Biking with MS

Using exercise and physical therapy for recovery from the effects of MS, and for maintaining physical function.
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Tonto
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Biking with MS

Post by Tonto » Tue Jan 17, 2017 1:38 pm

Do you have MS and still love to ride your bicycle? I do, but I go slower and not as far now and my balance is a bit off so I have to be extra careful – but I won’t give it up yet. I’m not ready for a tricycle or a handcycle (although they are kind of cool). I tried a stationary exercise system with Functional Electrical Stimulation (FES) applied to my arms and legs just to see what it was like. While it might be good for exercise it’s certainly not a bicycle! I need to be mobile. I would like to put FES on my bicycle. It might take a while, but I have some ideas about how to do it.

Let me know what you think.

ElliotB
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Re: Biking with MS

Post by ElliotB » Tue Jan 17, 2017 4:30 pm

After my diagnosis, I gave up on bike riding due to balance issues, then got a 'fancy' three wheeler electric assist and starting back riding a 2 wheel bike about a year later as my balance improved. I feel biking has helped improve my balance and overall health and now ride almost daily.

In time hopefully your balance will improve and you will be able to return to your old riding routine. I wear a cooling vest and find it to be of great benefit.

Tonto
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Re: Biking with MS

Post by Tonto » Wed Jan 18, 2017 5:27 am

Thanks for replying. Glad to hear you are back on your bike. My balance is still good enough that I can still ride my bike, I just don’t have the leg strength to go as fast or as far. And left/right leg strength imbalance is bad enough that one leg has to take over most of the effort after a while. This is very tiring and not good for the better leg. I’m thinking a FES system might help just like it did on the stationary exercise system I tried. Even if you stop pedalling it stimulates the leg muscle and makes you keep pedalling. It was neat. And now I want to make a similar system for my bicycle so I can go faster/further under my own muscle power, even if not under my own nerves.

I have not tried a cooling vest but I hear they work well. Perhaps heavy and bulky, but keeping cool when you have MS is important.

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NHE
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Re: Biking with MS

Post by NHE » Wed Jan 18, 2017 11:46 pm

Tonto wrote:I have not tried a cooling vest but I hear they work well. Perhaps heavy and bulky, but keeping cool when you have MS is important.
ActiveMSers.org has reviewed several different cooling vests. It would be good to read their reviews prior to making a purchase.

http://activemsers.org/tipstricks/choos ... gvest.html

Tonto
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Re: Biking with MS

Post by Tonto » Thu Jan 19, 2017 7:04 am

Thanks for the link to the cooling vest reviews. Lots of good info there.

Does anyone else have comments on the FES bicycle idea? I would like to make it portable between my outdoor bike and my indoor trainer bike.

CyndeR1962
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Re: Biking with MS

Post by CyndeR1962 » Tue Mar 07, 2017 9:38 am

Tonto wrote:Thanks for the link to the cooling vest reviews. Lots of good info there.

Does anyone else have comments on the FES bicycle idea? I would like to make it portable between my outdoor bike and my indoor trainer bike.
I've been using one since October. I am in a wheelchair, and at first, I was barely able to pedal on my own at all. Now, I can pedal half of every other minute. I am up to using it for 1 hour 4-5 days per week. It cost $7,800, and my insurance paid for ALL OF IT! GASP!

Tonto
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Re: Biking with MS

Post by Tonto » Tue Mar 07, 2017 1:00 pm

Wow, you must have good insurance. Is this a FES tricycle, bicycle or a wheelchair compatible device (i.e. a front wheel with handlebars, etc.)? Or is it more of a FES stationary trainer? Can you provide a manufacturer and model number? Either way, glad to hear you are getting more active. I was quoted for a FES stationary trainer at about $18000 US. That's way out of my budget, especially since I live in Canada.

CyndeR1962
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Re: Biking with MS

Post by CyndeR1962 » Wed Mar 08, 2017 8:37 am

Tonto wrote:Wow, you must have good insurance. Is this a FES tricycle, bicycle or a wheelchair compatible device (i.e. a front wheel with handlebars, etc.)? Or is it more of a FES stationary trainer? Can you provide a manufacturer and model number? Either way, glad to hear you are getting more active. I was quoted for a FES stationary trainer at about $18000 US. That's way out of my budget, especially since I live in Canada.

I honestly didn't think I had good insurance until they paid for the bike, no questions asked. It's a wheelchair compatible device made by Restorative Therapies RT300. I happened to see it advertised online, and I would have thought it was a gimmick except that the PT from my neurologist's office endorsed it. I called Restorative Therapies and learned there was one about an hour from me I could try, which I did. When I called RT back, they said some insurance companies will pay for at least part of it. They contacted my neuro and he wrote a letter to my insurance company. I was not involved after I told RT to try putting it through my insurance. I had already met my $4000 copay for the year, so Blue Cross/ Blue Shield paid for the whole thing. hope you can find a way to get one.

Tonto
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Re: Biking with MS

Post by Tonto » Wed Mar 08, 2017 5:16 pm

Restorative Therapies seems like a good company when it comes to products and service. I am aware of the RT300 but have never used it. I have used the RT200 which is similar but is actually an elliptical trainer. It exercises both the arms and the legs using FES. Even if you stop pedalling it keeps going by stimulating your various muscle groups in sync with the pedalling motion. Your muscles are still doing the work (no motor assistance). It also has a lot of bells and whistles to monitor your progress, etc. Really cool.

I doubt my insurance would cover anything like this, and as I mentioned, I am looking for something more mobile since I am still well enough to ride my own bicycle, just not as fast or as far as I once could. I am actually developing a mobile FES cycling system for my bicycles and have worked out the pedal synchronization details but need some help with the FES system. I just need to find the right FES expert. Hoping to get it done before I have to give up my bicycles.

CyndeR1962
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Re: Biking with MS

Post by CyndeR1962 » Thu Mar 09, 2017 7:17 am

I like your idea. Maybe I'd still be able to pedal a bike on my own if I'd used such a bike. Good Luck.

Tonto
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Re: Biking with MS

Post by Tonto » Thu Mar 09, 2017 11:41 am

Thanks. I will post any progress I make. Enjoy your RT300.

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