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Thread: Ask a PT

  1. #151
    Hi, new to the forums here. I bought a TENS/EMS unit to help in recovery after workouts. There was a unit called "MARC Pro" that is advertised to professional and elite athletes. I'm no where near that and the cost was astronomical ($650). I found another EMS unit online but have no idea so to what settings would mimic the effect of active muscle recovery is. pulse width, frequency, Hz, etc... Is there a standard setting for muscle recovery when using and EMS? if so, can anyone lead me to what settings to start with? Appreciate all help. thank you.

  2. #152
    Quote Originally Posted by membrain View Post
    Hi, new to the forums here. I bought a TENS/EMS unit to help in recovery after workouts. There was a unit called "MARC Pro" that is advertised to professional and elite athletes. I'm no where near that and the cost was astronomical ($650). I found another EMS unit online but have no idea so to what settings would mimic the effect of active muscle recovery is. pulse width, frequency, Hz, etc... Is there a standard setting for muscle recovery when using and EMS? if so, can anyone lead me to what settings to start with? Appreciate all help. thank you.
    Do you have a spinal cord injury or MS? You will get better responses if you fill out your profile.

  3. #153
    By muscle recovery, are you referring to a strengthening program? You are looking to contract the muscle with the assist of the stimulation?
    If this is the case, you'll want a 300usec pulse and 75pps frequency - these are comfortable settings. The amplitude will be based on your tolerance and what strength contracts the muscle.
    You want a 1:5 ratio, like ON for 6 seconds, OFF for 30 seconds.
    Disclaimer: Answers, suggestions, and/or comments do not constitute medical advice expressed or implied. Please consult your attending physician for medical advise and treatment. In the event of a medical emergency please call 911.

  4. #154
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2014
    Location
    East Cheshire UK
    Posts
    13

    Rocky recovery/Theracycle

    Hi
    New to forum and have a question for scitotalfitness. My husband is C4-C7 incomplete resulting from stenosis and a laminectomy which made symptoms worse not better. 18 months in he has reasonable movement and can walk using a walker but masked by high tone (used to spasm a lot but helped by 70mg of baclofen daily). He is making slow progress and would love to use an exercise bike. He trialled a Theracycle (assisted movement) for just his legs and did 10 mins and felt great immediately afterwards but deteriorated by the evening. 3 days later he is still having major stiffness in his left side (the worst for high tone - his right side is weaker but no tone). He's not been able to stretch it out and he's also been having burning neuro pain in his left knee. This pattern isn't unusual for him. He can have a brilliant physio session and be able to walk a short distance almost unassisted at the end of the session. Then his tone kicks in even worse the next day and he's back where he started. Should he persevere with the Theracycle or wait for a while and try again? Any suggestions for taking his physio/exercise programme forward would be helpful as he's finding the ups and downs very challenging mentally and is very negative at the moment.

  5. #155
    That member has not visited our site since Oct. 2013 so is unlikely to respond.

    KLD

  6. #156
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2014
    Location
    East Cheshire UK
    Posts
    13
    Thanks for this. I'm new here and trying to find my way round and get "settled in". Is there a better place to direct my request for information/help? Thanks again - any help is appreciated.

  7. #157

    I'm here!

    I apologize for the delay! I also haven't "appeared" to visit since the site redesign because I apparently wasn't "logged in." That's my mistake - I didn't even realize. But I'm here! I promise


    MoCo - First of all, it sounds like your husband is making great progress and he should keep up the great work! However, the increased tone and extended recovery coupled with pain is not a typical response for exercise. He could have overdone it, and that is his way of his body telling him so, or there is something else going on?

    Ask him a few questions about how hard he felt when he was working on the bike and the walking: on a scale of 1-10, with 10 being an all-out sprint, how hard did he feel like he was going during those sessions?
    Also, had he worked at that level of intensity at any other time in his recent rehabilitation and not had the increased spasticity the following day?
    You can have him try the bike at a lower intensity (so if he felt he was working at an 8/10 previous, have him try the bike for 5 minutes at a 6/10). If he still has increased tone and/or pain the next day, I would definitely recommend bringing it to the attention of his medical professionals. Increased tone is one of the body's ways of letting you know something isn't right.
    Disclaimer: Answers, suggestions, and/or comments do not constitute medical advice expressed or implied. Please consult your attending physician for medical advise and treatment. In the event of a medical emergency please call 911.

