Are there any massage machines on the market for stroke patients?

Sandrakg asked...

I would like to know if there are any massage machines that a person could buy that would help a leg which has limited movement after a stroke. My father had a stroke and he can walk with a walking stick and on a frame but many days the leg drags and he says it feels heavy. He rides an exercise bike for an hour a day and walks up and down the driveway for an hour a day and does intense physiotherapy every 2nd or 3rd day such as stretching exercises etc. I am just wondering if a deep massaging machine or something like it might be able to be attached to his leg and help it through vibration and stimulation. It has been 14 months since he had his haemorrhage stroke. If you have any other suggestions it would also be appreciated. Looking forward to your reply. Regards Sandra

Expert Answer

James Castle, M.D. is a neurologist at NorthShore University HealthSystem (affiliated with The University of Chicago) and an expert on strokes.

Based on your description, my suspicion is that your father is suffering from a post-stroke foot extension problem (otherwise known as a central foot drop) which prevents him from walking around easily. The less expensive way to deal with this is to get an ASO ankle brace from a local physical therapists (any local hospital should have a physical therapy department). The more expensive, and often better, way to deal with this is to get a functional electrical stimulator device that attaches just below the knee and causes the foot to lift when walking. They are typically made by prostetic device companies. The company local to us that makes them is Scheck and Siress. You can check their website, or inquire with your local physical therapy office to see if any companies make such a device in your area.

Good luck!