Bioness Story on Today Show

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Postby FROG » Thu Jan 29, 2009 5:17 pm

I have seen the videos etc on both this device and the one chris mentions above, and in both, i found it interesting that they always only show the device being used on a single leg. Do you, or anyone else, know why? cost? or something medical?[/quote]

Most of the people that I know that are using the device only have to use it for one of their legs. I have see others that needed it for both legs and that is what they had. For me it is my right leg/foot that needed the help. I don't have the same problems with the left side.

Sure I can jog with the device but it is not set up for running. I think the fastest I can go and have the device keep up with me is 4mph. Even with jogging I am not able to go very far. Going a tenth of a mile is good for me now. Those days of running a 7 minute mile are long gone. That's ok because I can jog and it is the most wonderful feeling to be able to do that.
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Postby Sharon » Thu Jan 29, 2009 5:20 pm

I also use the WalkAide. I tried the Bioness 300 - it does basically the same thing the WalkAide does (just different technology) I chose the Walkaide because you only have one device - the Bioness has three (cuff, sensor, and control). When I tried the Bioness, you were not able to wear sandals with the sensor - that may have since changed, and you would not be able to go barefoot. The cost was $1600 more for the Bioness. For me, both devices worked.

I was impressed with the video watching her go up the steps of the volcano. I still have a slight problem with stairs (all stairs are not the same!!). I would love to be able to go up stairs the way she climbed the volcano! But, in retrospect, when I tried the Bioness, I had trouble going up stairs.

No matter which unit one uses, I think we should be thankful that MS'rs have two to choose from. I am glad both devices are getting airtime on the TV. The WalkAide has allowed me to continue being active - I may even try to snow ski again (don't know how the WalkAide is going to work with the skis, but I can go on the "bunny slope" to give it a try).

The purchase of the WalkAide has been well worth every penny.

Sharon
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Postby FROG » Fri Jan 30, 2009 8:42 am

Hi Marie,
I first had the producer that I worked with on the Today Show send me an e-mail about the site. Not long after she e-mailed me I had a friend of mine that is with Bioness e-mail and tell me about the site. With reading the comments I was inspired to join and try to answer some of the questions.

I used the device in physical therapy for 2 months before purchasing it. In my situation that was a must because I started using it in January 2007 when buying it for home use wasn't an option just yet. When we found out that it could be purchaced for home use, I then rented it just to make sure it was right for me and make a long term difference. As I said on the show it has been worth every penny. I would tell others that they should first use it in physical therapy and then when they get it rent it. When renting it that money goes towards the final cost. Then if your insurance doesn't help you out there are other places to look for assistance with the $$$$. One thing you can check into is the Brighter Tomorrow Grant through the MS Foundation. I know that one comes around once a year and the grant can be up to $1000. You could go on their web site www.msfocus.org to get more information about that. Bioness also has something set up to help people with a payment plan. I don't have the details on that but I can find out who to contact to give more information. Just let me know and I can find that out.
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Postby mrhodes40 » Fri Jan 30, 2009 8:59 am

Thanks Jonna!

But I still really want to know, am imagining that your leg bends better now than it appeared to in the early video? It looks like it does...... Walking up the stairs in '04, it looked like you had to really concentrate to get the leg up the next one, then when you hiked up diamond head you lifted your leg WAYYYYY up to hike the trail, that's not a "foot drop" thing that's a leg thing.

I guess I want to hear that it did help you bend your leg too, because that's what I hope is true and what I thought I saw :wink:

My leg will go into a "march" if I have a pain in my foot, it will pull up by itself even though I can barely do it at will, I wondered quite honestly if there is a little of that dynamic going on, like maybe the thing tingles your lower leg and the whole leg "fires"? if that makes sense...
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Postby patientx » Fri Jan 30, 2009 10:13 am

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Postby Sharon » Fri Jan 30, 2009 10:26 am

Joanna - I would also like to know about the bending and raising the knee and the Bioness. As I mentioned, I use the WalkAide, but it really does not help with the hamstring or the hip flexor weakness which causes my problem with bending the knee. Both devices stimulate only the lower leg and foot. Can you stand and bend your knee up to a 45 degree angle without the Bioness? Can you stand and bend your knee back to where the heel of your foot is reaching towards your buttocks? Were you able to do the knee bends prior to wearing the Bioness? I am really curious because if the Bioness has increased your upper leg and hip flexor muscles, than that is dramatic. I have increased my strength just because I am able to walk more (the WalkAide helped me to walk, but it is not directly responsible to increase strength in the hamstring or hip flexor - that's me working really hard!)

I think this is really an important issue, because these devices are not cheap.

Thanks, Joanna - it was great to see you on the video - good luck to you!

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Postby FROG » Fri Jan 30, 2009 2:03 pm

mrhodes40 wrote:Thanks Jonna!

But I still really want to know, am imagining that your leg bends better now than it appeared to in the early video? It looks like it does...... Walking up the stairs in '04, it looked like you had to really concentrate to get the leg up the next one, then when you hiked up diamond head you lifted your leg WAYYYYY up to hike the trail, that's not a "foot drop" thing that's a leg thing.

I guess I want to hear that it did help you bend your leg too, because that's what I hope is true and what I thought I saw :wink:

My leg will go into a "march" if I have a pain in my foot, it will pull up by itself even though I can barely do it at will, I wondered quite honestly if there is a little of that dynamic going on, like maybe the thing tingles your lower leg and the whole leg "fires"? if that makes sense...


