Multiple System Atrophy – Jose shares his story

Posted on October 25, 2012. Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , |

Multiple System Atrophy

Jose has Multiple System Atrophy (MSA), a rare neurological disorder that impairs the autonomic (involuntary) nervous system. Patients with MSA often exhibit ataxia or poor coordination and difficulty walking. MSA shares many symptoms with Parkinson’s Disease, such as rigidity and tremor, but patients experience more widespread damage to their nervous system. Additional symptoms include changes in and/or inability to make facial expressions, dizziness, loss of fine motor skills and balance, loss of the ability to sweat, gait changes, posture difficulties, tremors, voice and vision changes.

Physicians often make a diagnosis based on a patient’s history of symptoms, physical examinations, and ruling out of alternate causes. There is no cure for MSA, and no known way of preventing the progression of the disease in general. The goal of treatment is to manage and control symptoms.

Treatment includes prescription drugs aimed at specific symptoms such as low blood pressure and tremors, and in some cases a pacemaker may be used to regulate a patients heart rate. Physical therapy is an essential part of MSA treatment as well to help patients maintain their mobility and to prevent contractures, falls, and to ensure the patient’s general safety.

When I met Jose he was walking with very small step length…2 inches with a walker. He was going to pain doctors for his neck and back. After testing his balance reactions we placed 1.5 pounds in his BalanceWear orthotic. Immediately his step length increased to 4-5 inch steps. I know that isn’t much but it doubled what he was able to do on the same day. I didn’t see him for a month. When I did his pain in the low back was gone. He is now walking with a cane or without one. He is able to perform many more activities of daily living.

It is not about just changing symptoms. It is about applying interventions that improve mobility, balance and confidence. He still needs therapy to address his neck, improve his stability, endurance and walking.

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BalanceWear Orthotic Helps Patient After Back Surgery

Posted on November 19, 2010. Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , |

Four weeks ago we fitted and balanced MS P. with strategically placed weights in the BalanceWear OW200. The combination treatment of a LSO and Balance-Based Torso-Weighting provided the patient with improvement in pain initially 5/10 to 3/10. By the time she left the therapy session she was pain free. Two weeks later she returned to the clinic and reports she has been painfree since. The device afforded her the ability to lie on her back, perform a bridge, and other exercises for the first time in several years. After two weeks she was able to stand without support of her walker, perform the home exercise program easily, and was taking small steps while holding on a surface with one hand. Previously she was walker bound. When I spoke with MS P she said she is now doing her laundry and making her bed for the first time since surgery one year ago!

Two weeks later she is able to lie on her back and do progressive back stabilization exercises. Ms. P reports she hasn’t needed to take any meds since she put on the orthotic. Ms. P is making great progress with only three visits to therapy in the past month.

We are excited with this news. The use of the combination orthotic and BBTW technology was very helpful for this patient.

More research is required to see if this is a treatment of choice for patients post low back surgery.

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