How do I recondition after being bed bound?

Dr.Lynne

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That's a good question to ask a ME/CFS-knowledgeable physical therapist or occupational therapist who can tailor a reconditioning regimen to your individual requirements, perhaps by telemedicine? PTs and OTs aren't all created equal, but an intuitive one can be a godsend!

That said, I hopped online to see what I could find that might be helpful, and I found this old PR thread. It's from August 1, 2016.

Forums -> Symptoms and Treatments -> Treatment and Therapy -> General Treatment -. How can I rehabilitate my legs after being bedridden?

For me, coming off a year on my couch (thank you, severe FM and PEM) was helped by lots of ROM and relaxed breathing exercises, interspersed with gentle tension-band exercises. Dry needling helped un-spasm my muscles (especially in my neck, shoulders and back), and finding an excellent local non-profit to help (first from my home, and then on site) gave me a new purpose and energized me like nothing else. Don't forget: reconditioning has physical, psychological and social components.

Don't forget to reward your progress with relaxing, genuine smiles for yourself. These calorie-free, un-droppable little rewards further relax your muscles, increase endorphins and stimulate natural breathing. :hug:
 
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Are you on Instagram? I've been following movement_with_me and she has some excellent, gentle exercises as well as good advice about how to have a healthy attitude towards movement and not overdo.

The Bateman Horne Center also has some excellent gentle Yoga routines on their YouTube Channel: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL-OZ_5Cqdc326PIGGEJwz5fOSi-VsR-29

The best advice I was ever given about avoiding PEM: only do half as much as you think you are able to do
 
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Because of the pandemic, I've pretty much stayed in bed for the last year. I want to slowly start to recondition, but I don't know where to start, especially because I want to avoid PEM.
Check out Spoonie Yoga on Youtube. The teacher lives with chronic illness herself, and there are lots of lying down (supine) videos, which I really reccomend if you're just staring to move. You can do them in bed. Most days, I try to do a short practice, even though I'm in a bad crash, it feels good to do gentle movements lying down, and actually helps with pain.
 

lenora

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Walking is always good....I've "come back" a number of times over the years b/c of it. Slow and gentle to start and return home after you've passed approx. 6 houses. You can and will build up from there.

Yes, there are myofascial therapists who specialize in getting us moving again, but I've found even some of them to be too much. I'm seeing a massage therapist now, and she seems to be helping (although I have to take a few mos. off b/c of surgery). Great, a little more time spent not using muscles.

You're quite young so I would encourage you to keep going on the road you are. As you get older, it's not as easy to keep recovering those lost muscles. Plus you just get tired of it all.

Reward yourself with a fresh cup of coffee when you return home. I used to walk at least 3-4 mi./day, if not more, so walking has always been my go to exercise. Well, bike riding was, but I now have balance problems, so that's gone.

Like others have suggested, please just don't overdo it...it's easy to do so. Yours Lenora.
 

Dr.Lynne

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Walking is always good....I've "come back" a number of times over the years b/c of it.
:thumbsup: I agree. Even if it is only around the house to start. Avoid using a cane if at all possible, since it shifts your posture abnormally. A good walking stick is much better. Also, carry a good paperback with you. That way you can take breaks intermittently (while enjoying another chapter).
 

wabi-sabi

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Walking is the very hardest exercise for me. One of the problems with reconditioning is the orthostatic intolerance. When you're lying down the blood flows up to your brain no problem. But it means when you're vertical the blood runs out of your brain like sand from an hourglass. No blood in the brain means no oxygen in the brain and that means cognitive problems.

I would recommend strength training exercises you can do while lying down. If you can do those without getting PEM then you can walk. Get your muscle strength back before trying anything cardio, and walking is cardio, especially when you've been bedridden a while.

Protect that brain and don't starve it of blood and oxygen!
 
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I would recommend strength training exercises you can do while lying down. If you can do those without getting PEM then you can walk.
And there's an in-between step as well that my doctor recommended: recumbent cycling. I didn't have room in my place for a big piece of exercise equipment, but I bought myself a little pedal exerciser that I use while sitting on a low chair. It's also handy for when the weather's too wet or cold for a pleasant walk.
 

lenora

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Hello @Rebeccare.....Is that pedal exerciser fairly light? I ordered and received one, but it was large and heavy and my husband worried that I'd fall over it....it wouldn't fit under the chair I usually sit in?

If yours is light enough, may I ask the name of it and where you ordered it from ? There are so many choices, and not all of them are great. But yes, that would help to keep the legs moving. Thanks! Yours, Lenora.
 
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Hello @Rebeccare.....Is that pedal exerciser fairly light? I ordered and received one, but it was large and heavy and my husband worried that I'd fall over it....it wouldn't fit under the chair I usually sit in?
The pedaler I have is this model: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B08T4VYBM6/

It's also rather heavy--20 pounds--so it's not easy to move around. I was also worried about tripping over it so I set it up next to my couch. Right next to the armrest there's a low kitchen chair and the pedaler.

But there are lighter and smaller options available, although the quality isn't as quite as high: https://www.amazon.com/Vaunn-Exerciser-Electronic-Assembled-Exercise/dp/B07XLP3WZK

They're also pretty cheap, so if they break it's not a huge deal to replace them. Take a peek at this model, which is just 5 pounds, 8 inches tall, and 11 inches wide. That sounds like it might be able to fit under a chair easily!
 

lenora

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Thanks @Rebeccare. I'm sure you've done us all a great service today. I'll order it immediately. The weight means a lot b/c it will be moved around as needed. Yours, Lenora.