7 years to acquire & practice bad habits then would it be reasonable to expect (at least) 7 months to remove them?

As others said - focus on the component parts separately till combining them is a practical reality - it will get easier

I’ve found PTs just don’t have visceral understanding of what the reality of a brain that is rebuilding capability is like on a day to day basis - Emerald & Pando gave you good example of breaking down practice & building up capability.



Thank you all for your words of wisdom and advice. I don’t know what I would do without this forum. Advice and information from people who truly understand what you are going through is priceless.

Thanks again.

Keep on keeping on everyone.

Regards Sue


I have just been given an afo Sue which has some sort of inbuilt spring (in the shape) in it to help me stop the sole of my left foot hitting the floor as it lifts.

Early days as I got badly hurt in the fitting. Too painful still to use it at home.

However when I did use it, the one big difference was I didn’t need to look at my feet as much as the clearance wasn’t so much of an issue. Can look up more, forward and just concentrate on the heel strike. Found that forces you to do a longer step length without having to consciously do a longer one.


Glad that you managed to master your AFO eventually. Hoping that I get used to mine soon.

Regards Sue


Hi Sue, As other survivors have said you cant rush your recovery and a lifetime of “bad habits” takes some “getting over”. I have found that concentrating on one thing really helps, and don’t move on until you have “mastered it” (or at least got better at it). I hope this works for you (as it does for me) and good luck. Hobbes

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