When you are ill, exercise becomes significantly more important to maintain the best health possible.
If you are like me, and have developed a limp, it is especially important to work the muscles that are not functioning correctly regularly and also keep your other muscles in good order. This may help slow down muscle loss and reduce limping.
There is a saying "Use it or loose it", which means that if you don't continue to practice or use an ability, you might lose that ability. For many of us, minor disability is common and possibly affects the overall progression of disability and although major disability is not as prevalent, it is still a big concern for many and is certainly on my mind. As we are all aware, MS typically progresses over time, and typically so does disability. Swelling also becomes an issue, especially in the feet/ankles for someone that has lost mobility. Even with minor disability or as disability increases, exercising becomes more difficult and a lot less desirable.
The majority of those who take a proactive approach to their MS include a lot of exercise! Disability can obviously advance no matter what we do, and exercise is certainly not 'the cure'. And certainly there are those who don't exercise and still do well. But typically if we exercise less, disability can become increasingly worse, possibly accelerated because of the inability to exercise or exercise adequately. Muscles need to be used as they were intended to be used as much as possible or they atrophy. It is a catch 22 situation. The importance of moving our muscles and joints often and regularly should not be underestimated.
Fortunately, there are many very affordable and simple to use, safe, passive exercise machines available, and the best news is that many of them are relatively inexpensive. Some highly desirable ones certainly cost less than the cost of 1 or 2 PT sessions. These machines can help keep your muscles and joints flexible, can increase circulation and soothe pain as well. And help reduce/eliminate swelling. These devices can also help stimulate healthier blood flow. And since you basically just sit or lie down while using these devices, and they do all the work, they are easy and safe for anyone to use.
I invested on one a week ago for my feet/legs and am already seeing minor improvements. I just ordered another type of passive machine, targeted more to my upper leg areas (thighs/hips) but it swings your whole body and is supposed to creates a wave-like motion at the ankles that moves up the legs and spine increasing blood flow and circulation, reduce stress, give you more restful sleep, increased energy levels, and provides an overall revitalization. It moves your legs side to side rather than forward and back like the original one I posted about here:
Wish I had know about these years ago.
So remember, use it or loose it!
https://www.amazon.com/Daiwa-Felicity-O ... 003DQWQNM/
It is very simple to use and can be used lying down on a hard surface (ideal) for a full body experience or from a seated position for emphasis on the lower body using your legs on the machine or upper body from a seated position by using your hands/wrists on the machine.
Since both machines are easy to use and require no effort, the machines do all the work for you, they are ideal for anyone with mobility issues and/or for those that really don't like to exercise and need to.
and promote healthy circulation.
I have only been using these machines for a short period of time and so far I am very happy with them and may even be showing some minor improvements. More time is needed obviously In any case, using them makes me feel good!
These two machines make a lot of sense to use IMHO!
Claims from one manufacturer of a Chi Machine:
If you have problems with
Lack of Exercise
Tired and Sore Muscles
Poor Digestion or Constipation
Back Pain or Bone Spurs
Nervousness, General Aches & Pain or Insomnia
Poor Functioning Internal Organs
Asthma and Tracheal Inflammation
Pains or Anemia
The Chi Machine is for you!
It is claimed that 5 to 15 minutes usage affects blood and lymph flow to the same extent as a 30-minute walk.
All the manufacturers seem make similar claims. And the reviews posted for the most part are quite positive.
The Chi Machines range in price from about $100 to well over $400. I am not convinced the more expensive models are really any better than the more economical ones as the motion/range of motion/general use seems to be the same. Perhaps the more expensive units have more durable motors, BUT because these devices are doing such a simple task without much resistance, there is likely little strain on the motor, so it may not matter.
The other day I came across a Teeter recumbent elliptical on the local Craigstlist for $100. It sold pretty fast.
Sells new for about $150 to $200 ($165 on Amazon).
I am likely going to get this one as well even though I have a full size elliptical machine that I use regularly. I believe the 2 passive exercise machines I have are helping a bit and believe this one will as well because of the very, very large range of motion.
AND Here are a bunch of videos about chi machines:
https://www.youtube.com/results?search_ ... hi+machine
Also keep in mind that there is very little resistance on the motor during use as you are just resting your legs on the foot cradle, NOT standing on it. A more powerful motor does not really have an advantage or function any better than the ones with less powerful motors since you use them a speed where the extra power is irrelevant.
So far, I continue to be happy with the results.
My left leg has been my main 'problem' area due to muscle weakness for a couple of years, and earlier this year I developed a full time limp. My muscles have continued to weaken and my range of motion has been declining a bit, especially at my ankle. Regular exercise and lots of it had not helped. Until now.
One of the machines I am using is an under desk electric elliptical style device and when I first started using it, my left heel would lift up off the foot rest by about an inch. Now it barely comes up at all, and sometimes not at all. My gait seems to have improved a bit as well, and from what I have read, it could take a year or two of regular (daily) therapy to correct it IF it helps. I am hopeful I will be able to walk normally again in the near future.
I have noticed less heaviness in my left leg as well, and I am able to lift it about 6" or more higher with less effort making it much easier to get in and out of the bathtub. I had been considering a walk-in bathtub this year but don't think that will be necessary any more.
I have even noticed a bit of muscled stain from time to time - which I believe is a good sign.
I will update this thread as I show more improvement.
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