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Ataxia Support

Balance exercise

Balance is our common problem. What exercises are you doing for the balance and equilibrium and do you think they’re working for you?

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just determination and gritted teeth

Hey, well, I have so many balancing exercises in my gym routine.
There is one that is made with this kind of cushion, that is squats.

If you are curious I can share more.

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Please do. What are they? Do you feel that they are helping? How?

I don’t know if they are helping, honestly.
I’m lucky the disease is slowly progressing in my body, I feel like if I’m doing exercises, it stops the progression.
Two years ago I had cancer so I wasn’t able to exercise while I was battling the cancer for one year, I felt like it progressed.

I’m going to record a few videos ASAP.

Please share more! Thank you ,Donna

I can’t say I do this one but physios teach it, Carry a glass of water upstairs. Impossible. Absolutely impossible. Yep - but they make you do it, You will spill some so try again tomorrow. Slowly, very slowly, you might find you can do it.

Come to think of it, I know a few that might help

  1. High steps: walk as normal but with your knees as high as possible
  2. Grapevine dance. Walk from side to side so your feet touch each other: go to the right by lifting your left foot up and winding it round and in front of your right leg, then behind your right leg. Then do the opposite: go to the right by lifting your right foot up and winding it round and in front of your left leg, then behind your left leg.
  3. Un-named. Walk forwards placing each foot in front of the other so that the heel of one touches the toes of the other
  4. Stand on one foot. To some extent or other, all these are basically standing for various lengths of time or in different ways so it’s just as Patsy says - determination and gritted teeth. Personally I do none of these because they’re so hard. One attempt leaves me breathless.
    Another which is totally different and I’m not sure it works is to lie on your back on a hard-ish surface - eg your carpeted floor. Throughout this exercise stiffen - harden - the muscles in the leg. Stretch it as much as you reasonably can. Then, twist the leg to the outside (meaning clockwise for your right leg and anti-clockwise for your left leg) and lift your opposite buttock - just as much as is necessary. Then point your foot - like a ballet dancer. Then bring it back. Then bend your leg - the same leg - into a V-position. Then twist your leg till the V is upright while lowering your opposite buttock back to the floor. Finally do it all again with the opposite leg. Remember to keep your leg muscles stiff This exercise will not leave you breathless. I think it’s more about keeping your leg mobile which balance inhibits - but I’m not sure it helps the actual balance problem very much

I have been in PT for 1 year.I have been getting better with cordination by doing lunges .I am now seeing an astreopath Dr. She is amazing.

Welcome to the site. It appears that you have a lot to offer.

Why don’t you post a video of your lunge for others to follow?

I walk and lift weights 6 days a week.

The weights keep me strong which probably reduces the risk of falls. The walking is important; if I miss even one day my balance, posture and gait, deteriorate. It seems to improve short term muscle memory and therefore has to be consistent.

I have had ataxia for 5 years now with very little progression. I could be that exercise has slowed the progression.

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I completely agree regarding exercise! Before the lockdown and my gym being closed, I worked out there 3-4 times a week 2hours each time. I had and still have complete use of my arms and legs. I did cardio and strength training. Balance wasn’t the greatest but I didn’t need any aids to get around.

This brings me to the current time. Just before the lockdown when the virus was in its infancy, I took a fall in the parking lot. Not a very severe fall and I didn’t bang my head. I even went to the gym for a couple of times after the fall and worked out with no problems.

Then the lockdown started and I couldn’t go to the gym. I woke up the first morning in very severe pain in my right ankle . Pain is measured 1-10, this was 11. To make things even worse I live alone and I had to handle all chores by myself. BRUTAL!!

To make a long story short, I am currently not in pain anymore but my balance and equilibrium are affected and out of whack. Seems to be slowly coming back but still out of whack. So even though you may be somewhat in a good situation right now, please be aware of your situation and surroundings at ALL times because stuff happens even though you might take it for granted.

FYI, I didn’t hurt the ankle but the Sciatic Nerve so the adventure continues. I can’t wait to return to my normalcy.

Sorry to hear about you sciatic nerve.

I did a faceplant on the golf course this morning but was lucky enough to fall on grass so no harm done. My gym has been in lockdown too but should reopen in mid-June. I have been lazy about strength training during the shutdown and will probably have to return to a pretty basic level and build up.

I’s odd but here I am staggering around the course using a pull cart to keep me upright virtually all of the other members ride carts.

Actually I tried playing golf (riding) about a week and a half ago. Thought I was ready - not really as it turned out. Fell twice and had trouble swinging. Used arms. Turning the body really threw me off balance. Playing really was a bad move on my part. Hope it continues to get better.

I DO some working out at home. I do squats holding on to the back of a chair. Strength exercises using rubber tubing and hand weights. Plus abs. Doing something but it’s not the same as the gym.

hey @Anna1, @Chas521 just posted these exercises here:

You can start here, these are great!

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Hi, if I was to try any of these I would just fall, I was diagnosed in 2006 so probably too advanced for me.

Well it’s same for me really. That’s why I never do them. But a physio would insist that you try. It was just as I thought: I fell. But next time, she persisted again and eventually by tiny improvements, I found I could do better. Safety is paramount though. You need to find somewhere suitable.