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Thread: hmmm, opinions, suggestions on how to improve walking please.

  1. #1

    hmmm, opinions, suggestions on how to improve walking please.

    I'm an incomplete quad in a power chair but with help I can walk short distances with a walker and left afo. The last few months my walking has struggled and been frustrating. I know if I could walk everyday it would improve but I'm thankful for the 4-5 days a week I do get to walk for 15-20 minutes.

    I usually don't get to walk until early evening so I thought maybe I don't do well because I'm beginning to get tired.

    I try to exercise my legs every other day with 2 pound weights either 4 sets of 15 or 5 sets of 12. It seemed like in the past if I exercised my legs two days in a row my walking would struggle.

    Today I exercised my legs and walked earlier (around 3 PM) and my walking was really good. So my question is did the leg exercises get my legs ready and should I exercise my legs tomorrow and see how my walking goes or should I not exercise my legs and see how my walking goes?

    Sometimes I walk really bad, rarely do I walk really good lately. I wish I could figure out the code

    Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.
    Thank you!

  2. #2
    No expert by far. But, I think if you can go some distance in a walker, You gotta work that to the max. Not sure of priority of exercise and walking. Its different for me everyday. Sometimes I hit the walking well, other times a struggle. I gave up trying to figger out the routine. I think no matter what, you walk. Everyday, everywhere you go, you walk. If you were an AB, that is how you would do things. So, I try to emulate how I would go about my day if I were normal. It doesnt work very well, but I still get after it everyday. Hope this helps somehow.

  3. #3
    Senior Member
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    Hello,
    I am not a PT, but I do have an SCI. Being tired can effect how you walk b/c your body just wants to sleep. working out your legs before you walk can also tire them out. You can always do less reps like 3 sets of 15. you can also use the weights everyother day. Is there another time where u can walk? Like in the morning?

  4. #4
    Senior Member medic1's Avatar
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    I am a low level injury, L1 burst , S1 complete. I walk most the time but have both a manual and powerchair. I will caution you with the walking. It can really mess other things up. I walk but dont use the right muscles and such and because of this have suffered with a lot of pain. My hips are too weak and my back is always in pain. I have bi lateral plantar fiaciities and swelling in my ankles and feet from walking. As much as we want to fit in and be normal with walking, take it easy if you push too hard you can end up worse.

  5. #5
    Senior Member mr_coffee's Avatar
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    I agree with Graybeard,

    if you take it easy your body will never adapt to walking. You have to push yourself to the limits. I started out just like you, I had an afo on my right leg and a kafo on my left, walking with assitanance, infact my upper body was doing all the walking, my feeet wouldn't be touching the floor half the time.

    I then went full time with a walker, sure it looked silly but you can really be functional with it with pratice, if you get one of those Hugos or the ones with the seats....

    I'm in pain alot, espeically my feet,lowerback, and knees but you keep at it and you will see improvements. You don't want to wrok to the point where you hurt somthing but force your body to adapt.

    You'll have your good days, bad days, and worse days but you'll be happy when you get one of the good days!

    I also started on 4AP awhile ago and it really improves my enegery but its hard to get precriptions for unless you got a cool doc because it isn't fda approved.
    Injured:10-16-04
    C7/C8, T1 incomplete;


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  6. #6
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    If you can walk with a walker or quad cane, that's a start. You may want to try a shopping cart. It does me wonders, I just went out and walked through the local Sam's club for over an hour. I feel great, and I got some things I needed. Coffee, and Graybeard are right, you have to push a bit, but not too much as too hurt yourself too badly. If I don't walk everyday, I'm a mess, and yes I live in a 2 story house on a hill, I have to walk up at least a flight of stairs, or up a hill. PT was easy comparedd to what I go through everyday. It gets easier, and it gets harder. Hey i even got the groceries up the stairs by myself, and all put away, good luck, life isn't easy, this just makes it harder.

  7. #7
    I am slowly working my way towards the walker - k/afo milestone. Mr.C you tell no lie talking about what a hard-fought road it can be. Thanks for sharing what it was like in the beginning and how much upper body it was. That is the case I am in, able to balance no-handed with kafos, steps are another matter.

  8. #8
    Graybeard and Coffee have excellent views on the work required to walk. The only thing you have to consider are the long term effects on the body. Without muscular support, you're going to stress the ligaments in your legs, pelvis, and spine. Unfortunately these structures do not adapt, and eventually they wear out and your joints will become unstable. I recently evaulated a T11 incomplete who has been walking with a single point cane and KAFO for 8 years. His pain is so bad in his ankle that he's limited to distances less than 20 feet, and uses his chair to get around everywhere else. Try to really closely monitor how your body feels, if you're strong, walk, if not rest up. Neural fatigue responds best that way. Good luck.

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