Weight Shifts

I was in occupational therapy today and there was this girl in there.  My OT made her do her entire hour of exercises standing up.  Why did she do that?  Because this girl has a hard time being on her feet.  She tires easily and has poor balance.  OK, so here’s how to more easily stand up.  But once you’re up, then that’s a whole different ballpark.  You may have trouble standing, you may get really tired, you may have terrible balance, you may fall.  These things happen.  Once you’re in a standing position, there’s a lot of things you can do to work on remaining standing.  My OT kept making this patient do weight shifts.  Weight shifts are just what they sound like.  You shift your weight from leg to leg.  The leg that isn’t working remains on the ground BUT you should be able to easily lift the unweighted leg – it should have no weight on it.  It’s not balancing on one leg, it’s simply shifting your weight.  Now, you may feel like you have to hold onto something when standing.  Like if you’re standing at the kitchen sink you may feel like you have to hold onto the counter.  That’s OK, but try to decrease the amount of weight you’re putting through your hands, decrease the number of fingers used to steady yourself until you’re only using 1 finger and eventually no fingers – you’re standing on your own.  NO leaning, your spine should remain straight and you should be standing up tall.  Also, no resting your hips on the counter.  If you do that, you’re negating the whole exercise.  Here’s some exercisesThis site is meant for cartoonists, but it’s a good explanation of weight shifts.

Categories: Rehab, Stroke stuff

Tags: , , , , , ,

6 replies

  1. Oh cool. My OT had me do bowling on the Wii when I was in the hospital.

  2. My PTs told me nothing about balance, weight-shifting, etc. My OT taught me that but coded it as something else. Now I use the Bosu, round-side down and have yet to crash, give me time.

  3. More brilliamne from you, Amy! I spend at least half of my therapy time on balance. It takes a significant amount of effort to just stand there absorbing all the pushing from my PT!


  1. Base of Support – mycerebellarstrokerecovery

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