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  • Gait training advice and tips please

    I use the up n free easy walker to practice walking. It has a bicycle seat and waist strap to keep me pretty secure. Benefit, I can practice walking through the house for over an hour without a spotter. The bicycle seat surely isn't promoting natural walking but it is allowing me to practice safely. I have been thinking of going back to trying a regular walker, I see it being beneficial promoting more natural movement of my legs, but no safety net. This week I went to a small park with a track and practiced with the up n free. The track is not level like walking inside and the up n free turns easily to the left or right so not easy to control and must still be spotted for safety. I focus on distance, but wondering if I should just focus on taking a few steps and more on controlling it. The up n free is great, but the bicycle seat, maybe in the big picture isn't the answer? The regular walker only has two front wheels and wouldn't be so hard to control outside, but it would feel a bit more unsecure.

    The up n free has it's benefits, but if I want to walk stronger and more natural, what steps can I take to make it happen?

    Thank you for your help.

    Ian
    http://abacoian.wordpress.com/ My blog

  • #2
    Do you have access to walking in a pool (one with parallel bars inside the pool would be best)? This is a good safe way to start working on a more natural gait pattern with the advantage of the support of the water and less concerns about falling.

    (KLD)
    The SCI-Nurses are advanced practice nurses specializing in SCI/D care. They are available to answer questions, provide education, and make suggestions which you should always discuss with your physician/primary health care provider before implementing. Medical diagnosis is not provided, nor do the SCI-Nurses provide nursing or medical care through their responses on the CareCure forums.

    Comment


    • #3
      Pool is great.

      Can you find a PT clinic near you or a public/private gym that you can join that has an AlterG (body weight supported anti-gravity treadmill)? My father pays a reasonable fee to use one at a local Novacare PT branch. You can also ask your doctor to write a script for PT for "gait training" and use the AlterG under the direction of a PT.

      http://www.alterg.com/products/anti-...rofessional-pt

      There are several in Florida. Are any near you?

      http://www.alterg.com/product/find-a...Florida%2c+USA

      Comment


      • #4
        I don't have access to aqua therapy, it seems like it would be very beneficial to progress. I live in the middle of the state, all of those location are a few hours off. I will keep trying ideas
        http://abacoian.wordpress.com/ My blog

        Comment


        • #5
          Check with your local MS Society chapter. They often offer pool therapy. Ask them where they do it. You would not need to go to a specific therapy program...just a pool that you can access, and that has the parallel bars. Ask them where they hold their classes. They even have something like this at our local YMCA for their arthritis swim program.

          (KLD)
          The SCI-Nurses are advanced practice nurses specializing in SCI/D care. They are available to answer questions, provide education, and make suggestions which you should always discuss with your physician/primary health care provider before implementing. Medical diagnosis is not provided, nor do the SCI-Nurses provide nursing or medical care through their responses on the CareCure forums.

          Comment


          • #6
            I just looked it up and only 3 show up in Florida, the closest still a few hours away. If there was one nearby, would it be available to me since I don't have ms?
            http://abacoian.wordpress.com/ My blog

            Comment


            • #7
              Not suggesting you join their classes but just find out what pool they use. The YMCA might be a better option...what town are you in/near?

              (KLD)
              The SCI-Nurses are advanced practice nurses specializing in SCI/D care. They are available to answer questions, provide education, and make suggestions which you should always discuss with your physician/primary health care provider before implementing. Medical diagnosis is not provided, nor do the SCI-Nurses provide nursing or medical care through their responses on the CareCure forums.

