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@constancebabe

Sorry….I just am reading this now. I have been doing physical therapy for about two months and my legs are some days better and some days not. I think it has something to do with how tired I am, And how physical I’ve been during the day. I still am perplexed at what is going on and my surgeon thinks I’m doing well and when we hit a year then maybe we can look at something else If my symptoms still continue. I just purchased a recumbent bike/elliptical stepper to work on at home because it’s the same as the one I was using at physical therapy and I think the movement is good for me. I do notice that when I sit, it’s worse than when I’m moving ….so I try to move a lot during the day…. but you can’t be moving 100% of the time. There are days I get very concerned and by night time I’m somewhat depressed because it’s been a year since I’ve had trouble walking (even though my surgery wasn’t until March.) I will keep up with my exercises for the next couple of months and see how that goes otherwise I will seek a second opinion.
Thank you so much for reaching out and wanting to know how I’m progressing. I appreciate that. Sincerely, Connie

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Replies to "Sorry….I just am reading this now. I have been doing physical therapy for about two months..."

@constancebabe Hi Connie. It's good to hear from you! It sounds like you are doing the right things to keep up with exercise and movement. I was wondering what is the biggest issue with walking.. is it weakness or balance or a tightness like something is restricted and won't move even though your body is asking it to move? How is your posture when you try to walk? Are you standing up straight or bent over a walker or a cane? Where are your eyes looking? That may sound like a weird question, but that has a lot to do with balance. How about stairs? Are you able to walk around the block?

I have been working on walking too, but for a different reason. I had a bad ankle fracture in the spring of 2020 which required surgery and metal plates to fix, and that recovery was long and difficult. I had problems with the hardware causing pain, breathing issues with excess phlegm and chronic hives. I chose to have the hardware removed which helped all of that, so I'm in the recovery phase again now and going to PT. I lost muscle tone being in a cast last year, and that leg is still smaller and weaker and just building back strength so I can land on the ball of my foot to resist my body weight when walking down stairs is a challenge. When I tire out because the muscles are weak, I start compensating. Some muscles get too tight which affects the other side of the leg because muscles work in opposition to each other. That puts extra pressure on ligaments and tendons so they take turns hurting too.

What does help me a lot with core strength and walking is horseback riding. Even though I had ankle surgery last month, I am doing well enough to ride my horse at a walk for a couple hours. Just balancing my feet with weight in the stirrups is helpful to me. You may have noticed my profile photo has a horse. That is my older horse who is retired now, and I bought a new younger horse earlier this year. Just a walking motion on a horse gets me to compensate for that movement with my back and hips even though I'm not putting weight on my feet, and it requires balance. That is great physical therapy and horses are used for this purpose for therapeutic riding. If you are not comfortable on a horse, don't worry, they will lead the horse and you won't have to try to control it so you can focus on your balance and counter movement and it is fun too! There are places all over the country that do this for both adults and kids. You may want to check out our discussion on horse therapy.

I think you said you were near Madison, WI. I was looking up equine therapy places and this one may be near you.
https://three-gaits.org/
I would also highly recommend myofascial release or MFR therapy. That addresses tightness in the fascia which is the cobweb type stuff that connects everything in your body together. The fascia develops restrictions from injuries and surgical scar tissue, and working with a good therapist who also does MFR helps gets the body aligned and moving again. This link is a search for MFR therapists in WI and there are some that are probably in your area.
https://www.mfrtherapists.com/app/list.asp?state=WI&country=US
Here are the discussions on MFR therapy. See the first pages for details and links to information, and the Horse therapy discussion.
https://connect.mayoclinic.org/discussion/myofascial-release-therapy-mfr-for-treating-compression-and-pain/
https://connect.mayoclinic.org/discussion/equine-therapy-is-horses-helping-people-how-do-horses-help/
I can tell you from my own experience that a relationship with the right horse can be very healing emotionally and physically, and it gets me outside where I can appreciate the natural beauty around me, and I am a partner with my horse and we are always fine tuning that bond in ways to promote a safe experience. Therapy horses are selected to be calm and someone will be leading that horse from the ground so you don't have to worry if you don't have experience and knowledge about horses. Riding my older horse helped me rehab from my spine surgery and it builds great core strength and my posture is good because of this because I always sit up with good posture on the horse so it exercises my back properly.

If you have questions about any of this, just ask! Do you think you would like to try either MFR or horse therapy?

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