I found out about pusher syndrome last week for the first time ever from my Physical Therapist in Rehab because I fell once again.
I am a stroke survivors of almost 15 years and have pusher syndrome, the peculiar behavior of my actively pushing away from the non-hemiparetic [the good] side, leading to postural disproportion and the likelihood of falling towards the paralyzed side.
Recent studies have found that the deficit leading to “pushing” is an altered perception of the body’s positioning in relation to gravity. Let me explain.
Pusher survivors experience their body as upright when they are actually tilted to the non-hemiparetic side. The results demonstrate a separate pathway in humans with stroke for sensing gravity different from that for perception of the visual world.
The clinical examination of this pushing, its underlying disturbance, lesion location, and approaches for therapy are all factors requiring more research.
Having a mirror helps me align myself upright. And “normals,” if you see a stroke survivor who are family or friends tilted to the bad side, say something. They should appreciate that kind of correction.