June 29, 2006 at 1:30 pm

One of the simplest balance exercises I was taught was while on hands and knees, lift opposite limbs (e.g., left knee, right hand). (Your father may have progressed beyond this.)

Next I was given a large ball –you can find these in sports stores — that I could sit on and balance with both feet on the ground. Once that was done, lift one foot. Then, put a small ball under the foot that’s raised. Have someone kick a ball to you, and kick it back to them. Finally, play catch while balancing on the balls.

Another easy to describe exercise is to stand on one leg. First, observe how much work the ankle does in a person who doesn’t have GBS: people aren’t designed to stand still, and you’ll see the ankle is in constant motion. Then imagine the weight effectively on the other end of this lever (leg), and the small muscles in the ankle which must support the body’s entire weight. Essentially, that’s the issue for GBS patients: small muscles (at the end of the limb, where it will take longest to repair damage) controlling a lot of weight on the other end of the leg. No wonder your father (and I!) are having problems.

Finally, I haven’t tried this, but a “[URL=”;act=ST;f=1;t=865;st=13″%5Dwobble board[/URL]” was recommended on the [URL=””%5DUK board[/URL]