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Benni

Exercises for affected arm?

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First of all, I'm doing good and am happy, I've adapted well.

My latest concern is my arm. It still stays bent up, at the elbow. I have my own towel rod with me always.

Problem is when I bend over, my arm doesn't come with me, it just hangs there, in mid-air.

Is there an exercise for that, too loosen it up?

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Hi Benni, nice to hear from you. Glad you have made the adjustment.  For your arm start with your range of motion exercises, you'll probably need to get help to do them. The idea is to move each joint slowly through it's full range of normal movement, fingers, wrist, elbow and shoulder ideally you will be able to consciously relax the muscles so the joints can be moved.  It's usually easiest if you are lying down. Step 2 is to visualise the movements and work to help move with the therapist/helper.  From that point you start to rebuild connections and muscle strength.  Once you have learned to release the elbow/bicep every time you stand up make sure you arm is straight before you start to walk.  It will "creep" back up but you need to let it go each time, usually I can just stand still for a few seconds and get it back to a normal position before moving on. Over time your "carrying angle" should reduce as the associations become weaker.

Good luck and remember, repeat repeat repeat.

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Thank you! I'll give it a go. :)

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Benni! My lovely! I have missed you 💜💜

 

Do you feel like a monkey when it hangs down? That’s what I liken it to. Very annoying.

 

Hope the advice from Heather helps!

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Hi Janelle! Yes, monkey is a good description indeed! Hope the exercises help, too!

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When I first struggled to open my hand and move my arm it was a long fight. Now that I can ,mostly, several times a day I take time to stretch them and always go out of my way, even if it hurts to use them. They would love to go back to a fist over my stomach but I'm not going there.

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Thanks Scott. I've gotten my fingers looser over time. I hated the way my thumb stayed curled under my fingers, and the forefinger stayed curled over it.

 

I bought some super stiff velcro, 2 inches wide, to replace the strip on my AFO. I cut 2 pieces to fit over my thumb and forefinger. Once I wrapped it around thumb/finger, it kept its shape, so I was able to slide it on and off easily. It kept them straight, not curled.

 

I wore them every day for a month and, now, I can move them much easier. I used to have to pull the thumb out from under my fingers with my good hand. Now I can move the affected thumb itself. Both fingers are much more relaxed now.

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It is staggering how much trouble we survivors go to try to get back to normal! As a musician one of the problems was that my right hand fingers could not hold a plectrum. I carried one all the time and spent a lot of energy just picking it up from the floor. For the next stage I tied one by string to a 1litre plastic milk bottle and would carry it around the block just holding it between my first finger and thumb. Initially just a cup full of water in it but gradually adding to the water level till I could handle a full container. I got embarrassed carrying it so covered it up with a supermarket bag and looked like everyone else!

Deigh

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We are a desperate lot, for sure!

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I prefer to refer to us as dedicated.

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I'm with Scott.  Dedicated, persevering, stubborn.

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Benni, I'm so happy you are doing well. 💖

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Dedicated, stubborn, not willing to give up! 

 

Thanks Kelli!

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Desperados

Hi, Benni. Good hearing from you, and I'm glad you're doing well too.   Becky

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Thanks Becky!

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