The writers response:
Courage Kenny Rehabilitation Institute researchers recently presented results from two studies at the American Congress of Rehabilitation Medicine. The annual conference is an expansive educational program covering brain injury, spinal cord injury, stroke, neurodegenerative diseases, pain, cancer, pediatric rehabilitation and neuroplasticity.
Nancy Flinn, PhD, OTR/L, senior scientific adviser, showed how new gait guidelines have improved the walking speed of stroke patients. Courage Kenny developed more aggressive guidelines based on best practices and began using them during physical therapy sessions in 2015. On average, patients doubled their improvement in speed during therapy after the implementation of the guidelines.
"Gait speed has a big impact of how people do in the community. The gains patients made in gait speed meant that, on average, patients were now walking at community walking speeds. If they went to the mall or the grocery store, they would be able to move at the speed of others, so they are safer, because they are less likely to get bumped by others who are passing them," said Flinn.