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Thread: Everything I do...

  1. #1

    Smile Everything I do...

    I walk with a cane only sometimes. I currently wear an AFO on my right leg, only when I'm out of the house. I am definitely slower at getting around than before. I have learned to modify things I do because of this injury, but for the most part I do everything like a normal person would.

    Can it hurt me in the long run if I feel pain in my back by sitting up when I'm on the floor?

    I twist when moving around the bed, like I always had, doc said twisting is fine - I just don't want to set myself back as I'm healing. Most the time I step up with my left foot first, unless I'm holding onto a railing - but most the time anyway, sometimes I feel a strain in the front of my left ankle - bad??

    I've fallen a couple times - tripped over the dog and the stupid refrigerator is soooo difficult to open. I have always just fallen on my butt, but gotten right back up afterward. I'm getting stronger so that I can regain my balance and not fall - does falling inhibit healing?

    any advice about things to avoid with a SCI? or what changes other incompletely injured people have made??

    SCI injuries
    Life is what happens to you while you're busy making other plans. -- John Lennon

  2. #2
    A current PT evaluation would be a good thing to have. PTs do various mobility tests and grade the results on a numerical scale that indicates (among other things) how much at risk a person is of falling; one of the highest indicators of risk is whether or not a person has already fallen - so those couple of falls are red flags. You've managed to avoid serious injury so far, but at some point you might land badly and do real damage.

    The PT would be able to tell, through measurement and gait assessment, which mobility aids would help you the most, and when to use them. Although you are getting stronger, it sounds as if using a cane around the house might be a good idea from the standpoint of catching yourself if you trip over something. It wouldn't keep you from getting stronger, as long as you have a regular exercise program.

    PTs are typically better trained than doctors to determine the right kinds of exercise in individual cases. Since twists can cause disc herniations, my PT has warned me not to twist if I can avoid it - you might not have the same risk indicators I do, but there's no way of telling without a custom evaluation.

    Since my issue is progressive MS, I've gone through a long process of getting worse instead of better - but finally seeing a good PT has helped me to work with the capacities I still have, in such a way that I can maintain strength wherever possible and prevent damage from unwise body mechanics. Even though you and I have different issues, as a practical matter it sounds like the kinds of input I've just described would help you, too - and would put you in a good position to get stronger by learning how to build on your strengths and minimize risks.

    So...when you ask what to avoid with your injury, my thought is that the most relevant answer for you would involve a thorough PT evaluation, and probably a visit with a physiatrist. In general, don't do any movements that cause pain - a little discomfort when you move about or exercise is not necessarily bad and might be unavoidable, but stop whatever the action is if pain is sharp or persists when you're at rest. Watch yourself carefully and get to know your body very well, so that you'll be able to detect its signals and make adjustments quickly. Don't overlook or refuse appropriate mobility aids in your rehab program - they can help you to avoid injury, without lessening your ability to outpace them. And your needs in that department will probably vary from day-to-day, so be as flexible mentally as you're aiming to be physically.

    Best wishes on your rehab!

  3. #3
    Hi Lisa,

    I don't have any advice, but
    you sound like you're in almost exactly the same place as Earl with your walking and recovery.

    You know, Earl has fallen in the house only once, and it was because he tripped over the cat. He chose to fall instead of actually stepping on the cat. The furry babies can be dangerous!! :-)

    Missy

  4. #4
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    Never seems enough for you. You don't want to lose it again.

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  6. #6
    Moderator jody's Avatar
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    I try to avoid falling since I become weaker. I don't want to break anything.

  7. #7
    I suspect some of the answers you're looking for may depend on other injuries one may have suffered at the same time they acquired their SCI. For example, my partner - who's SCI at age 13 was a result of being hit by a car - suffered multiple injuries including having her right leg crushed (though not amputated until she was 42). She was able to walk - eventually and not always - with crutches and braces, but she put a great deal of strain on her shoulders and ended up having rotator cuff surgery on one shoulder. The few times I saw her walk before accumulating injuries and illness made it impossible she was really pushing it.

    There are going to be pros and cons with walking. Agree with the advice to get a thorough evaluation. I also suggest educating yourself. These days it's mandatory to be your own health advocate. You need to learn as much as you can about your own body, your particular injuries, and the potential long-term effects of everything you do as much as possible. Everyone can tell you their own story, but the reality is everyone's injury is different and you will need to learn your own body and what works or doesn't for it. Best of luck to you.
    Reality is merely an illusion, albeit a very persistent one.
    - Albert Einstein

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