              Comment


              • #8
                The closest place to my small town is fort myers, i will check into the ymca. How many times a week do you think would make a difference? I mean if it's 45 minutes or more away I couldn't go much more than 1x a week. Do you think it would be worth it? Do you know of any portable type paralell bars that would work in a standard pool?
                http://abacoian.wordpress.com/ My blog

                Comment


                • #9
                  Some resources to check out:

                  http://www.cityftmyers.com/Facilitie...olfview-Pool-8

                  http://www.cityftmyers.com/559/Arthritis-Classes

                  http://www.leegov.com/parks/facility?fid=0078

                  http://www.swflymca.org/programs/aquatics-fitness/

                  http://www.fgcu.edu/vpchiefofstaff/p...e.asp?id=19843

                  http://www.memorialrehab.com/outpati...vHEaAsQr8P8HAQ

                  http://www.waterworkstotalrehab.com/

                  http://www.leememorial.org/rehabservices/lcfsm.asp

                  http://www.arthritis.org/florida/loc...s/programs.php

                  http://www.fyzical.com/fort-myers/se...rehabilitation

                  Whether or not you have a private pool that would allow the use of parallel bars depends upon the configuration of the pool. Ideally, it should be one with a level (not sloped) bottom, and where the depth is 3-5 feet at most. Some people have made their own out of 1.5-2" plastic pipe:

                  https://www.pinterest.com/pin/51509989464869676/

                  https://www.pinterest.com/pin/398709373239728645/

                  http://prayersforbabyrachel.blogspot...llel-bars.html

                  You need to mount them on something that will not float and firmly secure them to the pool floor with their weight.

                  Here are commercially available ones:

                  https://www.ewacmedical.com/products/parallel-bars/

                  http://www.lincolnaquatics.com/shop/...Parallel+Bars/


                  Here is a different approach...a pool "walker":

                  http://sprintaquatics.com/WATER-WALK...oductinfo/698/

                  http://www.wayfair.com/Aqua-Jogger-T...-AQJG1023.html

                  (KLD)
                  The SCI-Nurses are advanced practice nurses specializing in SCI/D care. They are available to answer questions, provide education, and make suggestions which you should always discuss with your physician/primary health care provider before implementing. Medical diagnosis is not provided, nor do the SCI-Nurses provide nursing or medical care through their responses on the CareCure forums.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Sci-Nurse a great list of resources, thank you!
                    http://abacoian.wordpress.com/ My blog

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Call the AlterG folks and have them double check that there isn't one closer to you. Not all of the locations are on their website.

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                      • #12
                        So, pool therapy did not seem very accessible to me and my time restraints, but it seems like there could be some reasonable options for occasional sessions. I can't even say once or twice a week but the possibilities are there. But my question, as far as if I could practice walking in a pool, are the chances good that benefits would carry over to out of pool training and function? If I can figure out a way to the pool, would it be a huge must for me if my goals are simply functional improvement? I really like the look of that walker and think I would get one if I give the pool a shot. And what else could I work on in the pool that would be worth while? I'm thinking sit to stand. Even though the water would be assisting could the muscles still strengthen in the pool?

                        I am really trying to focus on what I can do that will help me most. If the pool will be a big benefit then I will try to figure out a way. Has anyone used one of those walkers?

                        Thank you greatly for the help,
                        Ian
                        http://abacoian.wordpress.com/ My blog

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Yes, you should benefit from pool therapy to assist in your gait, balance, coming to stand, even stair climbing (if they have a set of submerged stairs). You still have to use the right muscles, but the water provides some support and decreases gravity working against you. We try to include pool therapy in most of our SCI Veterans' exercise regimens and help them set up regimens they can do in their own backyard pool if they have one.

                          (KLD)
                          The SCI-Nurses are advanced practice nurses specializing in SCI/D care. They are available to answer questions, provide education, and make suggestions which you should always discuss with your physician/primary health care provider before implementing. Medical diagnosis is not provided, nor do the SCI-Nurses provide nursing or medical care through their responses on the CareCure forums.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            The two pool "walkers" look like a great solution that would allow you to use any pool of suitable depth. Does anyone have any experience with them? Would you recommend one or the other SCI nurse? The Sprintaquatics model looks like it is gripped by the handles in front just like the rolling walkers my son (C5) used in Kunming.

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                            • #15
                              I will check with our aquatics therapist tomorrow and see what she has to say about these pool walkers.

                              (KLD)
                              The SCI-Nurses are advanced practice nurses specializing in SCI/D care. They are available to answer questions, provide education, and make suggestions which you should always discuss with your physician/primary health care provider before implementing. Medical diagnosis is not provided, nor do the SCI-Nurses provide nursing or medical care through their responses on the CareCure forums.

                              Comment

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