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  • Braces

    Hello group,

    I need to see if I can indulge you for some opinion.

    I have been doing some research on assistive walking devices (ie) braces to help with my foot drop and balance.

    Can someone share what brace/assistive device works best for them?

    On a separate note...(soap box time) I am very appreciative for sites such as this.

    I live in the Niagara Region (Ontario, Canada) and I have been very unimpressed with the direction and support that I have received.

    I have found that the actual clinician's that I have been involved with (Neurologist's) are quick to provide a (take this pill) type of answer but no one has been able to provide direction (ie) go see this person for this, use this device if you need this. My GP is great and the MS Society does a bunch of good things but I have not come across a great resource for all the MS stuff that you need.

    Any feedback out there or is this just me?

    (RRMS/PPMS) originally diagnosed Mar 2006)

    Side Note....Dave...keep up the excellent work! This site is a huge help

  • #2
    Sources of info

    Hi, I'm from Canada too (rural BC) and relate to your resource issue. One great source I have found is MS Views and News. They have some great youtube videos capturing talks by neurologists. Usually need to skip the first 7-10 min of intros and housekeeping but most of the talks are pretty good. Also on youtube are some talks put out by OhioHealth which I found valuable.

    Sorry can't help you on the braces front, or on the actually accessing any specific local help.


    • #3
      Thanks hscott72. I appreciate the references. I will check them out


      • #4
        I use the Bioness L300 electronic stimulator to deal with my foot drop. It can be a nuisance to use, sometimes, but it's very effective helping me to walk. Check their web site: It's expensive to buy, however, and isn't covered by most insurance policies in the U.S.

        Also…my Tuesday column, The MS Wire, which appears on the web site, this week tells a story about a woman who uses a carbon fiber brace, technical name: Ankle-Foot Orthotic (AFO), to run marathons. You might want to check it out.

        BTW, carbon fiber braces are lighter, more durable and more comfortable than the standard plastic brace. They're custom fitted and that makes a big difference. You should check with an orthotist about any brace that you might be considering.



        • #5

          That is exactly what I am looking for. I will check out the websites. Thanks again


          • #6
            AFO, Shoes, Etc, correct place to ask?

            Related Questions to braces. I will ask them here and if not the correct place, let me know. thanks.

            In PT, they used bioness. Way cool technology.

            In everyday life, I use an AFO on my left foot.

            Question, any suggestions on the best shoe companies that carry proper support, comfort, accomadates the AFO, and has decent style?

            I am having funky circulation issues, vascular issues.

            I have one pair of shoes, Keens, I lovingly named them "Claudes".

            I would love to find a dress shoe.

            Related: economical cute light compression socks?

            I guess some of this is about economical resources for these things.

            Related, sort of: Anybody have experience with a gait trainer at home? If so, is it helpful?

            Thanks, Connie


            • #7
              For compression socks, you might look at "Sockwell" on amazon. Fairly easy to put on and off, nice colorful stripe patterns, don't look "medical." About $25/pair, and come in different sizes and compression levels.


              • #8
                I like these light compression socks, but not sure if it hits your stylish request


                • #9
                  I think you hit the nail on the head about neuros not being too helpful in the day to day living with MS. I felt better about my expectations after I did an attitude adjustment and framed the neuro's role to stop an acute attack and prescribe DDM. I liken it to the pediatrician can't really help you raise your child and guide you every step of the way. You got to experiment and overall you'll make good choices.
                  That said, I too struggle to find helpful resources. But suggestions above by poster to watch dr videos is a great one. Do make sure the dr isn't trying to sell you snake oil. I found a few of those. And of course websites like Ed's and this forum are invaluable for mining ideas, moral support, and sharing. Thank you Dave.

                  So if you find a gem out on the internet or in your day to day travels, be sure to share with us...I'm always looking for ways to make my quality of life better.....


                  • #10
                    I recently (thanks to Dave posting the event), attended a seminar given by the MS Foundation. They offer grants for practical help for people living with MS. They're based in Florida but outreach across the country. Their pamphlet mentions grant$ for assistive technology, home modifications and short term in-home care.

                    There were three speakers at the event, a neurologist a PT and the program manager for a local MS wellness center. The food was good too! 😋


                    My Two Numb Feet - An MS Diary


                    • #11
                      Suebee..Sorry for the delay in responding. I haven't had the opportunity to check the site recently. As luck would have it...I got an invitation to the "End MS Conference" that the MS Society of Canada does...this is a conference for all the people working on treatments/investigations for MS. The 1st day of the conference is for people with MS to interact with these other parties. Brass spend 3/4 of a day surrounded by PHD's, doctorate candidates and the like answering questions and really finding out what research is going on. All I can say is WOW! I must have really missed the boat. I wish that I could have seen this 10 years ago. There r a lot of smart people doing a lot of research to end MS. Very cool. and I agree....without sites like this it would make things much more difficult.


                      • #12
                        Suebee..Celia....Do you find the compression socks work?


                        • #13
                          Thank you, I like the non-binding diabetic socks. They are really quite comfortable. Thank you for your suggestions.

                          jjmagpin, I know you posed this question to someone else, but for me compression socks are a must. and they do help me a lot.

                          I do not know if they are helpful unless someone has a circulation/vascular issue. That I suppose would be a doctor question.

                          I have been looking for this post, I had forgotten where I had posted.

                          I hope you have found help for brace issues.


                          • #14
                            The non-binding compression socks are really comfy and you wouldn't know they are special just by looking at them. Yes, they work, however, if you have a significant swollen lower extremity you will want to be sure you have a dr opinion on its cause (drug reaction, heart issues, diabetes, Lupus, etc) and whether you should try the more heavier duty compression socks that are tight and hard to get on. AND of course you always want to elevate your swollen lower extremity so that gravity is on your side and keep on walking through out the day. Monitoring salt intake and doctor approved diuretics may be helpful too. Long time non-management can cause tissue breakdown, so be sure to get accurate diagnosis and use good self-care.
                            In my case, I am more likely to have fluid buildup in my ankles/shins if I have had high salt diet, no walking, female monthly changes, and not enough drinking water. I found it was better to take immediate self-care actions than wait until my ankle/shins were painful/really puffy and I required the very tight compression socks and diuretics to get back to normal.