|01-07-2009, 01:02 PM||#1|
Join Date: Nov 2004
I just read this and found it very interesting, you may like too. We all can learn so much from each other.
I just got back last night from Atlanta where I participated in the Beyond Therapy program for one week. The trip kind of got off to a rough start at first. I was at the CMC rehab hospital last Friday and was picking up a backup supply of antibiotics in case a urinary infection happened to strike while I was on the road. I swear, it hadn't been five minutes since grabbing a prescription from the nurse that I began to feel bladder spasms, my first stage of getting a urinary infection.
A couple weeks ago I began taking this new supplement called D-mannose which has shown to really help people who constantly get urinary infections. Most often it is the E. coli bacteria which are responsible for infection and it happens to easily bond with fatty molecules contained in the bladder lining. D-mannose is a fatty molecule which forms an even stronger bond with E. coli so theoretically the E. coli doesn't bond with the bladder wall but bonds with D-mannose and gets flushed out. My new supplement seemed to be working at first but unfortunately there are other types of bacteria which cause urinary infections. I went ahead and got the antibiotics but waited a couple days to see if I could clear up the infection naturally. I could tell the D-mannose made my symptoms less severe but when Sunday, the day of our expected departure arrived, I began to involuntarily leak, so I turned back to my old friend called drugs.
The drive down was anything but comfortable as 75% of the time I could feel my bladder spasming followed by an intense feeling that I would wet my pants. I figured the drive down would be a piece of cake being that I made it all the way down from Cleveland to Charlotte, but it ended up being much more difficult and I found myself anxiously watching the minutes tick by.
By the time we got to the hotel thankfully my bladder spasms had stopped but I felt completely out of it and was not sure how things were going to go the next day at therapy. I had to wake up at six o'clock in the morning so after my dad and I ordered some Chinese takeout I quickly hit the sack. Normally I would have been up half the night anticipating the event but I was so tired I slept rather peacefully and awoke the next morning feeling refreshed.
Having just been to Project Walk and being so totally pumped about their program, it was hard for me not to go into this past week without some preconceived notions. I honestly couldn't imagine Beyond Therapy surpassing Project Walk, but I did my best to clear my mind and fully participate in all of the activities. The two programs I found are very different from each other, but overall contain the same goal which is the neurological recovery of spinal cord injuries. The goal is the same, but the path to get there varies.
The Beyond Therapy program uses a wide variety of techniques to encourage the awakening of the nervous system. Each technique has been proven through research and studies to provide some sort of benefit for paralysis. Two of these techniques which Project Walk does not embrace is electrical stimulation and pool exercises. It is the stance of Project Walk that electrical stimulation confuses the nervous system because an outside foreign signal is being sent to the muscle overriding the natural signal of the nervous system. Instead of using electrical stimulation they try and initiate spasms and then get you to work along with the tone that is created. Pool exercises are not encouraged because they believe that weight bearing and increase of muscle tone is the key to neurological recovery. Both of these elements are mostly eliminated while in the pool and their theory is that muscle spasms and tone are the predecessor to real movement.
In the eyes of Beyond Therapy electrical stimulation provides the contraction of a single muscle group which allows you to send a clear signal to that muscle group instead of a spasm affecting more than one muscle group at a time. This sequence of contraction and trying to use the muscle at the same time could promote muscle memory and recovery. Electrical stimulation has also been proven to increase the amount of oxidative cells in the muscles creating healthy muscle tissue prepared for recovery. The pool is seen as good exercise because it provides a weightless environment for new movement to take place in, as well as the constant stimulation of water and hydrostatic pressure. They agree that muscle spasms and tone have many positive aspects to them and in some cases can be a sign of future muscle return. However, they do not believe it is necessary to increase muscle spasms in order to gain recovery. Just as Project Walk believes using electrical stimulation for recovery confuses the body, Beyond Therapy believes using spasms to gain recovery confuses the body.
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