Benni

Bending my knee

31 posts in this topic

Why is it I can bend my knee (like stepping up on a step) during exercising,  but can't  when I  actually try to go up the stairs? We, also, have a doorway that has a 1/2 inch rise to get into the room. I can't  even step over that!

 

During the exercise  it feels like I  have  a boulder on top of my foot but, with great effort, I  can mock stepping up. I can do it lying down, too. But not on the stairs. ??

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Benni, I have a problem bending my leg backward. when getting in the car I have trouble bending my leg to get in.My husband says you have to learn to bend that leg at the same time he is picking my leg up and into the car. How can I learn. If someone always does it for me?

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Hmmm..... dilemma for sure! I'm  not sure what you mean "bending my leg backward". I'm  trying to envision getting into a car but can't  figure it out.

 

I know what you mean about someone doing a movement for you. Hubs follows me up the stairs and, sometimes, bends my leg to go up a step. I think because he gets impatient with my slowness. I have to tell him to please not help, let me try it on my own.

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Benni, I've encountered several situations like that, and I don't know why either. I don't know if it's a cognitive issue, or neurological. I

I just know that some things just don't translate well from therapy/exercise into real life. Just keep trying. It will all come together eventually.  

Myjade, exactly. My hubby does the same thing.:no:Becky

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I think it's because its a complete sequence of movements required that have to happen while you are doing other things and you seem to run out of processor power.  Remember bending a joint means you have to turn off a bunch of muscles and turn others on in the right order, so it takes time to relearn, and usually you learn the turn ons before the turn offs, and if you have to bend multiple joints at once e.g. lift your foot/toes, bend your knee and lift your leg with your hip (as in climbing stairs or getting in the car) that is multiple turn offs and turn ons that have to work together to get a smooth movement, your brain used to do all this without your conscious intervention, now you have to relearn those sequences and practice them enough to make them automatic again.  I've found it gets easier as the movement sequence becomes more automatic, which means practice as much as you can.  Also doing something against gravity is a completely different thing to doing it lying down.  As I say whenever I try to use my arm "gravity sucks".  I actually have quite a bit of simple arm movement now so long as we can counter gravity, but still provide enough resistance for me to feel when something works.

 

Lifting your leg with the knee bent is actually a function of hip strength.  One of the exercises I was given that seemed to help with it was to lie on the bed with the bad leg dropped over the side and the knee bent and then lift the foot off the floor and put it on the bed then the opposite to put it down, control it down don't just let it fall off the bed. (you can do this several times when ever you get in or out of bed.) This way the hip is working against gravity and you are getting used to moving the hip with the knee bent.

 

For the stairs the other exercise is to put your foot on the step and then push up so your leg is straight again without bringing the other leg up beside it, then do the controlled release backwards to put the back foot on the floor again, that essentric absorption of energy is just as important as the push up.  There's a big difference between strength and power, so step one is to build the strength and regain the sequencing then learn to do the power move which is where you add explosive release to the muscle movement, then you need the controlled contraction of muscle length.  If you can learn to do this stuff on the ball of your foot you'll be running not just walking.  After 15 months in "Running program" I now have the theory down pat, I just wish my brain and muscles would listen to me.

 

Good luck with it

-Heather

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Thanks for your input, Becky!

 

Heather (the closet physiotherapist) your explanation really makes sense! I'll try doing those exercises and see if there's improvement over the next 2 months. Thank you!!

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All the best with it Benni.

It's very frustrating at times...all the time I should say!

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My physio asked me the other day why I stare at my hand when I'm trying to make it do something. 

I said it's because I have those superman beams coming from my eyes and it's gonna do the trick one day.

She laughed, then told me it does actually help. The brain can 'see' what you are trying to do. Helps with the new pathways. 

Sounds good...my version is soooo much cooler though!

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I love your version! By the way, I  do the same thing, glad it's  a good thing to do.

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The thing I still have a hard time with is getting into the drivers side of my truck. Have to raise the right leg and get it inside first, I probably look like a wounded animal as I stand there trying to get my leg to first lift, then get into the cab. I make it work but it ain't pretty. I did have someone laugh at me once doing my dance in the grocery store parking lot, glad I could provide the entertainment to their existence.:raising-cane:

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Heather, did you mean stepping up with the good leg or bad?

 

Scott, I  can get in easily on the passenger side. I imagine I'd  have to use odd ways to get in on the driver's  side.

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Scott, I think you understand my problem. I back up to the passenger side seat  sit down with my legs out the door and feet on the pavement. I pull my legs  up and back, bent at the knees and into the car.I know it must sound strange but this is so hard for me to do.  Also, could be the hip I had a replacement a few months ago after a fall that broke my hip.

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Myjade, NOW I know what you mean! I do the same thing. I can get my left leg in fine, but I have to use my hands to help get the R one in. I just grasp my thigh -- above my knee -- and lift it in. It's usually because the seat is up about an inch too far -- hard to get my shoe/foot in. Hubs can't move the seat back any further.

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Myjade,

That is how I get in the passenger side, not just because of my leg but because I can't reach the seat belt unless I'm sideways then spin into position. I can then fumble the seat belt into position. I hate it when my grip slips and I have to start over. D'OH

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Thanks Benni and Scott, I'm glad to know I'm not the only one.My at home therapy was to sit in a recliner with my legs straight out and then pull my legs back until my feet were on the foot rest. I did this over and over. It helped a lot. At first I had to pull my left leg back with my right hand. It gets easier with practice.

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11 hours ago, Benni said:

Heather, did you mean stepping up with the good leg or bad?

 

Scott, I  can get in easily on the passenger side. I imagine I'd  have to use odd ways to get in on the driver's  side.

bad leg Benni, although it can be helpful to do it on the good leg first to remind your brain exactly what you want to do.

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I manage the step into the drivers seat fairly well, right hand drive with bad left side, so leading with the bad leg. not a problem with a low car.  But it was very interesting doing it into the rear seat of the 4WD last weekend. Mostly because of shorter doors I think, although stepping up didn't help either.

It's harder to do the passenger side where I step in on the right/good leg and then the bad leg has to do that bend and lift trick so your heel nearly hits your butt before coming forward so you don't end up with the foot left outside/under the door. I often cheat on that one and help by pulling/lifting up the trouser leg.

I have long legs so the sit and swivel technique is usually harder than step in.

 

Jan the key to all this stuff certainly is practice.

-Heather

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Heather, Up top, when you were explaing the bed exercise to Benni, what are you supposed to do with your unaffected leg? Leave it straight out front of you? Or join the affected one? Stay on the bed, but with the leg bent at the knee, and not straight out in front of you?   Becky

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You guys are so inspirational! Like Janelle said in a different thread stroke has so many different sides. The things you are speaking of I don't have trouble with other than I look awkward getting in and out. All of you have related so well to this topic and so many helpful and supportive posts! I'm being sentimental but this makes me happy!

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Thanks, Tracy! Glad to have helped you feel happy!  30mmgt4.jpg

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Stick with the exercises Benni, my leg and foot were the last things to wake up and stairs were a particular problem. Still working on the leg and foot but can lead up the stairs with the weak leg. Gotta remember, legs are heavy!

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Ray, I fully intend to keep exercising. I'll never give up!

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Going upstairs is difficult, especially for my right leg but it is still getting stronger. Downstairs is an exercise in concentration and a definite technique. Foot goes down until it touches the step then slide foot back until heel hits the riser then finish stepping down. I dread a misstep going down which could cause me to fall. Always I maintain a firm grip on the rail with my good hand.

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