In video from '04 the main reason that my leg had such a difficult time bending was because at times I was just not strong enough to lift my leg. It felt like I had a 50+ pound weight around my ankle. A few months back I went to get things adjusted with the device. My physical therapist had me do some walking and from that she was able to notice that I was not getting full us of my hip flexor muscle. She then made an adjustment to the device. I know that she is able to control how my foot is lifting, how long the stimulation stays on and there are a number of other adjustments that she is able to make. She is able to make adjust things to help me from compensating. It has been explained to me that when I am walking correctly without compensating (like hiking my hip to clear my toes from the ground) then that gives the rest of my leg/muscles a chance to get stronger. Without being a physical therapist I don't if I am able to explain things as well as they would. I am giving it my best shot.

I am not sure on how it helped with bending my leg. I am going to have to ask my physical therapist about this. My thought is that it didn't directly have an impact yet indirectly. :? I am going to have to find my PT's e-mail address and ask her this question.
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Postby mrhodes40 » Fri Jan 30, 2009 3:00 pm

Gee thanks!



that I was not getting full us of my hip flexor muscle. She then made an adjustment to the device.


and
It has been explained to me that when I am walking correctly without compensating (like hiking my hip to clear my toes from the ground) then that gives the rest of my leg/muscles a chance to get stronger


Well this suggests that there is some interrelationship at least: it's my hip flexor I am talking about too!

And if I understand the deal is that the compensating gait, which I have too, weakens the leg muscles so that improving that results in overall improvement in leg lifting ability just naturally as a side effect. It never occured to me that swinging my leg means that by nature I am not using the hip flexor properly so it is getting weak from that, but, I mean, DUH! of course it does, silly me! :lol:

That makes sense to me.
thanks
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Postby mrhodes40 » Fri Jan 30, 2009 3:09 pm

And you know what???

Now I am MAD :x at my neuro for telling me it won't help--he may very well be wrong about that! How can he know that my compensating gait will not get better? In fact I do know the physiatrist (rehab MD) told me that if the ankle is flexed and the foot up, the knee natrually bends better --this she offered as the reason we had to get the hated AFO. No wonder the rehab doc was frustrated and told me I should go and try the bioness for sure and forget what the neuro said!

"torn between two lovers..........." LOL!! It does make it hard to know what to do though when they have different opinoins, and given the expense it is easy to err on the side of "never mind not worth it".

Man I hope medicare covers it soon for MS!
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Postby Sharon » Fri Jan 30, 2009 8:27 pm

Marie

It does make it hard to know what to do though when they have different opinoins, and given the expense it is easy to err on the side of "never mind not worth it".



Please, please do not think it is not worth it. No matter which device you choose, I think you will find it is money well spent. I would imagine that Bioness has a credit plan for payment - I am paying for my WalkAide through CareCredit - 18 months at no interest.

I may not be walking up volcanoes, but I am playing golf, and I do hike, and I do love shopping at the mall. Obviously, everyone will respond differently, but I do think there will be a postive response to anyone.

As an experiment, I am going to try hooking up my tens unit to my hip flexor and then use my WalkAide. Maybe that is what we need - a dual control -hmmm :roll:

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Postby FROG » Sun Feb 01, 2009 3:17 pm

Hello again, I may be retired but I still seem to be busy, busy, busy all of the time. Sharon, I must agree us MSers are lucky (blessed) that there are two options that can be taken to help us walk better. The Ness L300 and the WalkAide have not been around for that many years. When I was first having problems with walking there was nothing. Marie, I am not sure how things work with the WalkAide so Sharon may be able to give you insight there. I used the Ness L300 in physical therapy for 2 months before I even rented the device. It is a big chunk of money so I wouldn’t just go out and buy it. Use it in physical therapy, rent it, make sure that it is right for you. Every penny spent on renting the unit will go towards the final cost. For me, like I said on the show, it was worth every penny.
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Postby JenHow » Tue Feb 17, 2009 5:46 pm

Hi Jonna

I am very inspired by your story because, like many of us, it is very similar to mine. I relate to everything you experienced (drunken gait, stumbling, weak) and I am getting to a point where I am so sick of struggling! I need help! I am looking into trying the Bioness now, but I'm wondering how long with therapy and everything else before you felt stronger? I was wondering because I have tried just about everything (medication, exercises, supplements) you can imagine and I just want to gauge how soon it was before you felt it was working for you.

Thanks
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Postby mrhodes40 » Tue Feb 17, 2009 9:09 pm

I went and saw my physiatrist --rehab doc-- and she assessed me for th ness and said that I will be great candidate for it Here's what she said:
when she tried to stretch my weak leg it pulls up into a march type movement. If I go to acupincture it does the same thing-I lay there on the table trying to relax while my legs go repeatedly into flexor spasms.

She said that type of spasticiy makes my situation a good possibilitu for the thing working very well because the tingle will be strong and irritating enough to make my leg pull up that way so not only will I get foot pick up but also leg bend by utilizing the spasticity that is natural to my body.

I look foward to giving it a try and the "applies to purchase" angle is an excellant thing. The cost of even the PT to set it up will be lot but what the heck, Sharon likes hers too so I will give it the try. Thanks for posting Jonna and Sharon for sharing!
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Postby FROG » Wed Feb 18, 2009 9:31 pm

Hi Jennifer
It is hard to gage, I know that for awhile my physical therapist was making adjustments to the unit on a weekly basis because I was getting stronger. It is different for everyone. I would talk to your PT to find out what they think. I wish you the best, just remember that it does not happen over night, it will take some time. I know that I was able to feel a difference right away as long as the unit was on.
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Postby JenHow » Thu Feb 19, 2009 6:53 pm

Thanks Jonna. I will keep you posted. I'm having a hard time getting an appt with the rehab place by me, so it will be a little while! I really appreciate it though!

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