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Thread: rtr: old post from 2003

  1. #1

    Question rtr: old post from 2003


    Please allow me to introduce myself. I am a 22y/o male w/bilateral hip and knee contractures. I would like to apologize if I am being presumptuous by posting here, as my condition is not neurological and I have complete nerve function. Please allow me to explain with background infromation.
    At the beginning of 2005, I injured myself weightlifting. Although very painful, the original injury was likely a simple pulled muscle affecting my left hip flexor muscles, but it was improperly treated. For several days I spent most of the day lying down in bed on my back with my knees bent, since it was painful to have the sore hip fully extended. Unfortunately I was unaware of the danger of contractures cause by keeping a joint in a fixed position for too long. By the time I found out what was happening, the contractures had formed. The beginnings of my beginning my current condition resulted.
    Too much to write about here has occured since that time, but I need to update you with my current situation. Since I could not straighten my knees enough to stand, I required a wheelchair. The contractures gradually got worse for various reasons (improper positioning, lack of physical therapy because of insurance problems, etc). Let me get to the point, and what this has to do with rtr.
    In my web research I came across the following:
    "I had elbow contractures. Five years ago, therapists tried everything they could think of, including Dynasplints that cost a fortune just to lease. The solution? I started working out about 6 months ago, including many triceps exercises. The result? Beautifully straight arms. Exercise can't solve everything, but the contractures were just over 5 years old. They're gone now."
    When I discovered this I became quite excited and motivated, especially since my contractures have only been around for about 18months. The joint capsule/skin just became involved within the past 10 months. I have a few questions for rtr specifically, and anyone else who has experience with this.

    What stage were your contractures (only muscle involvement, or were other structures like fascia and skin involved)?
    At their worst, what were the degrees of the contractures?
    Specifically, which exercises were you doing?
    I understand you have some nerve problems, was this process painful?
    (SCI Nurse especially) Does anyone know which ultrasound settings (mhz & w/cm^2), are best to treat the front and sides of the knee joint, and seperately the back hamstring/gastroc connecting tendons?
    Any other insight, please?


  2. #2

    It seems your question would receive more answers in the. Exercise and Recovery forum. I am not familiar with ultrasound settings.


  3. #3
    Hmm, do you have authority to move this post there? I just posted in the same forum as the original thread.

    Quote Originally Posted by SCI-Nurse

    It seems your question would receive more answers in the. Exercise and Recovery forum. I am not familiar with ultrasound settings.


  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by fym
    Hmm, do you have authority to move this post there? I just posted in the same forum as the original thread.

    Let's leave this in this forum because more people come here to read posts. I don't know how often RTR visits the site. He/she apparently has turned off private messages and cannot be contacted by this means. So, leaving it here is most likely to attract his attention if he comes.

    From your description, it seems that your contractures were due to lack of stretching. The answer is stretching. I doubt that ultrasound would do very much. You need to stretch your hamsrings and then exercise the opposing quadricep muscles (I assume that the contracture involves the hamstring).

    In the case of RTR, I suspect that the cause of his/her contractures was related to biceps activity (C4) and weak triceps (C7). This is the most common cause of elbow contractures in people with cervical spinal cord injury at C5/6.

    There are other solutions but they involve surgery.


  5. #5
    I have a C5/6 spinal cord injury. As Dr. Young stated, my contractures were caused by strong biceps paired with weak triceps. They were not caused by any direct injury to the joints.

    Exercises that straightened my arms and strengthened the triceps were the most helpful. Although I have never enjoyed exercising, the Dynasplints were more painful than exercising.

    I don't know the degree of my contractures at their worst. My therapist measured them incorrectly, reading the inside number instead of the outside number on the measuring device or vice versa. It was visibly obvious that my left arm could not be straightened. Today, I can straighten both arms, but I can still feel the elbows starting to tighten if I neglect the exercises.

    I hope this information has been helpful. Good luck to you FYM.

  6. #6
    Thanks for your response, rtr. Do you know if your contractures had any other involvement than just the muscles, like fascia or joint capsule? Thanks!

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