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  #11  
Old 08-21-2014, 07:23 PM
teena marie teena marie is offline
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Hi all,

Tonight with my visualization, I really felt the disconnect with the left/right, hip/shoulder circuit. So I slowed things down and really concentrated on the action. What was interesting was the tingling feeling I got in my hips which fits with the notion that thinking through a motion is capable of stimulating pathways. I'm also quite tired which makes me feel it was work. I'll report back on how and when this translates to gait changes.

Take care all,

Teena Marie
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  #12  
Old 08-24-2014, 08:58 PM
teena marie teena marie is offline
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Hi,

I also use a breathing technique always to the count of 5. Breathing in to 5-abdomen inflated like a balloon, hold it for 5, exhaling for 5 thinking of bringing the abdomen to touch the spine. Especially this last action is accessing some deep core muscles I've previously been unable to activate. This in turn is helping my walking, especially on the left. I'm encouraged.

Take care,

Teena Marie
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  #13  
Old 08-28-2014, 07:24 PM
Veronica Veronica is offline
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Teena Marie, all I can say is you are really workin' it . Very impressive to me....

And don't you love it when you can "wake up" a muscle and reactivate it, even if it is ever so slight to begin with? Yeay for us!
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  #14  
Old 09-25-2014, 06:09 PM
bobbo bobbo is offline
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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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  #15  
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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  #16  
Old 10-02-2014, 08:50 PM
Veronica Veronica is offline
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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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  #17  
Old 10-05-2014, 02:29 PM
AMFADVENTURES AMFADVENTURES is online now
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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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  #18  
Old 10-23-2014, 02:06 PM
AMFADVENTURES AMFADVENTURES is online now
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Got a chance to test out my walking the other day at a large venue bike swap fair. Using a cane, there is no doubt I can and am walking better. Even the leg lift is better WHEN I REALLY CONCENTRATE on it. I am also walking slightly faster and it all lasted for a little over an hour. I still hit the "wall" at about the one hour mark but I walked better for more of that hour than I have in the past. The only change I've made in my normal routine lately has been climbing up and down a flight of stairs every day.

One thing has me baffled though, I can hit a wall cycling, recover in anywhere from 30 seconds to 20 minutes and keep on going. With walking however, once I hit the wall, there isn't much recovery until the next day. Beats me what's going on there????????
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  #19  
Old 10-26-2014, 01:27 PM
teena marie teena marie is offline
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Larry, I hear you 100%. All I can think of is that walking is weight bearing.

Veronica, a 5k walk sounds like an amazing goal and you of all people can achieve this.

Arm swinging is an important part of the pendulum action of walking, the left right action. When I'm doing my walking visualization I actually swing my arms and move my hips and shoulders. I'm planning to work on this action in the pool.

Take care all,

Teena Marie
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  #20  
Old 10-29-2014, 11:24 PM
Veronica Veronica is offline
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I agree with Teena Marie, Larry, that the difference is that biking isn't the weight bearing that walking is.

Focusing on how people without physical issues walk has become a slight obsession with me...particularly the arm swing, as I have learned that mine had become either very artificial or bordered on none existent. I have it back again, but not naturally....yet.....! Gonna try the visualizations.....guess it is like muscle memory on another level.

This past Sunday I was going to do my weekly Collapse Point Walk on the treadmill, didn't feel like endurance was my friend that day, but started it anyway. Got only to 11 minutes before I really needed to stop. I didn't want to log that in as the weekly CPW, so I just decided to rest a few minutes and do it again.....lasted 9 minutes the second time, did another quick 4 min rest and then was able to walk on for total of 32 mins.... was on 1.9 the entire time, which is my fastest consistent speed yet, and I really worked the last two minutes as I was closing in on one mile... This was a milestone for me...even if it wasn't a continuous CPW, it still was a mile on the mill. I really just did a variation of my PT's interval training, and am checking with him to make sure there is no reason why I can't do it this way from now on.... Just linking CPWs together until I run out of time or abililty. Tomorrow will be my next time on the mill and if all conditions are GO, I will try the pure collapse point walk and see if I can beat my last time of 28 minutes. This is getting to be like a game for me! Gonna talk to Herb about when can I add some incline to the treadmill training as I know that this is such an artificial walk right now. It is definitely translating into a better and more comfortable walk for me, but the quality of my walk outside is nowhere near as good as it is on the mill due to all the natural factors there.
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