Finally starting treatment with a neuro physio

Well, after almost 6 months of being bounced around the various nhs departments, I have finally seen a neuro physio at my local community hospital here in Abingdon, UK.
She did a full and in depth assessment of my physical and mental state includin the Berg Balance test- my scores for this ranged from the poor to the abysmal and as the test gets progressively harder,she skipped the last couple of items! There were at least four zeros in there.
It was also put to me in no uncertain terms that I should be walking with two sticks- I was rather apprehensive about this as coordinating four feet is not that easy or natural for me to accomplish. Anyway, I have stuck with it for the last week and found my body both adapting and straightening up. I can actually walk in a straight line without such a wide stance and my toes point out less. My physio is very wise!
Tomorrow I see her again and she will have prepared a program of weight lifting and balance exercises for me to do daily- I suspect she may start with getting off the floor exercises.
I'm hoping to see an improvement in my balance over the next few weeks, shame it took so long to be evaluated- I became ill last xmas!

That sounds great Julian... there is no cure but it certainly helps to know how to manage it. I havent been given weight lifting exercises. Maybe because I am almost 72 but it sounds a logical way forward to me. I can push myself to keep going when we are out walking but the lack of strength is a serious problem to me.

As you I’ve waited along time to get this far. Imstarting nearo physio soon . looking forward to it .

Kudos to you, Julian! I've done physical (like your physio, as I live in the States) and aquatic therapy (water) and find it very helpful! One positive thing is you can continue many exercises at home! My best to you..., ;o)

what balance exercises are you doing daily?

I am happy for you.

That's wonderful! What other balance exercises does she have you doing?

Fantastic Julian! I'm happy for you that you have progressed not only with your Dr. but with your balance too! Please share what your Dr's thoughts are so maybe we can try on something's and see if they will work for us too! Yay!!! :-)

6 months is quick!!!! You must be a favourite

Hello All,

I have seen my physio twice now, the first time for an overall assessment and the second time for her to run through the exercise plan she set me.
The exercises are almost exclusively using a gym ball at the moment and are aimed at developing my core muscles so that I may increase my balance potential. I was told that it will not be possible to cure my balance problems, rather the exercises are designed to help me manage them better.

I suppose the exercises probably look rather easy for anyone at all used to working out, or anyone who has perfect balance but believe me sitting on a gym ball and lifting one foot for 5 seconds is real hard work. Repeat this 5 times with each foot and... you get the picture.

Rolling the ball from side to side using just my bottom is probably amusing to watch, as is rolling it forward and backwards. Next up is laying on the bed with my calves on the top of the ball and rolling it to each side in turn- very cramp inducing, though I'm told this will ease my hip flexors and allow my core to more effectively interact with my legs. I do this for five reps, holding for 2 seconds then do it using one leg at a time.

After this there is a basic plank, with my legs still on the gym ball, involving straightening out my body for a 5 count then repeating 5 times, followed by laying on my stomach with a weighted belt strapped to my ankle and doing leg raises followed by laying on each side in turn and doing more leg raises. These are designed to address a significant imbalance of strength down the left side of my body. Interestingly, all the coordination/balance problems I have are caused by weakness on my left side- it's the way I lurch/stagger/fall when upright :o(

I don't do all of these every time but need to cover them all over 4 sessions per week. They take me about 25 minutes at the moment.

These exercises were designed with me in mind and I wouldn't like to suggest that they will work for anyone else, but I'll keep an open mind and an exercise diary and see what happens. :O)