As I have said a few times before, progress with spinal injuries is often extremely slow and can be difficult to measure. I know that I have made improvements since my injury, but I have never considered myself to have made any significant progress, and definitely nothing that was really visible. But recently I have discovered that I can crawl by myself, which is pretty damn cool!
It’s one of the exercises that I practise quite a lot with my trainers, but I have always had assistance with it. But a couple of weeks ago when I was working out on the floor at home I decided I would try it by myself. I’ve tried it in the past and have been far too wobbly and kept ending up falling to one side (hip control is a pretty difficult thing to master). But for some reason when I tried it recently I was able to hold my hips quite steadily and actually pull my leg through about a centimetre or so each time.
I have always said that if I had something visible and positive to work on then I would practise practise practise, and thats pretty much what I have been doing. So, two weeks on, here is my progress…
My hip control has got a lot better and I am managing to pull through much more convincingly than when I first tried. In my therapy sessions I am doing exercises to help me progress more. This week with Natalie at Neurokinex I managed to set myself a record of crawling four mat lengths (they’re like those PE mats that you use in school) before my core got tired and I bailed to one side. We have also practised trying to crawl sideways.
Before anyone gets too over excited…it’s not a miracle and it doesn’t mean that I’m about to get up and walk now!! But at the same time it is of course quite exciting for me. It is the result of a lot of hard work and amazing training from my trainers. And maybe there is a strong enough connection from my brain to my hip flexors to help produce the movement, which is obviously great!
All I know is that it is something that I definitely couldn’t do this time last year, and actually it’s the first thing that I can do that is quite practical. I like the fact that I can move around without the wheelchair (other than just shimmying across the floor on my bum). Of course I’m not about to go and crawl to the shops or anything, but the other night when I was watching TV I got on the floor from the sofa, crawled to my fridge for a diet coke, rolled the can back to the sofa (I have an open plan kitchen/living room) and crawled back. Then I climbed back onto the sofa and enjoyed my well earned drink! It took a while and I was pretty exhausted afterwards, but it felt extremely rewarding!
So I’m going to keep on crawling and hopefully keep improving with it.
And apologies if I have incorrectly used practise/practice in this post… I tried to get it right, but the more I was thinking about the correct spelling, the more confused I got… My brain hurts now from over thinking it!