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    feedback on exercise with eyes closed

    My trainer and I have had success recently with pool exercise for my walking (drop-foot) by having me keep my eyes closed while traversing forward, backward, side-step across the pool. We do many other exercises but the walking was the basic issue and goal overall.

    She says improvement is very noticeable. I concur. Distractions, which I never thought of as such, are eliminated with eyes closed and safety isn't an issue in pool. I can work to "isolate" the muscle / movement, apparently successfully!

    We are going to consider other ways to approach this outside the pool. Suggestions & thoughts or comments?

    I'm excited because of a possible neuroplasticity construct....

    #2
    Hello Jer

    Originally posted by 502E79 View Post
    She says improvement is very noticeable. I concur. Distractions, which I never thought of as such, are eliminated with eyes closed and safety isn't an issue in pool. I can work to "isolate" the muscle / movement, apparently successfully!
    Wow, very noticeable improvement - that's terrific! Your efforts are producing good results.

    I have a loss of proprioception, and need my eyes open (with 'things' around me), in order to know where my body is in space.

    Originally posted by 502E79 View Post
    I'm excited because of a possible neuroplasticity construct....
    That would certainly be fantastic! Keep us updated, ok?

    Wishing you continued improvements.

    Take Care
    PPMS for 22 years (dx 1998)
    ~ Worrying will not take away tomorrow's troubles ~ But it will take away today's peace. ~

    Comment


      #3
      Originally posted by KoKo View Post
      I have a loss of proprioception, and need my eyes open (with 'things' around me), in order to know where my body is in space.
      Hi KoKo,

      Must be the third time I looked up proprioception. I have had not experienced what you describe but with eyes open have believed my foot to be pointing inward (while not looking at it), when in reality it was straight ahead or even slightly "Chaplin-esk". Not knowing where it was in time & space.

      We discovered the eye open / closed idea interestingly enough through a new client my trainer has. He is late twenties and is on the spectrum. He will watch the exercise performed, then mirror the position, close his eyes and do the exercise, with each rep improving!

      Assuming shutting out the world allows for a sharper focus. We will ask him, but it makes sense if the last pool session can be repeated or if others here have tried similar.

      FWIW... have you ever stood (with hand support) with eyes closed and attempt to orient yourself?

      Thanks for your thoughts KoKo.... Jer

      Comment


        #4
        Originally posted by 502E79 View Post
        FWIW... have you ever stood (with hand support) with eyes closed and attempt to orient yourself?
        Jer

        I can stand with my eyes closed (holding on to my walker for dear life) for a minute or so before my body sways and my knees buckle.

        Another example of a proprioception deficit (early in my dx, when I could still walk without a mobility aid) was what I experienced when walking through the mall.

        Going into JCPenneys, I could never seem to walk down the main aisle (very wide, white, shiny floors) without difficulty. It was sort of like I forgot how to put one foot in front of the other, or like I was tipsy from alcohol.

        I would have to get over to where the racks or shelves were, and then my walking would miraculously be normal again (well, normal at that time was with a limp/leg drag). I guess my body then knew where it was in space, with having things around.

        Take Care
        PPMS for 22 years (dx 1998)
        ~ Worrying will not take away tomorrow's troubles ~ But it will take away today's peace. ~

        Comment


          #5
          Originally posted by 502E79 View Post
          Distractions, which I never thought of as such, are eliminated with eyes closed and safety isn't an issue in pool. I can work to "isolate" the muscle / movement, apparently successfully!

          We are going to consider other ways to approach this outside the pool.
          Hmmm; interesting. I'll also be interested to hear how that approach might also work for you putside the pool.
          ~ Faith
          MSWorld Volunteer -- Moderator since JUN2012
          (now a Mimibug)

          Symptoms began in JAN02
          - Dx with RRMS in OCT03, following 21 months of limbo, ruling out lots of other dx, and some "probable stroke" and "probable CNS" dx for awhile.
          - In 2008, I was back in limbo briefly, then re-dx w/ MS: JUL08
          .

          - Betaseron NOV03-AUG08; Copaxone20 SEPT08-APR15; Copaxone40 APR15-present
          - Began receiving SSDI / LTD NOV08. Not employed. I volunteer in my church and community.

          Comment


            #6
            Good Stuff. Keep it going.
            The future depends on what you do today.- Gandhi

            Comment


              #7
              Hi Mamabug, thanks for the encouragement, you too Boudreaux!

              Will try to translate some of what we did in pool to normal walking.

              If the improvement was "noticeable," it really does hinge on the mental aspect.

              My thinking is that the sharper mental focus, afforded by shutting down an input (sight), is allowing a less "cluttered" signal to be transmitted... if that makes any sense at all. "Less is more"? And the walking approaches what was once normal or at least as best what can be now be attained, considering some muscle atrophy.

              Originally posted by KoKo View Post
              I can stand with my eyes closed (holding on to my walker for dear life for a minute or so before my body sways and my knees buckle.

              Would I be correct if I said the body swaying and knees giving out is due to mental interpretation (space & time) issue and not a strength issue? The rest of your example seems to say as much (...or like I was tipsy from alcohol). Only improving once you felt secure near the racks or shelves... having things around?

              I'm not at this point, although thinking my foot is pointed in the opposite direction than it is (if I'm not looking at it) is pretty scary, and related to what you describe somehow.

              Thanks again everyone. I'll keep at it. It's really all in the effort anyhow isn't it?

