Hello All

This is a great web site, a really excellent service for all with Sci.

I wanted to ask a question which has been troubling me a great deal relating to exercise, fatigue and recovery of motor function in legs.

Background: I started to walk after about 6 months post injury with crutches. My hamstrings, glutes and calf muscles on one leg have roughly about 20% of normal muscle bulk 4 years after the several spots of sci at T5 and lower.

The therapies which I do include electrostim, treadmills, floor exercises, medicine ball, swimming and so on.

Generally, I find that spasticity increases unless the exercise or stimulations are keep short. The spasticity is rated by doctors as severe and affects the anterior muscles which are strong whereas the hind muscles of the leg are weak. If I do a desireable level of exercise(hour per day) then stop exercise for a weeks, the spastisticy slowly decreases such that the leg is reasonably limber. Routine daily activity, walk from carpark, walk around an office, etc is also sufficient during a working week to increase the spasticity to the level which it interferes with safe mobility. I try not to overlap, routine daily activity in the work environment with exercise activity. If I relax without exercise in the limber state, my leg stiffens up Again after about 5 days although it can be returned to the limber state with a short repetitive exercise for 40 minutes or an hour.

To summarise, I have a low threshold for physical activity before spasticity rises and relaxation becomess necessary. IN the relaxed or limber state, spasticity again sets in after some days.

My question is as follows: Will neural growth-recovery take place during the phases when I have notable spasticity or fatigue?. If not, how long should my leg be in the limber state after relaxation to allow some form of recovery to take place. Is it true that recovery does not occur in the fatigue state. (Spasticity seems to be associated with localised trembling of the muscles).

For example is there a rule of thumb about fatigue and recovery vs exercise?


Thank you very much if you can add insight to what is happening.

Ronny