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Thread: Progress continues

  1. #1

    Progress continues

    I've been working at this for over 2 years now. You guys have been an invaluable resource for me – from the first video I ever saw here of a quad walking, which blew my mind and planted the seed in my head, to the numerous pointers that improved my technique. Still a way to go yet, but I’m moving in the right direction. Any further tips are welcomed; anyone seeking advice, just ask.

    I made the video for an article my physio is writing, but it is nice to have an overview to look at during those times I'm feeling discouraged.

  2. #2
    Senior Member flying's Avatar
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    Nice video thanks. How do you keep from rolling your ankles? Thats becoming a big issues with me. Glad to see you up and walking. It gives me some hope an inspiration.
    T12L1 Incomplete Still here This is the place to be 58 years old

  3. #3
    Wow! You are doing GREAT! What a thrill it is to see your progress, literally step-by-step. Your tribute to your therapist and that scene of you at the party are really moving, no pun intended. Thank you so much for sharing this.

  4. #4
    @flying My right leg is strong so no issue with the ankle. I wear an AFO on my left foot to keep it stable and at 90 degrees. You can see it in some of the earlier clips with shorts. Actually, the 2nd clip shows my ankle in all its wonkiness, the 3rd clip shows how it is "fixed" with the AFO.

    @Bonnette You were one of the people whose advice really helped me - thank you!
    Last edited by loreo; 10-14-2011 at 11:59 AM.

  5. #5
    loreo: Nice, great progress!!

  6. #6
    WOW, That was great. Congratulations on all that you've accomplished to get so far in a short amount of time. It's obvious you're only going to improve more and more.


    One tip I'd like to share with you is keeping your head up and not look down while walking. This has been my greatest challenge over the past 5 years. Its a bad habit most of us have and it's really hard to shake.


    Keeping our head up while walking improves overall balance and mechanics and after a while you'll have a better idea where you are in space.


    In the past I was fearful to look up because I might become distracted and lose my balance. You can overcome this by reminding yourself to look straight ahead and not down.


    My posture and balance is so much better when I don't look down and yours will improve to.


    Sorry to go on and on, but I'm really excited for you and it's not often I get to share

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by kelrod View Post
    Sorry to go on and on, but I'm really excited for you and it's not often I get to share
    Please do go on and on. I'm soaking up these pointers like a sponge.

    It's funny that you mention not looking down. That's one of the new things I'm working on. I'm getting there, now usually just looking down when I misstep on a turn. My physio jokingly threatens to put a dog cone collar around my neck so I can't look. It was kinda scary at first, but my proprioceptors have kicked and I now know where my foot is and, baring any unforeseen obstacles, how it's going to land. I'm still more comfortable looking, but I'll keep with the program - especially hearing from you that you walk better without the visual cues.

    Couple of questions for you: Do you still have to think about each step you take or has the process become automatic? How's your balance coming along? Also, how's your stride speed on your bad side?

    @KellyMc Thanks. It's a pretty exciting time for me.
    Last edited by loreo; 10-14-2011 at 06:01 PM.

  8. #8
    Looking straight ahead (instead of down) when I ambulate is one of the things I'm working on, too. My former tai chi teacher gave me a tip I've found very helpful. Find a vertical point of reference in the distance - a post, a tree, a stake, any upright straight edge - align yourself visually with it and funnel your energies into it, allowing it to draw or reel you in (so that it seems to pull you along, which frees the body from excessive effort). My teacher calls this point of reference the zhong ding. As I'm walking, I repeat the words in my head: zhong ding, zhong ding, zhong ding in order to remind myself to keep looking forward. (Of course, any term you like would do just as well.) The point of reference can be far in the distance if that's all that's available, or you can find closer zhong dings and "relay" yourself between them - tree, railing, lamppost.

    Loreo, it's you who have helped me - I can't tell you what an inspiration your videos have been as I've struggled to work with my KAFO and footdrop. Thank you!
    Last edited by Bonnette; 10-14-2011 at 09:30 PM. Reason: clarification - I hope!

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by loreo View Post
    Please do go on and on. I'm soaking up these pointers like a sponge.

    It's funny that you mention not looking down. That's one of the new things I'm working on. I'm getting there, now usually just looking down when I misstep on a turn. My physio jokingly threatens to put a dog cone collar around my neck so I can't look. It was kinda scary at first, but my proprioceptors have kicked and I now know where my foot is and, baring any unforeseen obstacles, how it's going to land. I'm still more comfortable looking, but I'll keep with the program - especially hearing from you that you walk better without the visual cues.

    Couple of questions for you: Do you still have to think about each step you take or has the process become automatic? How's your balance coming along? Also, how's your stride speed on your bad side?

    @KellyMc Thanks. It's a pretty exciting time for me.
    As I've progressed through the past 5 years, wheel chair, walker, loft strands, 4 point cane to a single point cane; I could not help but hear the voices of my AT's/ PT's with every step I took. 1. keep your head up
    2. swing your arms 3. shift your weight, 4. toe off 5. bend your knee etc.... Sometimes I would be so consumed to get the mechanics right I'd get frustrated and not enjoy the fact that I was actually walking. It takes time and eventually all that your learning, you will incorporate into your walking and think less and less about the mechanics. It was suggested by my A.T.; to concentrate on only 2-3 of the mechanics while walking until they become natural through repetition. Once you have these down, begin to concentrate on other weaknesses in your mechanics.


    My balance has improved greatly; but I still have trust issues with my left side. The elliptical machine has helped a lot along with P.T exercises that focus on using my left leg. I use a cane everyday so I cheat and don't weight shift onto my left leg like I should. My goal this fall is to walk without the cane. This will force me to use and learn to trust my weaker side more.

    My stride speed is not as fast as I'd like. It does increase when I remind myself to take larger steps, arm swing and shift my weight properly. One thing to note* if you can increase your speed, you will not focus on your mechanics as much. Your natural gait pattern will just take over
    (muscle memory kicks in) it's just hard for me to maintain it. The tread mill helped a lot; I'm at 2.7 MPH now. When I began the tread mill I was at .02 MPH and progressed as I felt more comfortable.

    I hope this helps, feel free to contact me at anytime, if you have any questions.

  10. #10
    I loved seeing your vid. It made my day, in fact! You've done so well in such a short period of time and I wish you only the best ... and a very good life on top of it.

    One note about looking down. That's the bugger, isn't it? My physios and trainers have been after me about it for almost a year. However, that's the thing that gives me the most problems. When I look up, I lose all conncection with my feet. I feel as if I'm standing there, with no ankles or feet. I'm still trying, though and will get it eventually.

    Keep up the good work and post back in a bit to let us know your progress.

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