              Comment


                #8
                Wow...........
                ~ Faith
                MSWorld Volunteer -- Moderator since JUN2012
                (now a Mimibug)

                Symptoms began in JAN02
                - Dx with RRMS in OCT03, following 21 months of limbo, ruling out lots of other dx, and some "probable stroke" and "probable CNS" dx for awhile.
                - In 2008, I was back in limbo briefly, then re-dx w/ MS: JUL08
                .

                - Betaseron NOV03-AUG08; Copaxone20 SEPT08-APR15; Copaxone40 APR15-present
                - Began receiving SSDI / LTD NOV08. Not employed. I volunteer in my church and community.

                Comment


                  #9
                  Hi Jer,

                  Glad you are having success. As for outside the pool, I did have PT for balance issues. Similar to a neuro exam, they would have me hold onto a chair lightly, stand on one leg, and lift the other, bending at knee. Once I was stable on one foot for 30 secs with eyes open letting go of the back of the chair, I then worked on closing eyes. So once Ihad my balance with the eyes open for a few secs, then I would close the eyes. The chair is to grab on to once balance is off. In the beginning, I could do 2-4 seconds, but worked up to 30.

                  Another - was just standing on a round, small trampoline. I first started to balance with two feet, then shutting eyes with two feet. Once I was better, we then progressed to standing on one leg, eyes open, similar to other exercise, then eventually eyes closed. You need a spotter obviously. This was really tough and takes leg strength too.

                  And everyone's favorite neuro exam heel-to-toe walk. As I got better with eyes open, again with a spotter, eyes closed. At home, I have a narrow hallway, so I do these there. I can put both arms out to the walls to stop any fall.

                  Also, just sitting in a straight back chair, arms up and out to side, shoulder height. Repeated touching of finger to nose with eyes closed, alternating hands each repetition.

                  They were the only ones I can think of with the eyes closed.

                  Hope you continue to find success.
                  Kathy
                  DX 01/06, currently on Tysabri

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Originally posted by 502E79 View Post
                    Would I be correct if I said the body swaying and knees giving out is due to mental interpretation (space & time) issue and not a strength issue?
                    Jer

                    Yes, that's correct. But I would call it a sensory input issue, rather than a mental interpretation issue.

                    I usually have 30 minutes (at a time) worth of strength for standing or walking.

                    Take Care
                    PPMS for 22 years (dx 1998)
                    ~ Worrying will not take away tomorrow's troubles ~ But it will take away today's peace. ~

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Hi Pennstater!

                      I remember being able to do all of these Neuro / PT routines.

                      One-by-one they dropped off: first with heel-to-toe: worsening drop-foot. Later the hand-to-nose, a spasticity issue: right arm bent at 80 degrees makes this impossible. Lastly, standing on one leg. Hard, but possible, there is some muscle atrophy of right leg.

                      BUT all can be attempted regardless of eyes open / closed!

                      So, when KoKo said she has "a sensory input issue," (thank you KoKo), I am grateful to experience this only in a limited way... sometimes unaware of my right foot position.

                      So, without a sensory input issue. Capable of keeping eyes closed, I just may focus better... improving the walking.

                      I'll keep at it! Thanks again.

                      Comment


                        #12
                        That strategy/tactic makes sense to me. I'm a believer in needing "enough" sensory input but not "too much."

                        I've found that walking and carrying on a conversation with someone can sometimes be "too much" input and cause me to lose symmetry. I've sometimes told people that I cannot walk and talk at the same time.

                        So to me, your closing off one avenue of sensory input just makes sense.
                        59M / RRMS / Dx1987 / Ocrevus

                        Comment


                          #13
                          Originally posted by Golgotha View Post
                          I've found that walking and carrying on a conversation with someone can sometimes be "too much" input and cause me to lose symmetry. I've sometimes told people that I cannot walk and talk at the same time.
                          So to me, your closing off one avenue of sensory input just makes sense.

                          THANK YOU GOLGOTHA!

                          This ties in perfectly! I have experienced this but needed to be reminded.

                          In the hope of targeting the right muscle group, my trainer will often ask where I "feel it."

                          I usually don't answer till I'm finished. It's in your post! "....carrying on a conversation with someone can sometimes be "too much" input and cause me to loose symmetry..."

                          Thanks very much. We (MSers) work with what we have that still functions, but apparently too much input (think crowds, noisy rooms, etc.) into corrupted "wiring" wrecks havoc with even the simplest of functions.

                          Tuesday is pool day. Maybe, with patience, with eyes closed.... I'll learn / relearn walking. Even if just in pool... for now.

                          Jer

                          Comment


                            #14
                            Originally posted by Golgotha View Post
                            I've found that walking and carrying on a conversation with someone can sometimes be "too much" input and cause me to lose symmetry. I've sometimes told people that I cannot walk and talk at the same time.
                            I have the same problem, Golgotha! This is a cognitive problem, specifically with what is called divided attention, or multi-tasking.

                            From the NMSS:

                            Divided attention (the ability to focus and concentrate when there is more than one stimulus competing for attention) is particularly difficult for some people with MS.

                            For example, driving while using the phone is considered hazardous because the driver’s attention is “divided” between driving and talking. In everyday life many situations involve divided attention, such as trying to carry on a conversation while fixing dinner.

                            Often referred to as “multitasking,” divided attention can pose a real challenge for people with MS, particularly as they try to remember something that they were not able to learn adequately in the first place.

                            Take Care
                            PPMS for 22 years (dx 1998)
                            ~ Worrying will not take away tomorrow's troubles ~ But it will take away today's peace. ~

                            Comment

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