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Thread: Q's for the walkers

  1. #1

    Q's for the walkers

    I’m a C5-6-7ish walking quad. My right side functions very well, pretty much normal accept for some loss of strength. My left side is wonky. No hamstrings, no glutes, weak quads (though gaining strength now), weak and inconsistent hip flexor, over-developed plantarflexion due to spasm, little/no dorsiflexion (with my knee bent I can raise my foot, but not when standing – I think because of overpowering plantarflexion). I use an afo to deal with the foot drop and combat the plantarflexion.


    Question 1: Have you folks noticed that Baclofen affects how well your hip flexors work? I think I see a pattern and wonder if you folks have the same experience. I take baclofen to reduce leg spasm (esp. plantarflexion). It helps my gastroc relax which then doesn’t randomly point my toes to throw me off balance. However, my hip flexor sucks when I take Baclofen. When I don’t take it, my hip flexor seems to respond better. (I think this is the pattern – I’m still testing it out) It makes sense that Baclofen would relax all muscles, but does relax = less function/weakness?


    Question 2: Related to the above, I’m considering botox for my gastroc for more isolated spasm reduction. Has anyone done this? To what affect? My doc says it’s worth trying but may affect my ability to keep my knee locked.


    Question 3: Do those of you with drop foot/plantarflexion issues/afo’s walk with your heel striking before the rest of your foot or the other way around?


    Thanks for any info.

  2. #2
    Senior Member marycsm77's Avatar
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    Question 3: Do those of you with drop foot/plantarflexion issues/afo’s walk with your heel striking before the rest of your foot or the other way around?


    Thanks for any info.[/QUOTE]

    I have foot drop, although not completely. I also cannot lift the ball of my foot off the floor when bearing weight but can to a degree when sitting. i just got my AFO and now when i walk my heal hits the ground first as it should. Before I was walking on the ball of my foot. Does this address?

    mary

  3. #3
    My issue is MS, but I have the exact mobility issues you describe. I'm not on meds, but as to foot drop/heel strike, I have profound plantar flexion - unless I wear my AFO, the heel of my foot always strikes last and it's impossible to lift the ball of my foot, or the toes.

  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by loreo View Post
    I’m a C5-6-7ish walking quad. My right side functions very well, pretty much normal accept for some loss of strength. My left side is wonky. No hamstrings, no glutes, weak quads (though gaining strength now), weak and inconsistent hip flexor, over-developed plantarflexion due to spasm, little/no dorsiflexion (with my knee bent I can raise my foot, but not when standing – I think because of overpowering plantarflexion). I use an afo to deal with the foot drop and combat the plantarflexion.


    Question 1: Have you folks noticed that Baclofen affects how well your hip flexors work? I think I see a pattern and wonder if you folks have the same experience. I take baclofen to reduce leg spasm (esp. plantarflexion). It helps my gastroc relax which then doesn’t randomly point my toes to throw me off balance. However, my hip flexor sucks when I take Baclofen. When I don’t take it, my hip flexor seems to respond better. (I think this is the pattern – I’m still testing it out) It makes sense that Baclofen would relax all muscles, but does relax = less function/weakness?


    Question 2: Related to the above, I’m considering botox for my gastroc for more isolated spasm reduction. Has anyone done this? To what affect? My doc says it’s worth trying but may affect my ability to keep my knee locked.


    Question 3: Do those of you with drop foot/plantarflexion issues/afo’s walk with your heel striking before the rest of your foot or the other way around?


    Thanks for any info.
    Q.1 : I take baclofen daily (90 Mg.) and if I reduce the amount, I suffer from night time extensor spasams. I wish I could stop.

    Q.2 : I am 4.8 years post and tried botox injections in my quad to relax the muscle and reduce tone in hopes of activating my dorsiflexors. After several injections over a 30-45 day period it did not work for me.

    Q.3 : Over a 3 year period I had difficulty with heel striking; but it was a result of poor mechanics and bad habits. By landing on your front toes or the ball of your foot it can and will create knee problems such as tendinitis. I use the bioness L-300 device and it pretty much reinforces heel strike. The other foot I've had issues with as mentioned previously. Longer steps, proper weight transfer and balance control helped me achieve heel strike consistenlty.

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by loreo View Post
    I’m a C5-6-7ish walking quad. My right side functions very well, pretty much normal accept for some loss of strength. My left side is wonky. No hamstrings, no glutes, weak quads (though gaining strength now), weak and inconsistent hip flexor, over-developed plantarflexion due to spasm, little/no dorsiflexion (with my knee bent I can raise my foot, but not when standing – I think because of overpowering plantarflexion). I use an afo to deal with the foot drop and combat the plantarflexion.


