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Thread: Question on Bone loss

  1. #1

    Question on Bone loss

    1) will walking on leg braces on a regular
    basis reduce the effects of Osteopourosis
    as we age with SCI? I have not been using
    my braces often as I am afraid of falling
    and it is hard to get motivated as it is so
    much work as I am a t-4 Complete Para
    but I have people tell me I should to keep
    my bones in good shape.

    2) Does Using a Fes bike really help out in
    Preventing Bone loss as a SCI person
    Ages?

    I Understand most Bone loss takes place in the first three years of SCI, So I was thinking that maybe doing these things is really not doing much in the way of preventing bone loss from occurring. Thank you--------

  2. #2

    Good questions

    Curtis, these are both really good questions, but to date, there is no definitive answer. There have been some claims for both of these activities reducing bone loss (mostly by manufacturers of braces and standing frames and FES bikes), but when you look at their studies, often they are poorly designed (poor science) and show a lot of biases about how subjects were selected or treated or evaluated that leaves questions about the validity of the studies. Much still needs to be done in this area.

    Aside from osteoporosis, we know that FES can help with muscle bulk, calorie burning (keeps your weight under control) and other benefits. Walking with braces gives you a different view on the world, helps to get into otherwise inaccessible areas, and probably helps bowel function and reduces spasticity (as does use of standing frames).

    My only caution about brace walking is that if not properly braced, you can do damage to insensate joints in your legs, and it can put a lot of wear and tear on shoulders that can often cause problems down the road. (KLD)

  3. #3

    Thank you KLD

    This is kind of what I thought to be the case, I think the SCI itself is responsible for bone loss more so from anything else and there is not a heck of a lot that can be done about it other than Correct the SCI whereas we know is not possible. I re-posted this over at new mobility as someone over there had been told that walking on braces would definately help out with bone thinning, which I did not believe to be the case and I wanted to verify it. If It were true I would use my braces everyday, but whereas it seems it does not really help, I figure why bother as it requires so much effort and drains me being a high level Para. Thanks again. Curtis

  4. #4
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    Bone loss

    In order to decrease osteoporosis you need to do weight bearing exercises. That is standing, either walking or in a standing frame. People with SCI do not generally get osteoporosis in the lumbar region even if their injury is higher, and that is because there is weight bearing on the lumbar vertebra. FES cycling may not contribute to bone maintenance. Astronauts suffer bone loss during space flight, but once they return to earth and start doing their daily activities this process stops. If I were you I would stand as much as possible to strengthen your bones and reduce the chance of fracture.

  5. #5
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    standing...

    you know, when I'm tired, I just get a walker and stand next to my bed. There's nowhere I can go. Tune into the ballgame, turn on friends, or whatever...there's nowhere you can go. (although I did fall sideways once...

    Eric Texley

  6. #6
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    ...

    That's REALLY interesting Linz. You know what they told me in inpatient rehab about braces? They said they were an "athletic stunt." My reply to that was ... "in a day of ADA, how is an 8 inch curb in a wheelchair any more than an athletic stunt?"

    They shut right up...most therapists don't know how to teach braces.

    Eric Texley

  7. #7
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    Parathyroid hormone controls the deposition of calcium in the bones, and weightbearing is important to the proper production of this hormone. Very few physical therapists understand how to teach brace walking. I was fortunate to have a therapist who was willing to do research between sessions. My first therapist told me it was impossible for me and my second therapist vocally disputed the prescription written by my physician for the braces. They work well and enable me to do things I couldn't have otherwise done, such as take long plane rides (get into the bathroom) or visit older homes. I am now working with an athletic trainer, who has provided far more activity and helped me isolate and retrain muscle groups.

    Eric Texley

  8. #8

    Why has this not

    Been proved to be the case in Studies, I don't understand? if weight bearing is really so important and there is proof it will help out, I will start standing for a half hour every day, if not I figure why waste the time standing at my kitchen sink looking out the window?, it is pretty boring and consumes time that I could be doing something else.

  9. #9
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    Did anybody tell you how important weight bearing was in rehab? I know that this was not communicated to me. I had to research it on my own (and ask my mother, a biologist)

    Eric Texley

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