Neubie Update

It was April 2012 when Multiple Sclerosis officially bit me in my ass. Although I’ve been able to slow my deterioration (thank you Ocrevus, and NeuroKinetic tx), significant gait improvements have been out of reach for the past decade. And yet, after only a few weeks of Neubie use, I’m starting to see changes and carryover.

Now, let’s be clear. I have nothing functional to report. I still “walk this way” (think Igor, not Aerosmith) when I’m without my brace and need a cane every time I leave my house. But after a decade of severe hemiparesis and disappointment, being able to extend my wrist, rotate my elbow joint, swing my leg better and move my thumb, is pretty amazing.

To me.

But moving my thumb a half-inch is not worthy of the time needed to shoot, edit, and upload a video. I’d prefer to wait and film myself doing something cool like gripping a shot glass and throwing back tequila.

So here’s a list of everything that’s changed since using the Neubie at home, along with the types of protocols I’ve been following.

  • Moderate decrease in arm / hand / finger spasticity and contracture.
  • Significant increase in passive elbow joint mobility.
  • Mild – moderate increase in passive wrist / shoulder mobility.
  • Most importantly, my arm is staying relaxed more often throughout the day.

Because my spasticity is going away, I’m free to rotate joints that have been static and strengthen muscles that have atrophied. I do this by using 500Hz while I passively move, stretch, massage, or soak my arm.

After a couple of weeks of lengthening muscles, my decreased spasticity seemed to be permanent. Although not gone completely, the cumulative effect of using the Neubie created enough lasting change that I decreased the frequency to 100Hz and started strengthening the muscles after I stretched them.

This has resulted in:

  • Improved hip flexion, hip / quad strength.
  • Improved to toe off when walking, along with greater calf strength.
  • Enhanced momentum, knee bending, and a “smidge” more hip flexion / hamstring control during the swing phase of my gait.
  • The ability to flex my foot when I’m laying down (Woot! Woot!).

The linchpin seems to be my hamstrings. If those motherfuckers would activate, my entire world would change.

It might be time to move the Neubie into my basement and zap myself while operating my rowing machine. But for the time being, I’m going to do as many bridge poses as possible while hooked up to the machine and see what happens.

Not this kind of awesome bridge pose:

Photo by: Shazaf Zafar

This kind:

Photo by: Nikola Murniece

As always, I’ll keep you posted.

This post’s featured image photo was taken by Markus Winkler.

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