Last Chance! We’re Giving Away $50,000! Enter Now. See Official Rules


AARP Staying Sharp: Keep Your Brain Healthy


The tablet with free 24/7 customer support. Learn More


Military and Veterans Discount



AARP Games - Play Now!


Learn From the Experts

Sign up now for an upcoming webinar or find materials from a past session.


Planning for Long-Term Care for Dummies

Get expert advice on planning for your own or a relative’s future care needs.

Learning centers

Get smart strategies for managing health conditions.



Heart Disease


Most Popular


In Stroke Recovery, Some Low-Tech and High-Tech Options are Equally Effective

Home program just as effective as high-tech treadmills

What kind of therapy works best for stroke patients?

According to a new study, an intensive home-exercise program that emphasizes flexibility, strength and balance was just as effective as high-tech treadmills.

See also: Singing Helps Stroke Patients Communicate.

In the largest stroke rehabilitation study ever conducted in the United States, researchers found that stroke patients regain walking ability through at-home strength and balance exercise provided by a physical therapist — and that method worked just as well as when they participated in programs that practice the actual task of walking, by using a treadmill and partial body weight support.

"For individuals who have suffered a stroke, the findings of this trial offer good news for improving walking within the first year post-stroke through intense physical therapy interventions," said Andrea Behrman, co-principal investigator and an associate professor in the department of physical therapy at the University of Florida College of Public Health and Health Professions.

The Locomotor Experience Applied Post-Stroke, or LEAPS, trial included more than 400 patients who were randomly assigned to a treadmill training group two or six months after their stroke or to a home-based therapy program. Primary funding for the study came from the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke.

Patients in the walking training group practiced walking in a clinic, using a treadmill with a device that provides partial body-weight support, also known as locomotor training. The home-based exercise therapy program was supervised by a physical therapist and focused on flexibility, range of motion, strength and balance.

At the one-year mark, 52 percent of all the study participants had made significant improvements in their walking ability. Both the walking training and exercise program patients had similar improvements in walking speed, motor recovery, balance, social participation and quality of life.

But the home-based exercise program may save on health-care costs and promote treatment adherence: Only 3 percent of patients in the home-based therapy dropped out of the study while 13 percent discontinued the locomotor training.

Topic Alerts

You can get weekly email alerts on the topics below. Just click “Follow.”

Manage Alerts


Please wait...

progress bar, please wait

Tell Us WhatYou Think

Please leave your comment below.


Discounts & Benefits

From companies that meet the high standards of service and quality set by AARP.

Walgreens 1 discount membership aarp

Members can earn 50 points per $1 spent on select health & wellness products at Walgreens.

member benefit aarp hear usa

Members save 15% on easy listening devices and more at the HearUSA Hearing Shop.

Eye Med 4 Membership Benefit AARP Discount

Members save up to 60% on eye exams and 30% on glasses at Target Optical.

Membership Benefits Discounts Email Genius

Brain boost? Get AARP email for access to memory exercises & more that help you focus.

Rewards for Good

Your Points Balance:

Learn More

Earn points for completing free online activities designed to enrich your life.

Find more ways to earn points

Redeem your points to save on merchandise, travel, and more.

Find more ways to redeem points