Reviewed by Neil Lava on March 20, 2017
Tiffany M. Shader; Anna Berry, physical therapist.
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Tiffany M Shader: Exercise helps me MS emotionally. It makes me feel stronger. It’s also helping some of the muscles that I forget about get stronger.
It helps me with balance. I tend to be a little off balance a lot of the time, especially walking.
Anna Berry, Physical Therapist: Ok. We’re going to go through a set of exercises that you can do at home to challenge your core, balance and leg strength.
Anna Berry, Physical Therapist: First position we’re going to start in, is on your back. This is a great position to really focus in on your core.
Anna Berry, Physical Therapist: So I’m going to have you bring your belly button in towards your spine and try to maintain that strong position,
while you slowly bring your right knee to your chest and your toes toward your shin.
Great, and then slowly back down. Touching your heel down and then lowering your toes.
Anna Berry, Physical Therapist: And then you’re going to switch legs. Concentrating to whole time on maintaining this neutral..
it’s called a neutral pelvis position, but basically belly button in towards spine. You’re not letting your back arch while you’re raising your legs.
Anna Berry, Physical Therapist: You want to think more about quality than quantity.
You want to think more about quality than quantity. So she just gets a few reps, where she has good posture, her core is strong, that’s going to be more beneficial to her than doing a million ok reps, where her back is arching, she’s moving quickly or she’s not thinking about the movement.
Anna Berry, Physical Therapist: You can think of the core as almost the keystone of your body. So in order for your arms to work, your legs to work, that part of your body needs to be stable and strong.
Anna Berry, Physical Therapist: And so for example when you’re walking, your core has to be strong so you can move your legs.
Anna Berry, Physical Therapist: So a lot of what we do in therapy is work on core and also show patients how to maintain and also strengthen their when they’re not only in therapy, but at home too.
Anna Berry, Physical Therapist: This is an exercise that’ll challenge your core and your balance.
Tiffany M. Shader: I went, lost sensation in my midsection and my lower half and saw a doctor but we didn’t get a diagnosis.
Anna Berry, Physical Therapist: So you’re going to shift your weigh to the left and then bring your right leg up.
Anna Berry, Physical Therapist: Great. And you can see that this is a really good challenge to her balance. She’s having to stabilize her core.
Anna Berry, Physical Therapist: Again, she’s maintaining beautiful posture while raising her hip and leg up and towards the mat. Again you can sort of start see the similarities of these with walking. This is all stable, while we’re moving our leg. So bring this leg down.
Anna Berry, Physical Therapist: Now you’re going to shift to the right and bring your left leg up. Knee to chest and toes up. Beautiful.
Tiffany M. Shader: I live a very healthy, active life. I eat well. I exercise. I try to take care of myself. MS doesn’t stop me from doing any of these things. And it actually makes me want to try harder.
Anna Berry, Physical Therapist: And now she’s going to work on maintaining this position, while moving her arms. So you can see her spine is neutral, her abs are strong, she’s up tall and really the only thing moving is her arm, which is the point.
Anna Berry, Physical Therapist: And now go back and forth, right arm, left arm. She’s making this look easy, but it’s very challenging. You can do this with your right leg forward or your left leg.
Anna Berry, Physical Therapist: So do you feel like you could incorporate what we did today into your home exercise program?
Tiffany M. Shader: I think so. Some of them were more difficult than I expected. Especially trying to balance. But using a ball or the couch, I think I can do them.
Anna Berry, Physical Therapist: Ok, great.