Do my morning exercises
As little as ten years ago I would wake up and get out of bed without a thought. Such bliss, such joy. Now when I wake up I always feel horribly stiff. It’s a huge effort to turn over onto my back so I can swing my legs out of bed and sit on the side of the bed. Now I must do my morning exercises.
Why do my morning exercises
There is no problem when sitting, it’s when standing up. I tell my muscles that it’s time for a bit of action. When I take that momentous decision to stand on my two feet the problems begin.
The first problem
Getting the heel of my left foot onto the ground. I am sure you all know I have chronic foot drop in the left leg. Overnight the calf muscles get tighter and tighter.
Now I’m standing up
All I have to do now is stand on tiptoes and then gradually lower myself so that the soles of both feet are on the ground. Easy peasy except the left knee locks because it hyper extends. When that happens I can’t bend my left leg. Sometimes I have to push the back of the knee so that it bends. I stand on tiptoes 10 times.
Look no support
Now its time for my balance. The soft bed is behind to catch me in case I fall backwards and a chest of drawers stops me falling forwards. My feet are about hip distance apart and I am standing up without using any support. Once I feel comfortable I start to move my head by twisting my neck. I do this exercise for about 3 minutes every morning trying not to fall over. Doesn’t that sound easy?
At first I could only stand and stare ahead at the wall. After 6 weeks I have reached the stage where I can look over each shoulder, as well as look up and down. I have to move my head quite slowly and concentrate.
If I stop concentrating
I fall backwards onto the bed or fall forwards onto the chest of drawers but I wanna stay standing. I tell myself “I am getting better at it.”.
Is this because I’m more confident or the result of practise?
Is my brain getting better at controlling the muscles that stop me falling over?
Are the daily exercises changing the way my brain is wired? Its called neuroplasticity.
[…] all starts when I am lying in bed and try to stretch my legs, I can do very little with my left foot because of terrible foot-drop, sometimes the leg will […]
I believe that the theory of neuroplasticity really does work. When I climb the stairs I can still go up in alternate steps if I really concentrate on the picture in my mind, of my right knee and foot (my weak side) rising to climb each step but if I just climb the stairs automatically without any thought my left foot never makes it and I have to climb the stairs one at a time.
Sounds a bit like mind over matter but I will certainly give it a go.
I use the idea of seeing myself doing it perfectly when I walk with my rollator but never thought to using the same idea when climbing stairs.
I will llet you know