  8. #158
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2014
    Location
    East Cheshire UK
    Posts
    13
    Hi and thanks for responding. We've since talked to a rep for the Reck Motomed power assisted bike and he says that he has come across this before. He has suggested that my husband tries to build up his exercise time more slowly starting with 5 mins of completely passive cycling and only doing 2 or 3 minutes daily of active to start and build up from there - pretty similar to what you are suggesting. We think he may have some very mild arthritis in his left knee as he had a few issues with it pre his spinal problems. He's always had increased tone if he pushes himself too hard or gets over treated by the physios. The physios tell us that he is a tricky patient as they are aware that pushing him too far too fast will mean a kickback response but it's sometimes difficult to predict how far/fast is too much. We have had to "sack" one physio who was frustrated by his slow pace of recovery and frequently over treated him. Thanks again for the advice and I'll post again and let you know how his trial with a Motomed bike goes.

  9. #159
    Good luck!
    Have you looked into different options to help with the tone? I know that medications have their side effects… And it's great that baclofen has helped. What has the medical team said as far as a baclofen pump? Or botox?
    It's tricky when there is strength… but it sounds like tone is limiting, so options are worth exploring.
    Keep up the good work!
    Disclaimer: Answers, suggestions, and/or comments do not constitute medical advice expressed or implied. Please consult your attending physician for medical advise and treatment. In the event of a medical emergency please call 911.

  10. #160
    A question, any response/help is MOST appreciated!

    Me - C5-6 incomplete SCI, 26 year injury, mild leg movement, NO triceps, very little pectorals, strong biceps and deltoids, full body sensation, pain/hot/cold vastly diminished below sternum, some leg movement, able to stand and walk in bars with assistance but is VERY hard on neck/shoulders (walking non functional outside), live alone w/no assistance 8 years

    The short version - following 5+ years of using an ill-fitted new chair AND a series of falls, have chronic neck & shoulder pain/fatigue, my shoulders/lats almost always sore/achy, feels from overuse. I have also developed chronic headaches which I theorize are also related

    Long version - 6 years ago I got a new chair that was (unbeknownst to me) VERYpoorly fitted, lower clearance on foot rest, poor construction, TWICE had back fail and went over backwards, head hit hard on carpet with concrete underneath, then 3 weeks later while going up curb cut, lowered foot rest wedged and I was thrown face first onto concrete, WAS able to absorb some of impact with hands arms, mild cut on lip, went straight to ER, put in neck brace, MRI showed no new injury and what looked like healed C5-6 initial injury compression fracture (no old films on hand to compare), muscles/pain were all baseline as before injury, released and diagnosed 'AOK'

    2 weeks later on I85 Atlanta, was rear-ended HARD in rush-hour, pushed into car in front of me, assailant sped away while my car was stalled/front end mashed, neck and back muscles sore for a few days then went away, nurse girlfriend at time said she felt some muscle tear in back.

    After using new poorly fitted chair, began to get chronic shoulder and neck pain/fatigue, BUT have to say also increased my day to day self care in a huge way, after many years of getting through college with assistance I trained myself to do shower & bowel care completely alone, but noticed the stress on upper body acutely increased, but alas, as always, more independence feels GREAT To make matters worse, to battle chronic UTI's I now transfer down EVERY time to cath to avoid re-infecting, has doubled/tripled my transfers in any given day. YES I did get a new chair 3 months ago that is WELL fitted, am hoping this helps neck/shoulders over long haul

    So, do I get through my day doing everything I need? YES, and am infinitely grateful to be doing so. BUT today I sit with fatigued aching neck & shoulders as I type, afternoon headaches that comes after eating lunch 2 or 3 times a week, spinning out in my head that if my shoulders and neck go, I dont think I can stand it! It truly scares me to death

    Yes, deep massage does help some in short term, and PT neck stretches feel good (I am guilty of not doing regular at all but today have resolved to stick with 3X day regimen)

    I have in hand a PT order that includes aquatic therapy, which I may enact this week

    FATIGUED & ACHY IN NC

    Lee

    PS being followed by physiatrist, had DETAILED MRI 3 years ago, showed no farenum (sp?), may redo MRI in coming month to check again for possible compression issues in cervical spine, forgot to mention I do have some tingling in left hand that comes and goes, but doc feels I show no signs of muscle loss or weakness
    Last edited by LeeinNC; 06-07-2014 at 03:41 PM.

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