Has she had a visit to her physician or health care provider and has she been given permission to begin an exercise program and guidelines to do so? I think that would be a really important first step. It is partly important with the dystonia, because where she is experiencing it can affect what modality will work most safely for her.
I would want to make a case for including some yoga. I have worked with quite a number of people with sciatica and have found that (especially if it is functional) it can be very helpful. You might want to look to the work of Judith Lassiter or Elise Miller. Sciatica I also have seen quite a lot. I have not worked individually with anyone with dystonia, but have had someone in chair classes from time to time, and I know it is recommended.
Swimming might be good, but only if the neck it not involved. If it is the benefits of the swimming might be outweighed by the discomfort and possibility of injury. That is why it is really useful to get feedback from her medical advisors.
Hi Laurel. I have trained many clients with similar symptoms as Dystonia. I agree with Ariadne. Seek her physicians or her P.T. input. this is helpful. the only thing I might add is that each body part to be exercised should be viewed closely. And her aerobic conditioning should be too. Client feedback is important but, perceived exertion is just as important. Many clients wish to push to hard and, this is not good for their health. Sometimes I have had to reduce their program and increase it the next session. Each session can be different for them with regards to their muscle strength. I find it important to constantly view the aforementioned. Hope this helps. Brian Rozzi.
We know that new neurological pathways can circumvent damaged ones, such as the case with, for example, Parkinson’s. Keep this at the forefront of your program, along with PT or physician advise for the sciatica and of course the dystonia. As mentioned above work within the client’s ability and enhance the client’s self-efficacy a baby step at a time.
Do repetitive work as tolerated, work on hip and lower back functionality, stretching, and functional exercises that help the client in their ADL.