When a patient suffers from neurological trauma, such as a stroke, cerebral palsy or a spinal cord injury, they find that many different areas of their body are affected. Some may experience a total or partial inability to move certain limbs or particular muscle groups, which can lead to trouble with maintain balance and muscle coordination.        
           
Stroke victims are particularly prone to having issues with balance and coordination. In the recovery period, some find that they must literally learn to walk again. Oftentimes, the victim’s coordination is severely impacted as well, making it necessary to re-develop the basic motor skills needed to complete simple tasks, such as feeding and dressing oneself or using the bathroom independently. A lack of balance and coordination can lead to a loss of independence, which often results in depression and a feeling of helplessness.
           
Issues with balance and coordination can be very serious, as it puts the patient at a much higher risk for falling and injuring themselves farther. Physical therapy is vital to address these issues. The patient is first assessed in order to construct a comprehensive plan individually tailored to their needs.

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Advanced Physical Therapy, WPB
Most of the time, the plan calls for patient participation in a series of progressive balance exercises. These exercises are designed to increase in difficulty as the patient progresses with the ultimate goal of maximizing mobility and quality of life.

​​For example, a physical therapist may initially start their patient out by having them walk while holding onto bars or a walker, and gradually introduce a cane into the routine. Once walking with a cane has been perfected, the physical therapist may attempt to eliminate all walking aids in cases where it is appropriate and safe to do so. ​