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  • Your Own Recovery Program

    As many on this forum are considering places like Project Walk (www.projectwalk.org) and realize the benefits and potential of exercise based (induced) recovery the reality is that many can't make the pilgrimmage for a variety of reasons.

    That being said, what can we do to copy or replicate some of the already successful programs, clinics, etc.?

    Having given this a lot of thought this is what I've come up with.

    I see a need for strength training of the entire body. I also see a need for balance and stabilization training as well as coordination. And lastly I see a need for a gait training apparatus to help with patterning.

    To tackle the strength training issue (different for quads vs. paras) I need to work on my upper body as well as my lower body. A couple of ways / suggestions to accomplish this - at least for upperbody. A) join a local gym and figure it out as you go, maybe with the help of a personal trainer. B) Weights and equipment in your home. There are too many options to mention but you can aquire it at garage sales, fitness stores, internet, classifieds, infomercials etc. C) Specific equipment such as an Uppertone for quads (insurance reimbursement is possible) available at www.gpk.com

    Lower body. Much trickier for strength training. A) The obvious choice and ultimate piece of equipment is an FES bike available through www.electrologic.com Being as expensive as it is maybe searching for a local clinic or hospital who may have one might be more cost effective. B) Personal training with weights / gym equipment. Load bearing (muscle, not joint) exercise with assistance. C) Pool therapy. Again with assistance.

    Balance, stabilization, etc.. A)I use floor exercises on a www.bosu.com which include trunk control, abdominal strengthening / use. Also back extensions, bridging, side to side motion, etc. B) Hire a personal trainer to help teach you with what you have available. C) Join the gym and hire a trainer until you learn what you can do on your own.

    Gait training, patterning. This is very individual. (Members like Debbie7 have done an awesome job in creating their own systems. Read her thread.) A) You could try a home based litegait system available at www.litegait.com and hire assistants to help 'gait' you over a treadmill. B) If you live in Chicago or Alabama I would check out the lokomat (sorry, no link) and the autoambulator (www.healthsouth.com - keyword autoambulator). C) An elliptical trainer (www.fitnessquest.com) or 'natural runner' machine available at www.startrac.com (Again, check Deb's thread for equipment/harnesses.) combined with a hoist (simplistic, www.grainger.com keyword - electric winches) or the industry standard Guldmann @ www.guldmann.com

    Ok, enough information to chew on. And obviously, depending upon your level of injury and function, the variations on the suggested above change from person to person.

    In summary, personally I'd like my program to consist of the uppertone (www.gpk.com) the FES (www.electrologic.com), the balance ball (www.bosu.com) and a 'natural runner' setup (www.startrac.com) with a guldmann lift (www.guldmann). Three hours a day every day. Sprinkle in some e-stim for my hands and (I wish) some pool therapy and I believe I will be well on the road towards recovery.

    The future is ultimately in home based recovery.

    And finally, I'm curious, what kind of program / equipment do you use? Ideas? Suggestions?

    Peace
    Onward and Upward!

    [This message was edited by Chris on Oct 12, 2002 at 07:57 PM.]

  • #2
    Chris,

    One more piece of equipment. Go to www.ez-walker.com the price is 7,200 and even though I have my own equipment I'm still trying to get my insurance company to buy one.

    Deb

    [This message was edited by Debbie7 on Oct 12, 2002 at 10:11 PM.]
    "Save the last dance for me!"

    Comment


    • #3
      Great job putting all of this together Chris, thank you.

      [This message was edited by seneca on Oct 12, 2002 at 10:37 PM.]

      Comment


      • #4
        Deb, thanks for the link. Does the walker straddle the treadmill?

        Also, for anyone interested in pool therapy you should check out www.hydroworx.com This is the ultimate.

        Get on your feet everyone! If you want to learn how to walk you have to practice walking!

        Onward and Upward!

        Comment


        • #5
          Chris, great post

          Thanks for putting it all together for us. Although I've had a complete injury for so, so long, I still see myself pulling it all together some day with this type of equipment/workout. I firmly believe any successful Cure therapy that comes along will include this kind of extensive therapy. And even though I have always been an athlete (finished my first maraphon 2 ½ years post injury), like you, I don't see myself working that hard on my own. And I have a hard time visualizing a personal trainer at my gym giving me the kind of workout I could get at project walk (even though I've never been there to see for myself.) I married my Physical Therapist - he's wonderful; but at the end of the day we're both tired, busy with the kids, going over homework, bath-time, etc. After giving eight hours to his patients and then several more to his children, he is tired.... and so am I.

