Waiting for smoother walking

I am just one of a few people on here who feel not only increased stiffness, but more awkward walking than the initial third, fourth month.

Has anyone been told that the more you walk, the more your brain signals will incorporate a smoother process? Anyone else waiting for that to happen while you still plug along? I’m not knowing what to think. I have walked a lot and am 8 months out, 5 months with zero progress. Always feeling scared.

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Hi Mbhope-- It is 4 1/2 years since my stroke. I have gone from left side totally paralyzed to walking a mile a day. I walked stiffly (when I could walk again) for many, many months. I’d go for months without noticing any change. After about a year or two, others perceived me to walk like anybody else, not stroke-affected. But inside , I could feel the ankle and knee not being as “fluid” as the right side. Even now I can feel a slight difference, but no one else can see it. This growing back into natural fluidity is taking quite some time, but it is happening and is better all the time–is still improving at this point (4 1/2 yrs)-- so I think 8 months is too soon to expect perfect smoothness. Just keep working on it and your brain will too. Remember, plateaus are normal. The brain needs to rest sometimes and reinforce what it has already learned up to a certain point–like rehearing a piece of music over and over again before moving on to a new and harder piece of music. :slightly_smiling_face:Jeanne


@Mbhope don’t feel scared you’re doing so well. I agree with @axnr911 great advice.

I’m 2 years this March and still repairing myself. Keep going kind wishes Loraine big hugs :hugs:

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@axnr911 @Loshy
Thank you for your kind words and sharing what you went through. Since the pt/ot cannot give me any idea if I will improve, I can definitely let fear overtake me.

@Mbhope don’t let fear over come you, you’ve come this far. Be positive set small goals do not tier yourself out. You will get there. Thinking of you best wishes loraine

I’m almost a year since my stroke. It is only in the last two or three months that I began to walk again.
Ii does make me think that there is hope and improvements don’t necessarily come in the first three or four months. Since getting up on my feet my strength, confidence and general attitude have had a boost that can only be described as a positive outcome.
I’m writing this @axnr911 in particular because your description of your progress has given me great hope for my own long term future especially as my outlook on first leaving hospital had been so bleak. So thanks very much @axnr911 for your input here, it is invaluable to me. I’m sure others who read this might also learn from your experience.
All of this goes to show what a useful resource this forum can be and how scanning the writings of others can be a great help and a reassurance.

Keep on keepin’ on
:smile: :+1:


I am 12 months post stroke and still struggle with walking. Its anything but smooth but it enables me to get about. I am hopeful that at some point it’ll start to get better probably when i least expect it. There’s always hope so don’t give up.


Thank you all for the support. My biggest hurdle is the fact that I was first walking five weeks after my stroke, and now have all this stiffness and pain that does not respond to any treatment plus renders me less able to have a normal gait than four months post. (Only progress is way less knee flexion) I guess I just thought that tons of practice would at least move me the teeniest tiny bit towards smoother walking, not regression. I am glad to hear that some people get better years later. This truly sucks though in the meantime. I get sad. :cry:

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I too had a better walking style early in my recovery. My leg then started to feel really heavy & my walking regressed. It has made no improvement since. I have been told I have Functional Neurological Disorder (FND) triggered by my stroke. I was very upset initially when given this diagnosis but have got used to it now. I’m remaining hopeful but also accepted that for now I’m stuck with it. Here’s hoping you start progressing more very soon. :crossed_fingers::crossed_fingers:

We all get sad days @Mbhope bottoms up and cheers :clinking_glasses: to 2023 we are coming home and getting better x

Thank you. :blush:
I can only hang on to #hope I guess.

In one of the stroke books I am reading at the moment, the author who had a stroke in their 20s strongly recommends two things, one running trainers which are built to absorb much of the pressure on your foot and for general exercising he said couldn’t beat a rowing machine. The latter seems a bit low down to get on and off easily but I ordered a gel based pair of running trainers and they arrived this week. Only worn them twice but they seem to make life easier, they do reduce the impact,give a bit more spring and the nasty sensation perhaps seemed less. I really noticed today when out of habit I walked in my old trainers without thinking of the new ones.
I find in the house walking is easier in trainers rather than wearing socks or bare foot, like it fools the brain a little.
The other advantage is the toes in those types of trainers are curved up which seemed to help with catching my foot occasionally, something I hadn’t done for a while. They are also quite light by comparison.
Maybe this is just a small % improvement, even if it’s battling what the mind thinks it’s feeling. Hope this helps.


Thank you. I will try to look them up. I might need help though.

Hi I too am in the same place as you but feel hopeful after reading your other replies especially Bobbi. Keep plodding on and I will too. Tricia