hip movement

    • Anonymous
      January 24, 2009 at 2:21 pm

      Since getting GBS Oct. 07, I have no hip movement, the hips feel like they are locked up. Does anyone have suggestions of exercises I could do to help get movement?

    • Anonymous
      January 24, 2009 at 4:23 pm

      Hi Shirley,

      I’d love to respond to your question, but I’m not sure I understand exactly what you mean. ๐Ÿ˜ฎ

      I’m not trying to be obtuse, but can you give a bit more information about your lack of hip movement? I don’t know how much GBS affected you so I’m unable to get a clear picture.


    • Anonymous
      January 24, 2009 at 7:31 pm

      I was paralyzed from the chest down with the fingers and forearms also affected. I can walk a short distance using a cane. I have tingling in my legs with numbness in the lower legs and feet and that awful feeling of weighted legs. I also have balance issues with feet, instead landing on the whole foot when I walk I land on the outside of the feet which throws me off balance. Looks like I have had one to many!:eek:
      When I try to lift my legs out to the side of my body it feels like the hip is locked and doesn’t let me lift no higher than several inches. I have no wiggle in my walk,:D not even a slight one. I resemble a robot when I walk.

    • Anonymous
      January 24, 2009 at 8:18 pm

      Hi Shirley,

      Alright, I believe I understand, which will unfortunately lead to more questions. I’m going to assume you had physical therapy as you are able to walk, even if it is a short distance. Were you fitted with leg braces or AFO’s to help “correct” the way you walk? When you say you have the awful weighted legs, is this all the time? Can you lie down on your side and attempt leg lifts that will require hip flexion? I’m sorry I’m the “question” lady. ๐Ÿ˜‰

      GBS affected all of my extremities as well as the right side of my face. I get the tinglies in my face and arms, but my legs and feet aren’t “quite right”. I do believe I have hip flexion, but my walking is still affected quite a bit as I have foot drop on the right. That being said, I’m not sure how much hip movement is used when I walk. When performing the exercise mentioned in my first paragraph, I’m able to engage my hips when lying down.

      If I’m totally off base, please send me an IM.

      Take care,


    • Anonymous
      January 24, 2009 at 11:00 pm

      I had 9 months of physical therapy.
      Dr. will decide on AFO’s my next visit Late March or April.
      The weighted feeling is all the time but seems to feel heavier in the evening after I have been on them more.
      I have a small area over my right cheek that got the tingling early on, haven’t had it in a few months, same with the forearms.
      The side leg lifts were very small part of my home therapy which only lasted a month. I went to out patient therapy where I was their first
      GBS patient and they worked on core and upper body strength.
      I’m going to do the leg lifts and hope I can gradually lift them higher and get some hip movement.
      I thought it was to help the legs, never thought of it in relation to the hips. ๐Ÿ˜ฎ Good thing I am not a therapist! ๐Ÿ˜ฎ
      Your not off base.
      Thank you for your help and responses.

    • Anonymous
      January 25, 2009 at 12:50 am

      Hi Shirley,

      It’s your neighbor and fellow GBS veteran. We both contacted it at about the same time however you started at a distinct disadvantage. My remaining problems are somewhat the same as yours but are probably not as severe. My problems remain with the feet and lower legs from about mid-calf and resemble the same that you describe. My balance is certainly affected. My walk is akin to the old man’s shuffle but why the complaint, I am an old man. I try to walk about a mile most days and probably cover a couple by the time I finish with all of the staggering.

      I wanted to relate to you some of the exercises my therapist had me perform daily for the 5 months I worked with her. Couldn’t move when she started but was walking with the cane when I was dismissed. I am now walking without a cane but the Neurologists tells me I should use it (I don’t always listen). I did quite a bit of leg exercises which also involved hip movement while on a mat. Then I was on my hands and knees swinging back and forth, then side to side. From a sitting position and with weights on my ankles, I did leg lifts. I did these daily for about 30 minutes before we started the standing and/or walking exercises. I can’t say for sure that is the reason but I do not have any hip problems except those associated with arthritis.

      I seem to recall that your husband is retired from the mil. You are probably aware of it but not far from you is Dodge Gym at the AFB. They have most any contraption you can imagine for exercising different parts of the body and the price is right. I used it for months and it was definitely a benefit to me.

