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  #1  
Old 07-12-2014, 09:12 PM
teena marie teena marie is offline
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Join Date: May 2012
Posts: 326
Default Walking

Hi all,

I'm continually trying to fine tune my walking and plan to walk without sticks. I'm just not sure when. It sounds like walking is a preoccupation for many of us. There have been some great posts recently with good information. I thought it would be great to build on this and put it as a thread.

My left hip flexor is weak so my left leg drags ands is hard to move forward. There is a degree of spasticity that also hinders forward motion. I use a bungee type cord clipped to my shoe attached to a shoulder belt. Not only dose this help with the foot drop, it helps move the leg forward in a normal swing using the muscle correctly, thereby training it at the same time.

I know Veronica posted a great treadmill routine-maybe it should move here?


It would be great to hear other experiences.

Take care all,

Teena Marie
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  #2  
Old 07-14-2014, 01:57 PM
Fit Paul Fit Paul is offline
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Posts: 133
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I love walking, it is one of the best exercises for those of us with MS. I always use forearm crutches and they have saved me from falling numerous times. One suggestion for anyone walking outside, go to a police supply store and buy a can of pepper spray to ward off dog attacks.
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  #3  
Old 08-04-2014, 10:15 AM
Diana Diana is offline
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Join Date: Jul 2013
Location: New Jersey
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Paul, Where do you live that you have to deal with roving dog attacks on people walking? Sounds terrifying!
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  #4  
Old 08-11-2014, 12:56 PM
Fit Paul Fit Paul is offline
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I live the beautiful southwest. Here in Albuquerque loose dogs are not uncommon. I have also been within 20 feet of wild coyotes. Usually they leave people alone but on occasion they get aggressive.
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  #5  
Old 08-13-2014, 11:10 PM
AMFADVENTURES AMFADVENTURES is offline
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Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: Colorado
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TM, I had to wait a while before responding here but I think I can say, with out a doubt now, that stair climbing is helping my walking. It's most apparent in the mornings and, as usual, has evaporated by evening but there is the early hour or two when it's quite noticeable. I've been walking up and down a flight of 12 stairs about 6 times a day. Walking down is actually more difficult.

Also, a PT I saw a few weeks ago suggested that I concentrate on lifting my knee when I walk and it worked. If you can lift the knee, the foot will follow and tends to automatically kick out in front. It takes some concentration and there is still a gait involved but it's not the pronounced foot dragging it used to be.

Paul, no shortage of coyotes here either but the most dangerous encounter I've had to date was a friendly pup who jumped up on me while I was standing over my bike and knocked me down.

Larry

Last edited by AMFADVENTURES; 08-13-2014 at 11:15 PM.
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  #6  
Old 08-14-2014, 04:15 AM
celia celia is offline
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Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: los alamos
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Default stairs, dogs

Larry, have you tried walking downstairs backwards? It works, as long as there is a good handrail, and is easier on your knees.

Coyotes: lots here (Los Alamos, NM), trotting along in the day time. More danger to adults from little ankle-biting fluffy dogs "under voice control."
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  #7  
Old 09-25-2014, 06:09 PM
bobbo bobbo is offline
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Join Date: Aug 2013
Location: Ontario
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Hi Teena Maria,

Great thread! I used to visualize my golf swing back when I still played. It didn't work miracles but It helped keep my drives closer to the fairway

I never thought of using that same visualizing technique to improve my walking or any other daily challenges that I face with MS....until I read this thread. I was amazed with the results! With visualizing I definitely get more of a lift when I'm tackling stairs. I also tried Larry's suggestions and concentrated on lifting the knee when walking . That definitely helped as well! Or even after doing some floor exercises, if I have trouble getting back on my feet. If I visualize the movement required I get an extra boost.*

As far as my condition I also have a weak left leg, in fact my whole left side is weak. And I use a WalkAide as my foot drop became too severe. I also use walking sticks at home and a rollator when I go out. I agree that crawling and climbing stairs helps with walking. I've also been trying to keep my back straight or stand upright as staying bent over decreases my core muscle involvement...which has over time *weakened my overall core strength. When walking laps at the gym I mix in short spurts of power or speed walking.While it's anything but graceful to an observer I find that after the short spurt my normal walking gait improves.

The one other thing I think is worth mentioning is my "second wind" after midnight. It doesn't happen all the time, and I can't find a pattern or make any sense as to what triggers it. But if I find myself awake at that time on occasion I get this incredible boost of energy. Its like I drop a point on the EDSS scale. I can actually take a few steps with no aids. I'm moving quicker, I can do full knee lifts. The neighbours probably think I'm crazy because all of a sudden I'm doing housework after midnight. Does anyone else experience this?*
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  #8  
Old 09-30-2014, 03:56 PM
teena marie teena marie is offline
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Hello,

I have noticed if I have to get back up after going to bed that I also move with more ease. Although I'd have to say housecleaning at that hour is not so appealing! I totally agree about core strength helping us with being straight and upright. Do keep us posted about your visualization experiences.

I continue with my routine although not as regularly. It helps centre me and there have been times I feel it has had a positive impact on my gait. I definitely have more stamina and my timed walk is faster.

How is the treadmill routine, Veronica?
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  #9  
Old 10-02-2014, 08:50 PM
Veronica Veronica is offline
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Join Date: Mar 2013
Location: Columbia County, NY
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I like this thread! So today I saw my PT...been seeing him now once a month since I have really committed to getting this walking to a more comfortable and better level. My last collapse point walk just gave me an additional 2 minutes, and added just about 1/10 of a mile, but as Herb said, I am now walking non-stop for 25 minutes and when we started this, I was so uncomfortable walking more than a city block or two.... So, progress!! He made my eyes cross when he suggested I think about the 5K Walk MS event in the spring, and he said he would do it with me. It is very unbelievable to me that I could walk 5K at this point, but he has turned me into a believer with the biking, so what the heck. It's a goal..... At this point, he wants me to do a collapse point walk once a WEEK, and an internal walk routine once a week....My interval walk is now at 9 mins walking, rest, 7 mins walk, rest, 6 mins walk,rest, 6 mins walk, rest, 6 mins walk. Rests are still 4 minutes each. We also talked about and worked on my length of strides. He had me take much smaller steps, move faster, and swing my arms. At first I was pumping them, and bending the elbow. He corrected me and had me just swing them from the shoulder in a more loose, fluid manner. When I did the walk that way, his eyes lite up and said "YES! That looks so normal!!" I told him I felt like a robot, and he chuckled saying that others have said the same thing, when in fact, THAT is the way one walks when there is no compromising issues.... All this is just fascinating to me....and so encouraging..... Will I do Walk MS? Oh I don't know, but just to have hope for enjoying walking again is such a gift to me... I'll keep you in the loop!!
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  #10  
Old 10-05-2014, 02:29 PM
AMFADVENTURES AMFADVENTURES is offline
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Location: Colorado
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Glad to hear that a PT actually can teach an MSer to walk again, quite encouraging actually, thanks for that.

I've been doing stairs regularly for a couple of months now and I think I can say two things about it:
1) I certainly am more confident on stairs, both up and down and although I prefer to have a hand rail, I'm also more confident even in the absence of one.

2) Doing the stairs has changed my gait, whether for better or worse I'm not sure. For some reason the knee lifting required for stair climbing doesn't seem to have transferred to walking but I feel like the leg strength gained from the stairs has.

Like Bobbo I can always do more and do it easier and better when I'm fresh but unlike TM and Bobbo, I don't fare that well in the middle of the night. It seems to take a while to get my muscles working very well.
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