Center of Gravity
I was talking to my friend recently(the OT) and she said that she used to date a guy who thought she was super strong because she could lift and move really heavy people. Well, she’s not super strong(sorry Vic). It’s all about manipulating that person’s center of gravity(the “balance” point on the body). In PT school, they taught us how to properly lift and transfer(move) people. After a stroke, these things are oh so important to know. In fact, it was during my unit on strokes that I learned lifts and transfers. The reason this is so important after a stroke is because a lot of your muscles are not going to do what your brain would like them to do. When seated in a normal position, your center of gravity is right around your belly button. To stand up, scoot to the edge of the chair and pull your feet back so that they’re under/in line with your butt – if you can, if you can’t just pull them back as far as you can. Now, while still seated lean your upper body forward. This moves your center of gravity forward so it’s right under your chest. Then stand up. It will take minimal effort of the quadriceps(thigh muscles) when the center of gravity is shifted forward. There are lots of little “tricks” like this that make it much easier to get around. This site is to explain transfers for geriatrics but after a stroke you age a few years.