Waiting for smoother walking

I am just one of a few people on here who feel not only increased stiffness, but more awkward walking than the initial third, fourth month.

Has anyone been told that the more you walk, the more your brain signals will incorporate a smoother process? Anyone else waiting for that to happen while you still plug along? I’m not knowing what to think. I have walked a lot and am 8 months out, 5 months with zero progress. Always feeling scared.


Hi Mbhope-- It is 4 1/2 years since my stroke. I have gone from left side totally paralyzed to walking a mile a day. I walked stiffly (when I could walk again) for many, many months. I’d go for months without noticing any change. After about a year or two, others perceived me to walk like anybody else, not stroke-affected. But inside , I could feel the ankle and knee not being as “fluid” as the right side. Even now I can feel a slight difference, but no one else can see it. This growing back into natural fluidity is taking quite some time, but it is happening and is better all the time–is still improving at this point (4 1/2 yrs)-- so I think 8 months is too soon to expect perfect smoothness. Just keep working on it and your brain will too. Remember, plateaus are normal. The brain needs to rest sometimes and reinforce what it has already learned up to a certain point–like rehearing a piece of music over and over again before moving on to a new and harder piece of music. :slightly_smiling_face:Jeanne


@axnr911 @Loshy
Thank you for your kind words and sharing what you went through. Since the pt/ot cannot give me any idea if I will improve, I can definitely let fear overtake me.

I’m almost a year since my stroke. It is only in the last two or three months that I began to walk again.
Ii does make me think that there is hope and improvements don’t necessarily come in the first three or four months. Since getting up on my feet my strength, confidence and general attitude have had a boost that can only be described as a positive outcome.
I’m writing this @axnr911 in particular because your description of your progress has given me great hope for my own long term future especially as my outlook on first leaving hospital had been so bleak. So thanks very much @axnr911 for your input here, it is invaluable to me. I’m sure others who read this might also learn from your experience.
All of this goes to show what a useful resource this forum can be and how scanning the writings of others can be a great help and a reassurance.

Keep on keepin’ on
:smile: :+1:


I am 12 months post stroke and still struggle with walking. Its anything but smooth but it enables me to get about. I am hopeful that at some point it’ll start to get better probably when i least expect it. There’s always hope so don’t give up.


Thank you all for the support. My biggest hurdle is the fact that I was first walking five weeks after my stroke, and now have all this stiffness and pain that does not respond to any treatment plus renders me less able to have a normal gait than four months post. (Only progress is way less knee flexion) I guess I just thought that tons of practice would at least move me the teeniest tiny bit towards smoother walking, not regression. I am glad to hear that some people get better years later. This truly sucks though in the meantime. I get sad. :cry:


I too had a better walking style early in my recovery. My leg then started to feel really heavy & my walking regressed. It has made no improvement since. I have been told I have Functional Neurological Disorder (FND) triggered by my stroke. I was very upset initially when given this diagnosis but have got used to it now. I’m remaining hopeful but also accepted that for now I’m stuck with it. Here’s hoping you start progressing more very soon. :crossed_fingers::crossed_fingers:

Thank you. :blush:
I can only hang on to #hope I guess.

In one of the stroke books I am reading at the moment, the author who had a stroke in their 20s strongly recommends two things, one running trainers which are built to absorb much of the pressure on your foot and for general exercising he said couldn’t beat a rowing machine. The latter seems a bit low down to get on and off easily but I ordered a gel based pair of running trainers and they arrived this week. Only worn them twice but they seem to make life easier, they do reduce the impact,give a bit more spring and the nasty sensation perhaps seemed less. I really noticed today when out of habit I walked in my old trainers without thinking of the new ones.
I find in the house walking is easier in trainers rather than wearing socks or bare foot, like it fools the brain a little.
The other advantage is the toes in those types of trainers are curved up which seemed to help with catching my foot occasionally, something I hadn’t done for a while. They are also quite light by comparison.
Maybe this is just a small % improvement, even if it’s battling what the mind thinks it’s feeling. Hope this helps.


Thank you. I will try to look them up. I might need help though.

Hi I too am in the same place as you but feel hopeful after reading your other replies especially Bobbi. Keep plodding on and I will too. Tricia

Jeanne, hello
when you write “I have gone from left side totally paralyzed to walking a mile a day.”
could you please clarify the time frame (post-stroke) in which that happened ?
Thanks so much, Roland

hi Roland–As well as I remember, here’s how it went–after I got some feeling back 1-2 weeks, I started with just a few steps with a walker each day, maybe 20 . Then built up to 50-100 slow steps a day with walker), At about 6 weeks (100-500 slow steps with walker)–moved on to quad cane. Slowly added 10 or 20 more steps each day, until I built my energy and strength up to maybe 800-1000 steps each day without cane at about 4-5 months. Kept adding 25-50 steps each week, until at about 8 months I did around 3/4 mile, then a mile. I actually got to 2 miles after about 3 years, but it made me so exhausted for the rest of the day I have backed off to 1 mile. But, you know, everyone is different. It’s important not to measure yourself against others. Be patient with your brain/body. Go at your own pace. Just keep at it, a little every day, and slowly increase. (“Baby steps”) :slightly_smiling_face: Jeanne


Hello Jeanne,
Yes, i understand every case is different
Well done, you, anyway
I seem to go backwards not forwards
ciao, Roland

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You’re not going backwards Pando, in all major traumas as I’ve discovered, recovery is always 2 steps forward, one step back. I look on it as the period of processing and rest :slightly_smiling_face:

I was exactly the same when I had my hip replaced, then after a broken ankle, same leg as hip replacement too :roll_eyes: I still had to re-learn how walk again, specially after the hip, that took a good year!

Stay positive, stay focused and keep on walking :wink:

Yaaay my first short post written :laughing:


Thank you again, Emerald
I’ll settle for 2 steps forward 1 back
…and right now I am undergoing a bit of a transmutation

with thanks, Roland


Hi both I have started walking short distances with no stick but have to wear an ankle/ foot orthotics. I say walking but it’s a start … maybe one day I’ll take steps with no splint on but using a walking aid. Well done on your progress so far. I get so frustrated as my left arm still doesn’t move functionally so not suitable for walker. I’ve now got a fractured shoulder on left, after a freak fall. Still donut know how I landed on the floor but knew I had done damage. I’ll just have to stay positive and keep putting one foot in front of the other , whatever it takes! X

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oh dear, Tricia
i too dread the possibility of a fall
but if we took no risks and played safe all the time we’d make no progress
Keep up the hard work, good luck

Hi Tricia. I too have a very unreliable left arm and was told I couldn’t use a walker. Am now doing wobbly walking with a stick and several wobbly steps minus my stick! I’ve already had one fall when I broke my wrist and a few other falls with no injuries. My left hand still doesn’t have much feeling and no way can I hold a coffee cup or glass of wine. In fact it’s hard to get my arm to do anything useful. I’ve been doing exercises with the physio but can’t seem to make much progress. I’m waiting for an orthotic to try to stop my left foot turning over as that’s what causes the falls. It’s a very frustrating journey isn’t it?
Hope your shoulder heals quickly - as everyone says it’s 2 steps forward and one back. Just so frustrating

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Im hoping for the smoother walk too,for my husband we have just started with a walking pole at the moment He’s still abit wobbly but im hoping it will come with practice .His left arm is still numb but quite good movement in his hand it will be a year in July Do you do therapy every day i do stretching but physio an ot say do this and that ivnot enough hours in day any tips anyone

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