Hi everyone. Awesome forum! I am yet more MS flotsam drifting in after watching the W5 program on Dr. Zamboni and his hope-inspiring discovery.
I am de-lurking to post something that I think may be of help. I think it fits in with the new model of MS so I'm posting it here. In a nutshell, it's a relatively new (well, newly hyped) exercise machine that uses high frequency vibration to build muscle, improve circulation and a host of other claimed health benefits - some of them real.
The company selling this device is Power Plate. Here is a link to their website:
Besides making numerous celebrities fit and beautiful, it does claim to benefit those living with MS. Here is a study undertaken in Sweden about its benefits for MS patients:
While there is much hype associated with this machine, I completely endorse what the lady with MS quoted in the press release has to say. It's made a significant improvement on my quality of life and I wonder if much of that has to do with improved circulation - particularly to nerve-weakened areas. The notable improved circulation may help pull blood through our restricted neck veins with the same benefit (though perhaps with less dramatic results) than stenting or angioplasty procedures.
MEDICAL NOTE: NOBODY WITH A STENT IN THEIR VEINS SHOULD USE THIS DEVICE.
I happened upon it when I ran into an old gym acquaintance. He and his wife were fervent users and seemed to me to be very energetic and healthy-looking. My friend claimed that he is able to get a better workout in 15 minutes than from hours spent in the gym. He is a dentist and was aware of its claimed benefits for MS patients.
A bit about myself. I'm a 20 year vet with this disease. Things went along a more or less livable RR course when, about 13 years ago, the disease took a rather pernicious turn. Since then, it mainly went after the right side of my body with worsening footdrop, weakened arm and hand. Where I used to be strongly right-handed, I am now exclusively a forced lefty and I walk with a bad limp for which I've used various orthotics for the last 12 years. Blessedly, I've had little trouble with mental fatigue and have kept to my stressful and long hours job. Fortunately as well, beginning about four years ago, I've had improvement in physical fatigue. I used to have to calculate my point of no return when going places, like a helicopter heading out to sea. Now, I'm almost unrestricted in walking distance - I'm just not very good at it. Apart from that, I guess you can describe my condition for the last several years as a slow leaking boat that's listing to one side.
I've tried to stay as fit as possible, doing what I can. One challenge that I've had is being able to exercise my aforementioned nerve-weakened right muscles and my relatively normal left-sided muscles. I kept up with free weights by loading up the left side heavier than the right. For example, I could curl a relatively heavy weight with my left arm and then a near feather weight in my right. I had poor results with this. Also, piling up weights on one side of a bar can be a bit dangerous.
Then I tried Bowflex, which I liked because it was much easier to do differential loads. Once again, I’ve had no improvement in my right side and my body continued to look lopsided as my right sided muscles faded. Meanwhile my left wouldn't be much better, because of being dragged down to the level of my right.
I got the walkaide device last year with great results in building back my pencil-thin calve muscle.
Then I got the Power Plate machine a little over a month ago. The first few times using it, I was sore all over – much like I used to feel, when I was a young man after a hard long weight workout. I also felt ill, like I’ve felt after a deep massage – supposedly from toxins being vibrated out of my muscles.
What I liked is that I could do most of the exercises as you basically hold various positions such as a squat while the machine shakes you. A whole lot of shaking going on. Even where I had to cheat to do some of the exercises, I could still create tension. (With this machine, the vibrations go mainly to where you are tensing your muscles. If you simply stand on it, the vibrations go up all the way to your head). Thus, this machine is great even for the feeble.
Now, after over a month, all I can say is wow! I don’t get sore anymore and I feel SO much stronger – more so than I can remember. It’s a good all-round feeling of fitness and strength. I can feel and see muscle growth on my right side. I’ve had slight but noticeable improvement in my footdrop and right arm/hand ability.
I’ll take that.
Even more incredible, is the significant improvement I’ve noticed in my alertness, mood and energy level. Even though I can’t run, I actually feel as though I can. It’s a great feeling. So is the tingly feeling throughout my nerve-weakened areas from improved blood flow that lasts long after a workout. Did I mention it only takes 15 minutes to do the full workout and a couple of stretches? I now do 3 a week plus one non-power plate cardio workout.
Anyway, sorry for the long first post. I just thought that someone else might discover similar benefits from trying this while we bide our time waiting for CCSVI treatments to come online. The machine is probably out of reach for most people to buy, but there are Power Plate classes to enroll in that are sprouting up everywhere as this seems to be the latest fitness craze plus you can find the machine in many gyms.