some ideas

September 12, 2007 at 11:16 am

Well, later on, when nerve connections are coming back, you can do lots of things beyond ROM.

My 12-yr-old was primarily affected in her lower body, motor nerves mostly.
The hardest things involve lifting her legs (as in taking a step w/out dragging feet) and side motion of legs (whatever that outside leg muscle is).

Her therapist has her doing bridges (on back, lifting butt off floor). Now, she couldn’t have done that 3 months ago! But now she can, and it is helping.
She started w/ only a couple reps and now is up to 2 sets of 10.

Also, she had her lifting her leg while sitting and trying to get it up onto a thin box. Then we increased the size of the box, eventually getting it to about 4 inches. Then we started doing it while standing (holding her walker, b/c she can’t yet stand alone).

Other exercises were ‘snow angels’, laying on back and scisorring legs. Initially she could hardly move them, and now (7 months later) this is pretty easy.

Also, we do straight leg lifts. She can still not lift her legs up very far, just 6 inches or so (but initially couldn’t lift at all). But she tries to lift and we assist by lifting it up higher while she focuses on the motion. We do those on side and on back. Actually, thinking back, we started with leg slides (bringing knee up while sliding foot up).

All her exercises were initially adapted so she could do them w/out working against gravity.

Other interventions were DAFO leg braces which she wore to prevent foot drop. Now she is on her feet more and doesn’t need the braces as much.

Now the therapist has her working on the treadmill (she holds on for balance and stability). She focuses on form, how to lift her feet and step. She does it forward, walking backward, and sideways. Very slow speed. Therapist gets on treadmill w/her and stands on edges. L wears a big velcro belt so therapist can grab her when she loses balance or legs start giving out.

We are also doing some simple yoga poses, but this is on our own. However, they help keep alignment and stretch. Tightness was a HUGE issue esp when movement was more limited.

My daughter is getting around on crutches now. Her arms are very strong! And her legs are getting there little by little.

Hope this helps. Did you also read the Exercise Family thread by Lady Kit?
Lots of good stuff there about what people find helpful.