    Question 1: Have you folks noticed that Baclofen affects how well your hip flexors work? I think I see a pattern and wonder if you folks have the same experience. I take baclofen to reduce leg spasm (esp. plantarflexion). It helps my gastroc relax which then doesn’t randomly point my toes to throw me off balance. However, my hip flexor sucks when I take Baclofen. When I don’t take it, my hip flexor seems to respond better. (I think this is the pattern – I’m still testing it out) It makes sense that Baclofen would relax all muscles, but does relax = less function/weakness?


    Question 2: Related to the above, I’m considering botox for my gastroc for more isolated spasm reduction. Has anyone done this? To what affect? My doc says it’s worth trying but may affect my ability to keep my knee locked.


    Question 3: Do those of you with drop foot/plantarflexion issues/afo’s walk with your heel striking before the rest of your foot or the other way around?


    Thanks for any info.
    ur weak side sounds alot like mine but i have 0 hip flexors... as having dorsi flexion when knee is bent, i think that is something to do with a reflex.. i can get some dorsi when my quads are stretched out over a ledge. i have plat flexion tone as well.. real bad case of it.. but it helps me stabelize with tone.. so careful with knocking it completely

    question 1 - baclofen is a central nervous inhibitor so yes, when u take baclofen, not only are ur weak muscles getting weaker but ur bowels and bladder can weaken too (if that makes sense) everything.. even ur thoughts get cloudy

    question 2 - try lidocaine first... this is the same stufff ur dentist numbs ur mouth before surgery or w/e...it lasts for about 3 hours and is very short acting.

    question 3 - foot drop, in my case means by big toes are dragging when i walk.. which friggin hurt when i crunch my toes.. AFO should get a heel strike.. may not be a pretty one but should be.. have u tried the bioness ness l300? or a matrix max?
    c5/c6 brown sequard asia d

  6. #6
    All the anti-spasmodics made my muscles weak. I chose spasms, however they don't throw me from my chair or anything like that. Heel hits first w/ afo. W/o afo, I hike my hip and drag my toes, as you mentioned, a painful process.

    Good luck!

  7. #7
    Yep everyone is correct. My physiatrist said baclofen used for below the injury can effect arms/hands/etc causing weakness.
    Can you reduce the amount you take or try another med?
    Aerodynamically, the bumble bee shouldn't be able to fly, but the bumble bee doesn't know that, so it goes on flying anyways--Mary Kay Ash

  8. #8
    Senior Member marycsm77's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kelrod View Post
    Q.1 : I take baclofen daily (90 Mg.) and if I reduce the amount, I suffer from night time extensor spasams. I wish I could stop.

    Q.2 : I am 4.8 years post and tried botox injections in my quad to relax the muscle and reduce tone in hopes of activating my dorsiflexors. After several injections over a 30-45 day period it did not work for me.

    Q.3 : Over a 3 year period I had difficulty with heel striking; but it was a result of poor mechanics and bad habits. By landing on your front toes or the ball of your foot it can and will create knee problems such as tendinitis. I use the bioness L-300 device and it pretty much reinforces heel strike. The other foot I've had issues with as mentioned previously. Longer steps, proper weight transfer and balance control helped me achieve heel strike consistenlty.
    Kelrod,
    How was it determined that your difficulty with heel striking was from poor mechanics and bad habits? Also isnt the Bionesss L-300 basically e-stim to you ant tib. Just wondering, I just got an AFO and while it has improved my gait it also causes some problems with pain, my foot gets numb, Im not sure if it need more "tweaking" or what.
    thanks
    mary

  9. #9
    My son is L1 -

    1.) He hated Baclofen. Used neurontin for a long time, off it now. His muscles are flaccid below the level of injury.

    2.) Good luck with the botox. Hope it helps.

    3.) His foot drop is extreme. He wears AFOs on both feet. Walks heel-toe with them. Without them, it's more of a slide/drag movement and he can't go very far. Plus, blood pools in his legs if he stands and doesn't have compression socks & braces on.
    Ugh, I've been kissed by a dog!
    Get some hot water, get some iodine ...
    -- Lucy VanPelt

  10. #10
    P.S.
    Love the Susie Derkins avatar. Calvin & Hobbes is still my favorite comic strip of all time.
    Ugh, I've been kissed by a dog!
    Get some hot water, get some iodine ...
    -- Lucy VanPelt

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