      From reading your messages I gather while you are far from where you would like to be BUT you have nevertheless experienced some improvement. I am happy that you have. Keep after it–you have to get some swing in that walk.


    • Anonymous
      January 25, 2009 at 9:23 am

      Hi Shirley,

      Kyle gave you more great ideas to get those hips a-swiveling. Think Elvis :rolleyes:

      Remember, slow and steady. Don’t exhaust yourself with too many repetitions and please let us know the outcome.

      Take care,


    • Anonymous
      January 25, 2009 at 10:56 am

      Hi Kyle,
      I like the term you used (GBS veteran). That “old man”s shuffle” taking you for a daily walk is great.
      Ray bought me 2 and 3lb ankle weights. This afternoon we are going to start an exercise routine using the side leg lifts that Tina mentioned and the exercises you described.
      I have wanted to use Dodge Gym since you told us about it early on.
      Ray is retired Army but works full time for the state since retiring. He does so much with work, me, home, errands and our pets that I haven’t mentioned going to the gym.
      I have improved a lot compared to where I was just over a year ago and am very thankful for the improvement I have made and hope to make more.
      Thank you for the exercise tips and your encouragement, I’ll work on getting some swing in my walk. ๐Ÿ˜€
      Take care

    • Anonymous
      January 25, 2009 at 4:17 pm

      The hip is an amazing joint. It can move the leg back and forth (as in walking), it can move the leg toward the body or away from it (as in standing with your feet apart), and it can rotate the leg inward or outward (as in walking “pigeon toed” or doing ballet stances). One of the first things I learned about muscles in college was the saying “Use it or loss it”. If one does not do a movement/function for a while, you lose the ability to do it. It sounds like, you cannot do the leg movement of raising your leg out to the side and probably the muscles that do this (hip abductors) have taken a vacation. Also the ligaments can get tight if not kept stretched out with regular use. There are different muscles working in combinations for all the complexity of walking. It often happens that when it is really hard to walk especially with balance issues, people do the simplist way which is very simple to the front and back movement and tiny steps (shuffle) because this gives more balance. This is not efficient nor “like before”. These are the exercises that I have seen used for hip abduction. Lying on your side and raising your leg up as others have said. I do this in bed because it is hard to lie on the floor and then get up. This takes a good deal of effort to raise the leg up. A simpler way is to stand holding on to a chair (I prefer the kitchen cabinet–because it will not fall over!) and raising the leg out to the side–alternating sides or doing one side and then the other. Another I have seen is standing bent over like you are a baseball catcher with feet as far apart as you can and then shifting sideways over one leg then the other. Personally, I would still go plop to the ground on that one, so I do it standing (at first holding on) with feet apart about two feet and then shift weight to the left leg so that it is straight up and down and the right is angled out from the body and then shift to the right side. This helps strengthen the muscles that pull the leg in so that one does not fall if both legs are not under you. You could also try as an exercise to walk with your feet further apart–this will strength muscles and balance. I naturally now have a wide-based gait.

      Dancing is good for hip movement and balance and if you and you honey like to dance, it is a good activity to do together–especially slow dancing!

      I have narrow feet and it has helped me a lot to wear walking shoes with a flat wide botton so that my feet stay flat and balance is better.

      I know that I would not have been able to have weights on at first. Try to gently get the hips to work better first and then maybe try the weights.

      Finally, if this is a big stumbling block to get back to normal walking, ask about more physical therapy. It seems to me that the goal is to walk normally–the way you used to walk. Our bodies are really smart and naturally do things in as energy efficient way as possible–this included the wiggle in the walk.

    • Anonymous
      January 25, 2009 at 9:56 pm

      Withhope said “dance, it is a good activity to do together–especially slow dancing!”

      Now, I would figure Shirley for a Jitterbugger or a Twister. I’m just kidding. As usual, WHope displays much wisdom.

      Shirley, I want to emphasize that I only used the leg weights for a limited number of the exercises. The therapist started me out with the lighter weights and gradually worked up to the heavier ones. I suppose they are helpful but doubt that they are necessary. I think it was the day-after-day exercise and the hardly percetible improvements each day that was my salvation. I am so pleased that you continue to improve.


    • Anonymous
      January 26, 2009 at 12:09 am

      Hi, I am a physical therapist. I wish I could see you in person and give you some tips. General hip strengthening exercises are great but it sounds like you would benefit with some balance-strength activities and that requires a PT experienced in neurological rehab to follow and progress you.

