PT. Does it help????

    • Anonymous
      January 16, 2008 at 2:47 pm

      I would love to here some opinions on whether or not physical therapy will help or expedite the return of our damaged nervous system.I know I don’t want to overdue it, and I try to find the right routine for me.I guess I would just like to here some encouragement to keep pushing myself.If anyone has any facts or opinions, please Share.

    • Anonymous
      January 16, 2008 at 3:36 pm

      My feeling is that it cannot do any harm. Check through the Thread titled “Gbs/cidp Exercise Family” because there are some posts regarding PT. Personally, I try to keep up regular exercising so that the cardiovascular system does not suffer as a byproduct of the neuropathy. I asked the physiatrist about PT and he recommended a balance clinic, but I haven’t heard from them yet so I need to chase after someone to get going.
      I also will be signing up in the fall for something called “Journey into Well-being – a Chronic Disease Self Management Workshop” which is offered free by my local hospital and includes recommendations for different exercises depending on the condition.
      So, in summary, there is PT which has to be good, plus all kinds of other things.
      Am I a fanatic about exercise and fitness?…well maybe a bit.
      Good luck

    • Anonymous
      January 16, 2008 at 5:32 pm

      P.T. definitely helped me but I was denied service after I came home. Eventually (six months later) I was allowed to have PT for about two months. The therapist was great and they taught me a lot of things that I could work on at home once they were finished with me. Even though I am not good aobut doing what I need to do I know it helped me. I would definitely recommend it but make sure your therapist is familiar with GBS and the issues of fatigue.

    • Anonymous
      January 16, 2008 at 7:40 pm

      ..all things in moderation as they’s easy to over do it..but it’s something you should still work at..imo..take it slow and easy, but try to do something at least every other day, if not every day..

    • Anonymous
      January 16, 2008 at 9:50 pm


      pt does not help the nerves. it is for the muscles. the nerves need rest to heal & would prefer no pt, but the muscles demand some. you must recover in 12 to 18 hours of your pt workout or it is too much & must be scaled back. take care. be well.

      gene gbs 8-99
      in numbers there is strength

    • Anonymous
      January 16, 2008 at 11:58 pm

      expedite the return of our damaged nervous system? Your body has to do that and under that heading falls REST! The sheath of the nerves heals very slowly and after that the damaged nerves take even longer to redirect their signals over regrown nerves.

      What exercise does is keeps the muscles moving and the joints regaining range of motion. We are talking not hard exercise but walking slowly, breathing exercises, range of motions and stretching exercises. This will help the tendons, ligaments and muscles stretch. Some lower level strenght will come back slowly. Work on each tiny muscle and up to the larger muscle groups. Be sure to work the upper body, lower body and the core. Make sure you warm up and cool down too. High impact is not what you want to start out doing. Make sure all areas are working and discover where you are weaker and work on those areas too.

      OT or Occupational Therapy will make sure you are able to do everything required for daily living like opening jars and cooking. Laundry and folding clothes to dressing yourself, combing your hair or getting into the tub or your car. Also, anything you need on your job or hobby. PT or Physical Therapy will make sure you are able to walk, lift and and climb the steps. Open doors and turn the key and shift gears or get on a bus. They try to get you back to “normal” so you can return to work. Stand for a long time like in a line or waiting at a bus stop. If you can not accomplish something they work with you. It also depends on your insurance coverage but a year later you regain all your benefits back to start working with PT again. I do exercises at home to video and tv programs and then go back and tell them what I am not able to do yet. They are still working with me to continue to see my abilities increase to get me back to “normal”. Don’t give up on yourself. I am able to do alot of things now, I still have some areas to work on. When I had cramps in my hands they gave me exercises to do to stop the cramps. When I had facial cramps and pains they gave me exercises to do for that too. I was not able to crawl and if I sat on the floor I had to roll over to the couch to stand…..with some strenghting the back and hip and letting my shoulder heal from an injury in the hospital they got me to crawl and stand up in the middle of the floor or store or parking lot. That gave me alot more confidence to go away from home. Just remember it all takes time and is hard work and a struggle at times. You just have to set your goals and keep possitive!

    • Anonymous
      January 17, 2008 at 11:12 am

      As everybody else has said, PT does not having any effect on the healing of nerves. It still doesn’t mean that PT won’t have a beneficial effect for you.

      Muscles atrophy over time and even if you can’t exercise them efficiently, PT will keep some muscle tone and when your nerves finally do recover, your muscles won’t be starting over from zero.

      Movement of the joints can also prevent some joint problems, as well.

    • Anonymous
      January 17, 2008 at 3:43 pm

      I think any kind of exercise is good for everyone…whether it is very minimal or very tiring. I know that I get very tired after just a bit of physical therapy and they are working mostly on my balance. I stand on a ufo type of thing, that’s the best way to describe it, and we play catch with a ball. At first I didnt do very well but now I am doing better. I also stand on a squishy thing to play catch. I also walk over and thru cones…stuff like that. I havent done any weight lifting with my legs yet…I have weakness and slight drop foot on the left but balance is my major issue I think. I’m used to the weakness…the balance is a struggle daily.

      Like the others say…I dont believe that PT will heal the nerves but it will help the muscles and at least hopefully help maintain strength. I think, too, that exercise always makes me feel a little better even if it does wear me out.

      good luck to you.


    • Anonymous
      January 17, 2008 at 11:18 pm

      This March will mark my fourth anniversary since the onset of GBS. I’ve tried PT 3 times. The first time just out of the hospital was a breeze. Everything they wanted me to do seemed so easy. I had to stop that because my $12.00 co-pays was starting to hurt more than the GBS. Two years later I tried again at a military base so there was no co-pay. I wasn’t able to do everything my PT instructor wanted me to do. So he put me in an aqua therapy class. After a short time the same thing happened, I wasn’t able to keep up. Last October was my third try and again after 8 sessions the instructor said “I don’t think I’m going to be able to help you”. I have now found a pool I can use for $20.00 a month and I got some aqua exercises from my last PT instructor. So I go as often as I want and do as much as I want. That all being said I feel better doing what I feel my body can handle. Like that said before me, the exercise is for you muscles not you nerves. Your nerves will heal with time. Some on this forum have stated getting better after a number of years.

      GBS Mar 04

    • Anonymous
      January 18, 2008 at 8:00 am

      I would say pt/ot has been a great help for me. My pt has ms, and understands what my situation is.. I’ve been going since 11/07, and probably will thru spring three days a week…
      One week I had severe siatic sp..nerve pain (performis muscle), and she fixed me up, and worked on stretching.. that alone I feel made pt worth it..they work on my range of motion, stretching, balance, and strength, and review my progress.. This helps me guage where i’m at and where i’m headed..
      The pt/ot have a pretty good game plan for works on lower body for me, and ot does the upper body…
      I think if you can afford it, do it as long as you can…deanop