333672 tn?1273792789

Physical therapy

I had an evaluation for physical therapy on Monday and my first session today. I am having increasing trouble with walking and, although I don't know if this is going to help, I think it's worth a shot. So far I have found out a number of interesting things.

My flexibility is okay for my age (although it seems worse to me than it used to be), but I have weakness in my hip flexors and in my ankle muscles. The latter apparently explains the weird thing I do where one foot strikes the other when I'm walking. My feet want to turn inward. In fact, it was watching me walk that tipped the physical therapist off to this problem. Then she asked me to swivel my feet outwards at the ankles and hold them there while she pushed them in. It was the weirdest thing. I had absolutely no resistance and couldn't seem to figure out how to get my brain to send a message to these muscles. So I am going to do some exercises to strengthen those muscles.

I am also having more balance issues and all the balance tests the PT asked me to do turned out to be much harder than they looked. Today the PT had me do some testing in this three sided box that has a floor that has sensors in it. I had to wear what looks like a climbing harness and was hooked up to the walls so I couldn't fall. I had to put my feet in a certain place and look at a computer monitor in from of me. Around the monitor were three walls painted with scenery.

Then I had to keep my balance under various scenarios. First just standing still with my eyes open. Then with eyes open while the walls/scenery moved; then while the floor moved; then both the walls and the floor moved with my motion (I think); also with eyes closed both with the floor still and with the floor moving.

The PT then printed off some brightly-colored green (normal) and red (not so good) bar graphs on a scale of 0 to 100 from the computer. I'm not sure exactly what was measured, but it had to do with the effectiveness of various systems that contribute to balance. The input from my vision to my ability to balance wasn't at 100, but it was in the normal range. My sensory input was under 75; less than normal for my age, but apparently not horrible. The vestibular system was rapidly approaching zero (just a thin little sliver of red). That was a bit sobering.

There was also an exercise where I had to lean as far I could in different directions when cued by the monitor. My reaction times and ability to lean in the right direction (apparently some people go in the wrong direction or weave their way to the right one) were fine, but I couldn't lean as far as I was supposed to.

Anyway, I have been given some exercises to do that involve standing in a corner on a pillow with a chair in front of me (so I don't fall and kill myself) and my eyes closed in an effort to improve this. I'll keep you posted on how it goes.

2 Responses
Sort by: Helpful Oldest Newest
333672 tn?1273792789
Thanks! Now I know what to google.

If anyone's interested, here's a pic of a machine that pretty much looks like the one I was in http://www.stopdizziness.com/resources_CDP.asp and here's a description of the test that I had, which is called the Sensory Organization Test (SOT) http://www.stopdizziness.com/resources_sot.asp

The latter site says that "Normal, stable individuals move primarily about the ankle joints when the surface is stable and shift to hip movements as they become less stable." The PT mentioned that I don't do that. Apparently, I keep using my ankles when I should be using my hips.

Helpful - 0
147426 tn?1317265632
Interesting!  What you had is called Computerized Posturography.  They also use it in diagnosing and treating Vertigo.  Good to hear that is is being used in PT.

Helpful - 0
Have an Answer?

You are reading content posted in the Multiple Sclerosis Community

Top Neurology Answerers
987762 tn?1671273328
5265383 tn?1669040108
1756321 tn?1547095325
Queensland, Australia
1780921 tn?1499301793
Queen Creek, AZ
Learn About Top Answerers
Didn't find the answer you were looking for?
Ask a question
Popular Resources
Find out how beta-blocker eye drops show promising results for acute migraine relief.
In this special Missouri Medicine report, doctors examine advances in diagnosis and treatment of this devastating and costly neurodegenerative disease.
Here are 12 simple – and fun! – ways to boost your brainpower.
Discover some of the causes of dizziness and how to treat it.
Discover the common causes of headaches and how to treat headache pain.
Two of the largest studies on Alzheimer’s have yielded new clues about the disease