Fighting a neurological disease with persistent exercise

It is never easy to accept the fact that you are a disabled person, especially at a young age. Nikolai D. used to enjoy his family life, work, and studies before he started to feel changes in his body. It began with some muscle twitching and minor cramps in his right arm but no one could ever think that it would get worse. Eventually, Nikolai ended up in a situation where he could not use his right arm at all. But persistent exercise has brought hope in his life with improved motor control and strength.

Polyneuropathy

Nikolai has a neurological disorder that belongs to the polyneuropathy group, but none of the doctors can specify the exact disease. Some of them assume that it might be a multifocal motor neuropathy – a crippling affliction of the motor nerves. Motor and sensory information to and from the central nervous system (brain and spinal cord) is carried via the peripheral nervous system in which the somatic nervous system is part of. This system has a big role in initiating and controlling the movements of the body as it is responsible for nearly all voluntary muscle movements. The somatic nervous system contains two types of neurons: sensory neurons, which carry information from sensory receptors towards the brain, and motor neurons that carry information from the brain and spinal cord to muscles throughout the body. Multifocal motor neuropathy affects the second type. What happens is that you gradually start to lose control over your body. Usually, it starts with hands, then legs and might go all over the body as it depends on the progression of the disease. These kinds of disorders are challenging to treat due to the difficulty in accurate diagnostics and finding a suitable medication. Symptoms can stay stable with the help of exercise (proper muscle activation).

 

In the beginning, the functionality of the right hand was completely dependent on the help of the left hand. No matter how hard Nikolai tried, the commands to the right hand did not go through.

 

The disease greatly affected many aspects of Nikolai’s life. Everyday tasks like putting on clothes or using a keyboard at the workplace became extremely challenging. The functionality of the whole right arm started to degrade, and his shoulder area couldn’t be used much as well. It also had an effect on his legs, especially the left one even though these symptoms were not as visible as with the arm.

I was a righthanded and then I had to teach myself over to do everything with the left hand. The only thing that I kept doing was the handwriting, as it was too demanding to change.

 

Now, after the treatment, Nikolai is able to hold his child who weighs 13 kg

 

Treatment

Nikolai was desperately looking for a solution, he was meeting a great number of different doctors on a weekly basis. They could not give him any positive prognoses, the overall aim for a time being was to stabilize the situation. The exercise was something that doctors recommended to prevent this kind of disorder from getting worse. One of his physiatrists referred him to the Nordic Health physiotherapy clinic – the reference center with DAVID devices. At the beginning of the therapy, strength and mobility tests were carried out and the individual program was created based on the results. During the first visit, the handgrip strength test couldn’t be done at all because Nikolai couldn’t hold the measurement tool. The focus of the treatment was to activate the muscles as much as possible taking into account the whole body. The first improvements appeared after 3-4 months of regular visits to the Nordic Health when he started to actually feel the muscles activating. Upper body movements became easier to control and he was able to use the devices in a much more controlled manner. Nikolai has been persistent and almost never missed a visit to the clinic. In addition to physiotherapy, he has also seen an occupational therapist in another clinic.

 

The tests show great improvement on several levels and he has been able to balance his strength levels a great deal. 

 

With DAVID devices a patient cannot trick the system. The software saves every single exercise, the weight that was used and speed which it was done with. It records the progress and it knows everything how and what has been done.

The general approach of DAVID devices that something tracks your progress and it cannot be tricked gave me a great discipline.

 

Nordic Health patient testimonial

Strength levels improved a lot besides in the upper body but also in the lower body. What he also gained was the control of the movement in upper body exercises. 

 

Nikolai has been training in the Nordic Health clinic for one year now and a few months ago he also started to take immune medication. The combination of medicine and exercises helped him to stabilize and even improve his health and has given him back an active life. Nikolai has shown what regaining the control of one´s body truly means.

 

Explore more patient testimonials here

 

Nadja Fomina
Marketing associate
nadja.fomina@davidhealth.com