          If I had the time and resources, I would consider Project Walk. Would love to see it take off.

          Our greatest drawback is that in the world of Health Insurance, PW does not carry any weight. Unfortunately, insurance companies just don't understand that extensive therapy will serve their own purpose. And even in the world of rehab physical therapy, there are so many limitations placed by the insurance companies...and by the privately-held hospitals.

          If nothing else, I hope the studies conducted at Project Walk will help to convince our insurance companies to pay for ongoing physical therapy.

          Best of luck to you, Chris. Please let us know right away if you see any progress.

          Comment


          • #6
            Nice piece Chris. I would like to stress the importance of an aerobic component in any conditioning program. Particularly in the base training phase. Aerobic training enhances our ability to utilize oxygen by improving the efficiency of the heart, lung, and vascular systems.

            Aerobics and a regimen of core stabilization exercises will provide a good foundation for the more complex training programs.

            Note: Optimal training methodology focuses on the process (training and performing to one's actual best capacity) instead of on the outcome.
            Know Thyself

            Comment


            • #7
              Rick, agreed.

              What suggestions do you have that would help create an aerobic base?

              Onward and Upward!

              Comment


              • #8
                An arm crank workout will get the heart rate up to the necessary levels. Also, pumping or swinging the arms during a pool workout or leg-cycle session will help to facilitate aerobic benefits.

                The basic calculation for maximum heart rate (MHR) (in beats per minute) is: 217 - (age x 0.85). A good aerobic goal would be to raise the heart rate to 60% of MHR and be able to sustain it for a minimum of 20 minutes, 4-5 times a week. (Note: This is not necessarily a starting point; rather, a goal to be achieved through consistent effort.)

                Arm Cranks:
                http://www.endorphin.net/home.htm
                http://www.saratoga-intl.com/saratoga

                Heart Rate Monitors:
                http://www.polarusa.com
                http://www.acumeninc.com

                Not an aerobic facilitator, but something that I have used to help increase lung capacity:
                http://www.powerlung.com
                Know Thyself

                Comment


                • #9
                  Chris,

                  You don't need a treadmill with the EZ Walker. It looks like it moves your legs forward. Give them a call and the will send you a video free.

                  Deb
                  "Save the last dance for me!"

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Rick, something like the products available at www.apt4rehab.com ?
                    Stationary cycles and such?

                    This is a good site btw for therapy products.

                    Onward and Upward!

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Yea Chris. Anything (equipment and/or activity) that promotes enough physical exertion to enable you to reach and maintain your target heart rate.
                      Know Thyself

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        home therapy

                        I'm a therapist without SCI, so that being said, I apologize if I offend anyone here. What I recommend in our program is 2 hours per day minimum of floor exercises. Though I think the ambulators and spinners are a great adjunct to this, I have seen more improvement with floor exercises than anything else. Of course we use things at our office to stimulate the nerves in the first place, but then our patients go home and that's where the real progress begins. As a therapist, I'm a big believer in neurodevelopmental sequence, i.e. you must crawl before you can walk. So I send all our patients home to roll around on the floor and start crawling. I don't know how this would work for someone who has not had any nerve stimulation, but I do know it helps tremendously with our patients. Good luck to those of you out there, my prayers are with you!

                        janis allen
                        janis allen

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Hey, does anyone know where I can find one of those little pedal units (small enough for desk or floor) that is motorized?

                          Sitting here at my desk trying to figure out how I can exercise my legs (at least give them motion, such as pedaling) while I'm at work? It's not e-stim or fes but a small motorized pedaling machine.

                          Thanks.

                          Onward and Upward!

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Chris
                            I bought a product called Oxycycle from the Shopping Network for my son. The cost was $150 cdn. Pros are: lightweight, compact and cheap.
                            Cons are: One speed, the motor won't work thru spams and he needs some help strapping his feet in. I think with some small modifications ( foot rest with calf support) it should be okay. I'll make changes to it by friday and let you know.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Jway2002, Thanks! Does oxycycle have a website? Which shopping network did you purchase this from?

                              Does anyone else know of any other manufacturers?

                              Thanks again.

                              Onward and Upward!

                              Comment

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