I've been training with Taylor-Kevin Isaacs since 2002 to improve my strength, stabilize my left shoulder and improve my balance.
Here are a couple of clips taken for a CSUN school project by Lonnie Dillon:
"Therapeutic exercise is administered in order to improve function, independence, and self-efficacy and to attenuate and/or prevent the degenerative changes and secondary complications that typically follow a spinal cord injury,*" Taylor says.
We have to stave off the disease causing devils. Most conditions are what I call the diseases of civilization: High blood pressure, high blood glucose, high blood cholesterol, osteoporosis, osteoarthritis, diabetes, heart disease, and the complications that come paired with obesity. These conditions do not develop overnight. They have pediatric origins and geriatric outcomes. This is the suddenly syndrome. Suddenly someone drops dead (I mean they are cold before they hit the floor) because of the why bother syndrome. That is they did not bother to practice preventive intervention. The why bother syndrome is a direct result of Too disease. That is, I am too busy, too tired, and it takes too long to exercise. Collectively, we must spread the word that exercise makes one not only feel better. It also makes one get better.
Specifically, these are areas we're working on:
*Gait mechanics using my Reciprocating Gait Orthotic (RGO) leg braces (see photos).
*Standing every day. (benefits of standing)
*Musculoskeletal strength & endurance
*Cardiovascular endurance has greatly improved especially by swimming, which I do several times a month.
*Balance improvements due to exercise, daily sit up crunches and sitting on the edge of my bed while focusing on my abs to hold me steady
*Flexibility (I stretch my legs daily and the process of standing stretches out my hip flexors [and feels great!])
*Neuromuscular reactive training with Taylor: speed, acceleration, agility, and quickness.
*Nutrition: I've always eaten well, which is probably why I can tolerate the pharmacopoeia of drugs I ingest.
*Motivation to exercise/walk (the 80/20 rule doubled): 20% of the SCI population will choose to get leg braces, but only 20% of them will actually use them. I'm one of the 20% of the 20% (4%). I'm not going to let my braces sit in the closet. I would walk 7 days a week if I could, but it is a challenge to find the assistance I need.
*Athletics: While not an avid sportsman, there are still a few sports that I can take part in such as archery and swimming.
*Marathons: I've walked the last few hundred feet of the LA Marathon in 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008 and 2009. As more people joined me, I became Captain of Team Rise Above, coordinating the event for all that wish to walk.
*5Ks: I've done about a dozen 5Ks since 2005. In each one, I stand up a few hundred feet shy of the finish line and walk across it.
*These changes include
Dramatic osteoporosis, which has led to a very curved back (to the front [hyper-lordosis (see photos)] and an 'S' curve to the side [scoliosis (see photos)]), which in turn not only creates significant pain, but affects my digestion.
Loss of muscle mass (atrophy) in unused legs. The only way to build muscle is by using it; passive motion won't build muscle. There have been studies on using electrical pulses to trigger muscles, thus building them, but the process is expensive and doesn't work for everyone. Also, as I have incomplete paralysis and can still feel my legs, the pulses would hurt. I’ve had serious spasms in my legs for a long time. They have built up and maintain the muscles, but the pain is not worth it. I’d rather have thin legs!
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