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Thread: effect of exercise

  1. #1

    effect of exercise

    I'm C5/6, 5.5 years post. For the last few months, a friend has been helping me work out 2 to 3 times a week for about 2 hours per session. She is a personal trainer, so the workouts are very high in quality.

    We use wrist weights for some arm exercises and perform stretches to extend my range of motion. We do many exercises that I couldn't perform alone. For example, my left tricep isn't able to straighten my arm completely, so I straighten it as much as possible and she helps it extend the rest of the way. I can see and feel my muscle jumping as it tries to straighten my arm beyond its current ability. The same is true of my abdominal muscles. If I try to sit up, my abdominal muscles visibly tighten and you can feel the muscles on the sides of my trunk tighten. Unfortunately, it's not enough to actually move my body.

    I have gained strength and increased my range of motion. Results seem to occur at a slower pace than an AB would experience.
    <UL TYPE=SQUARE>
    <LI>Is it normal for it to take longer than an AB for exercise to produce results?
    <LI>Can I improve indefinitely?
    <LI>Will this exercise program recruit additional muscles that have been slacking?[/list]

  2. #2
    Very interresting rtr. I have been doing something very similar over the past month and a half. I am an incomplete c-6, 2.5 yrs. post with extra weak tricepts. Actually, I have very weak muscles and signals all over my body. I think that I can voluntarily flex almost all of them. They are strong enough that I can feel them, but so weak that I can barely see anything happen. Anyway, I have been working out with cuff weights, and having someone help me extend my arms. I have noticed that my tricepts have been getting stronger. Not functional yet, but I am still trying. I think we are on the right track. Keep it up!

    I often wonder if it is the injured area of our cords that we are working out or our arms. I suspect both.

    [This message was edited by SLBD on 01-13-03 at 16:07.]

  3. #3
    Senior Member ~Patrick~'s Avatar
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    I suggest you guys read the article on the main page about creatine and SCI workouts. I am T-10 with no trunk or leg muscles but I have gained enough to do side bends and seated crunches. I think weight lifting is one of the best things SCI people could do.

    If you jog in a jogging suit, lounge in lounging
    pajamas, and smoke in a
    smoking jacket, WHY would anyone want to wear a
    windbreaker?

  4. #4
    rtr - To answer your first question, yes, the muscles affected by your spinal cord injury do not function as efficiently as the same muscles in an AB person. Your gains are at a much greater expense to your body both energy-wise and time-wise. With biofeedback, one can identify and work at recruiting auxiliary muscles that are capable of functioning. However, you have been exercising without the advantage of assistive devices. Rather than identify muscles that are "slacking", the reality with a SCI is to know whether signals are getting through to a muscle to cause it to contract and relax.

    For helpful information on exercise, some precautions, guidance and advice, I would suggest that you read the article on Health and Wellness by Craig Hospital: http://www.craighospital.org/SCI/METS/exercise.asp CRF

  5. #5
    I don't mind working hard if I know I can regain enough muscle strength to make a difference.
    <UL TYPE=SQUARE>
    <LI>If any signals are getting through to a muscle, can the muscle be strengthened by exercise?
    <LI>Is the ultimate strength of the muscle determined by the strength of the signal?[/list]

    Originally posted by SCI-Nurse:

    rtr - To answer your first question, yes, the muscles affected by your spinal cord injury do not function as efficiently as the same muscles in an AB person. Your gains are at a much greater expense to your body both energy-wise and time-wise. With biofeedback, one can identify and work at recruiting auxiliary muscles that are capable of functioning. However, you have been exercising without the advantage of assistive devices. Rather than identify muscles that are "slacking", the reality with a SCI is to know whether signals are getting through to a muscle to cause it to contract and relax.

  6. #6
    rtr, great results so far - congratulations. Keep at it.

    Many patients like Chris Reeve (C2?) 7.5yrs post and exercising are making gains.

    Just ask the clients at www.projectwalk.org and they will tell you 1, 2, 3,yrs and still making progress.

    Exercise, whether da'd or ab'd is good, and I believe offers infinite possibilities.

    Good luck.

    Fortitudine Vincimus
    (Through endurance we conquer)

  7. #7
    rtr - A muscle gains strength with repeated deliberate, consistent exercise over time. Rather than a weak signal, the question may be whether you are actually getting a full response of the muscle or muscle group with your program of exercise. My experience, when working with patients using CFES, was that there was a consistent, general increase in strength of the muscles of ambulation (those employed to cycle the stationary ergometer). For some the increase was quicker, while for others it was slow and gradual. There were days that were simply not good, for no clearly identified reason. (I always attributed that to the idiosyncracies of our body whether one has a SCI or not...e.g. there are days that I get up with more energy and generally feel better than another... for no apparent reason)

    As a muscle gains strength and is ready and able to respond to increased resistance, then it will begin to develop increased mass. This answer is based on the use of FES technologies. I am not sure if this is applicable to someone simply engaged in the type of program that does not use assistive devices. I do know that, other than the water therapy, Christopher Reeve employs FES to exercise the various muscles groups throughout his body. CRF

  8. #8
    Senior Member drew82586's Avatar
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    I had been doing scitotalfitness.com for a while, I love it. You can do as much or as little as you can. Def noticed since ive quit, gaininy in my mid section and not being as tone.

  9. #9
    I would say that for you, the program works. Why did you quit? (just curious, you don't have to answer that if you don't want t.) It seems like a win-win? CKF

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