Why do they happen?
A stroke can affect the way your muscles work. Your brain sends signals to your muscles, through your nerves, to make them move. A stroke can damage your brain and affect these signals.
Balance is very complicated and involves different parts of your body, including your eyes, ears, muscles and joints. A stroke can affect any or all of these things, as well as the way they work together.
What kind of problems do people have?
- Drop foot: this is when your toes catch on the ground when you step forward because the muscles that lift your toes are weak
- Problems with stamina: you may find it difficult to keep moving for a long time. So if you’ve been active for a while and start to feel tired, you may find that you become more clumsy and find it more difficult to control your movements
- Spasticity: this happens when your muscles become very stiff and tight, which can make it difficult to move your arms and legs.
Will they get better?
It is possible for problems with movement and balance to get better. Most people see the biggest improvements within the first weeks and months after a stroke.
After this, recovery can be slower, but many people carry on making improvements and become fitter and stronger months and years after stroke.
Are there treatments that can help?
Find out more
- Physical effects of stroke - our leaflet with lots of information about muscle weakness, spasticity and drop foot and how these problems can be treated.
- Balance problems after stroke - our leaflet with lots of information about problems with balance.
- Find out more about the physical effects of stroke on My Stroke Guide. As well as free access to trusted advice, information and support 24 hours a day, My Stroke Guide connects you to our online community, to find out how others manage their recovery.