      I know it has been a while since your diagnosis, but I would recommend you get a script from your doctor…ask them to make it a new script for “balance and gait training” or something of that nature. That will help you to get it paid for. If you have more PT benefits, it seems to me you would benefit with a new evaluation and then someone guidling you with home and gym exercises.

      I would encourage you to find a PT who has either treated GBS but if there are none in your area, seek one with neuro rehab background… even spinal cord injury rehab therapists would have the training to guide you on the path to more hip mobility and to enhance your walking pattern.

      Ball exercises, pool therapy, balancing on hard surface, then carpeted, then on a pillow are all ideas that pop into my head. You can call your neurologist or some local neurologists to ask for recommendations.

      I have one more questions, does the stiffness you speak about make your legs feel rigid, like you can’t bend them easily….sort of like your muscles are stiff or does it feel like you are trying to lift a thousand pounds?

      Either way, it sounds like it is time for a rehab “tune up” if you will!

      Best of luck to you.

    • Anonymous
      January 26, 2009 at 9:29 am

      Tina, Kyle, WithHope, 3BoyMama,

      I appreciate your experiences and knowledge you have put forth in your suggestions I intend to use. I have until late March or early April until I get appointments with my neuro and rehabilitation Dr’s.
      I will leave the weights alone for now. I have printed this thread and using each of your tips plan on setting up an exercise routine to do daily. With your combined suggestions I have come up with about 8-10 different exercises so will start slow with 5 repetitions.

      The legs feel stiff first thing in the morning until I get them moving.
      The heaviness used to feel like I had big cement blocks strapped to my lower legs.
      The heavy feeling has improved over time, it now feels like small bricks instead of heavy blocks.

      Tonight, I will request a “slow dance” from hubby, if all goes well will request it each evening. ๐Ÿ˜‰

      Thank you all so very much.

    • Anonymous
      January 26, 2009 at 6:08 pm

      You may be able to get a PT referral from your regular doctor and start that sooner if the home exercises don’t do the trick. Then you can just call and ask to speak to a nurse at the neuro’s office to ask about the right PT’s. You can even just call some PT practices and ask them who they would recommend…they usually know who specializes in neuro in their area.

      Best of luck and enjoy that dance!

    • Anonymous
      January 27, 2009 at 4:46 pm

      To all of you that responded to my post,
      I did my first set of exercises yesterday evening. I did four exercises lying down with 5 repetitions each. I stood at the kitchen sink alternating the legs and raising them out to the side. Staying at the sink for support if I needed it, I then stood with my eyes closed trying to keep my balance.
      The best part, we slow danced to an old song, (Patches). My mind told my body to dance like I did pre GBS but my body was having no part of it. I had a lot of stumbling but made it through the song. We enjoyed it and it was fun.
      My lower back and hips were sore today but eased up as the day went on.
      Thanks to all of you

    • Anonymous
      January 27, 2009 at 11:01 pm


      It is said that a journey of a thousand miles starts with one step, or something like that. I think what you achieved is terrific. I understand what you mean by having your mind work a little harder than before to get the intended result. Keep after it–you will improve.


    • Anonymous
      January 28, 2009 at 6:05 pm

      That sounds like a great start. I would add to your exercises the steps to the slow dance and do it a bit slower than you would to the music so you can re-train the brain-muscle connection. Then you will be more successful when you dance with your hubby!

      Assess your soreness. If it goes away is less than 24 hours, it is okay. If it lasts longer than that, you will want to back off a bit on the routine. Also see if it is better to do daily, every other day or 4-5 times per week.

      With GBS, fatigue is a big factor so you need to find that delicate balance.

      I can’t wait to hear about your progress!

    • Anonymous
      January 29, 2009 at 2:30 am

      You do the hokie pokie and you twist it all about and when you turn the lights out you and hubby can do some more hokie pokie. ๐Ÿ™‚
      Forgive me Shirley as I could not resist.
      I do think you will improve alot as time progresses.


    • Anonymous
      January 29, 2009 at 7:00 am

      They say there’s humor in everything, (you just have to look for it).
      You found it !!
      Thanks Drummer, that was funny. ๐Ÿ˜€ ๐Ÿ˜€