I have a lovely young lady client who suffered a tragic spinal cord injury some 10 years ago. She is mobile but has some serious mobility and ROM limits such as foot drop, some paralysis on of her left side although she is still mobile; upper extremity tremors on the other side of her body, just to name a few. As you can imagine, putting together a program for her has been challenging but she’s been pretty engaged until recently. We’ve been working together for a few months now and recently expressed that she has become bored with the circuits we’ve done and told me that she really wants to ‘sweat’. Problem is that she has such limited stability and mobility ROM, there are many exercises she is just not capable of doing. We’ve done tons lots of work with the stability ball, medicine balls and free weights, even some suspension training. I’ve researched rehab programs and tried to select exercises that keep her moving while activating her proprioception to help with her balance and ROM. I only have 30 minutes with her 2x a week – would love some suggestions if anyone can provide! Thank you!
I would first find out why she feels she needs “to sweat”. Quite possibly she has some misguided information that you could clarify for her.
IF however she has a valid reason and she believes she can work up a sweat I would trust her and try it out.
What is it that she wants to do that you are not doing?
Can she ride a stationary bike? Elliptical trainer??
Can she toss and catch a medicine ball? walk up stairs? Can she do lunges and squats?
All of the above will elevate her heart rate.
Hello Lynn Valaes,
Have you tried yoga in a warm environment for the sweat factor? Is there a safe cardio machine she enjoys working out on? Does she move from exercise to exercise quickly to keep up the heart rate and sweat factor?
Limitations like that can make things very challenging; maybe, it is time to think outside the box. Do you have a list of her favorite activities or notes on what makes her smile, laugh and thank you for a great time?
Do you work on the foot drop? Maybe you could do partner drills or games; take a break from the traditional exercise. What do you think about a shallow pool?
Natalie aka NAPS 2 B Fit.
It’s awesome that you are working with this client. Even though she might be complaining about being bored, I’m sure the progress that she has made with you is a significant one. It’s hard to give you any suggestions since you are the one who knows her better than any of us, but if I were in your shoes I would seek the advise from a physical therapist who works with cases like your client’s. Then you can put a plan together that would challenge her. The PT might have some suggestions which you haven’t thought about them yet. This might not be the answer you are looking for, but it might worth a try.