Your Own Recovery Program
As many on this forum are considering places like Project Walk (www.projectwalk.org) and realize the benefits and potential of exercise based (induced) recovery the reality is that many can't make the pilgrimmage for a variety of reasons.
That being said, what can we do to copy or replicate some of the already successful programs, clinics, etc.?
Having given this a lot of thought this is what I've come up with.
I see a need for strength training of the entire body. I also see a need for balance and stabilization training as well as coordination. And lastly I see a need for a gait training apparatus to help with patterning.
To tackle the strength training issue (different for quads vs. paras) I need to work on my upper body as well as my lower body. A couple of ways / suggestions to accomplish this - at least for upperbody. A) join a local gym and figure it out as you go, maybe with the help of a personal trainer. B) Weights and equipment in your home. There are too many options to mention but you can aquire it at garage sales, fitness stores, internet, classifieds, infomercials etc. C) Specific equipment such as an Uppertone for quads (insurance reimbursement is possible) available at www.gpk.com
Lower body. Much trickier for strength training. A) The obvious choice and ultimate piece of equipment is an FES bike available through www.electrologic.com Being as expensive as it is maybe searching for a local clinic or hospital who may have one might be more cost effective. B) Personal training with weights / gym equipment. Load bearing (muscle, not joint) exercise with assistance. C) Pool therapy. Again with assistance.
Balance, stabilization, etc.. A)I use floor exercises on a www.bosu.com which include trunk control, abdominal strengthening / use. Also back extensions, bridging, side to side motion, etc. B) Hire a personal trainer to help teach you with what you have available. C) Join the gym and hire a trainer until you learn what you can do on your own.
Gait training, patterning. This is very individual. (Members like Debbie7 have done an awesome job in creating their own systems. Read her thread.) A) You could try a home based litegait system available at www.litegait.com and hire assistants to help 'gait' you over a treadmill. B) If you live in Chicago or Alabama I would check out the lokomat (sorry, no link) and the autoambulator (www.healthsouth.com - keyword autoambulator). C) An elliptical trainer (www.fitnessquest.com) or 'natural runner' machine available at www.startrac.com (Again, check Deb's thread for equipment/harnesses.) combined with a hoist (simplistic, www.grainger.com keyword - electric winches) or the industry standard Guldmann @ www.guldmann.com
Ok, enough information to chew on. And obviously, depending upon your level of injury and function, the variations on the suggested above change from person to person.
In summary, personally I'd like my program to consist of the uppertone (www.gpk.com) the FES (www.electrologic.com), the balance ball (www.bosu.com) and a 'natural runner' setup (www.startrac.com) with a guldmann lift (www.guldmann). Three hours a day every day. Sprinkle in some e-stim for my hands and (I wish) some pool therapy and I believe I will be well on the road towards recovery.
The future is ultimately in home based recovery.
And finally, I'm curious, what kind of program / equipment do you use? Ideas? Suggestions?
Onward and Upward!
[This message was edited by Chris on Oct 12, 2002 at 07:57 PM.]
One more piece of equipment. Go to www.ez-walker.com the price is 7,200 and even though I have my own equipment I'm still trying to get my insurance company to buy one.
[This message was edited by Debbie7 on Oct 12, 2002 at 10:11 PM.]
Great job putting all of this together Chris, thank you.
[This message was edited by seneca on Oct 12, 2002 at 10:37 PM.]
Deb, thanks for the link. Does the walker straddle the treadmill?
Also, for anyone interested in pool therapy you should check out www.hydroworx.com This is the ultimate.
Get on your feet everyone! If you want to learn how to walk you have to practice walking!
Onward and Upward!
Chris, great post
Thanks for putting it all together for us. Although I've had a complete injury for so, so long, I still see myself pulling it all together some day with this type of equipment/workout. I firmly believe any successful Cure therapy that comes along will include this kind of extensive therapy. And even though I have always been an athlete (finished my first maraphon 2 Â½ years post injury), like you, I don't see myself working that hard on my own. And I have a hard time visualizing a personal trainer at my gym giving me the kind of workout I could get at project walk (even though I've never been there to see for myself.) I married my Physical Therapist - he's wonderful; but at the end of the day we're both tired, busy with the kids, going over homework, bath-time, etc. After giving eight hours to his patients and then several more to his children, he is tired.... and so am I.
If I had the time and resources, I would consider Project Walk. Would love to see it take off.
Our greatest drawback is that in the world of Health Insurance, PW does not carry any weight. Unfortunately, insurance companies just don't understand that extensive therapy will serve their own purpose. And even in the world of rehab physical therapy, there are so many limitations placed by the insurance companies...and by the privately-held hospitals.
If nothing else, I hope the studies conducted at Project Walk will help to convince our insurance companies to pay for ongoing physical therapy.
Best of luck to you, Chris. Please let us know right away if you see any progress.
Nice piece Chris. I would like to stress the importance of an aerobic component in any conditioning program. Particularly in the base training phase. Aerobic training enhances our ability to utilize oxygen by improving the efficiency of the heart, lung, and vascular systems.
Aerobics and a regimen of core stabilization exercises will provide a good foundation for the more complex training programs.
Note: Optimal training methodology focuses on the process (training and performing to one's actual best capacity) instead of on the outcome.
What suggestions do you have that would help create an aerobic base?
Onward and Upward!
An arm crank workout will get the heart rate up to the necessary levels. Also, pumping or swinging the arms during a pool workout or leg-cycle session will help to facilitate aerobic benefits.
The basic calculation for maximum heart rate (MHR) (in beats per minute) is: 217 - (age x 0.85). A good aerobic goal would be to raise the heart rate to 60% of MHR and be able to sustain it for a minimum of 20 minutes, 4-5 times a week. (Note: This is not necessarily a starting point; rather, a goal to be achieved through consistent effort.)
Heart Rate Monitors:
Not an aerobic facilitator, but something that I have used to help increase lung capacity:
You don't need a treadmill with the EZ Walker. It looks like it moves your legs forward. Give them a call and the will send you a video free.
Rick, something like the products available at www.apt4rehab.com ?
Stationary cycles and such?
This is a good site btw for therapy products.
Onward and Upward!