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A tennis ball and a frying pan

Permalink: http://paul.us2uk.eu/?x=entry:entry130227-024833

I recently started getting Georgi to roll a small ball under his feet as I figured it would help him to regain a little bit of control over his legs. He seems to enjoy it but the problem is that he currently has such poor control that the ball keeps rolling away.

I was thinking about buying a wok or something to make the ball roll back but I think I’ll try a large frying pan for the time being. Even a large plate would probably do the trick - a wok’s probably too convex for him to roll his foot around in, come to think of it.

I wondered if this was some sort of recognised exercise so I went looking and found this excellent set of ten exercises on the Amputee Coalition website.

rolling a tennis ball under your foot Picture credit: Frank Angulo and The Amputee Coalition

According to the introduction these simple exercises are designed to improve balance and promote weight bearing over a prosthetic limb to help give the wearer confidence in their prosthesis and enable them to take equal-length steps without putting unnecessary stress on the lower back.

Understanding where your balance point or centre of mass (COM) is located in relation to your feet, or base of support (BOS), is the foundation for balance with all prosthetic feet from the very basic designs to the most dynamic.

Well, what’s good for teaching people with prosthetic limbs to balance and walk confidently and properly are probably just what Georgi needs.

I also found this article on the Five-Minute Yoga website which adds that just 5 minutes a day rolling a tennis ball under your foot loosens your hamstring, but not only that:

When you massage the soles of your feet, you loosen the starting point of a network of connective tissue that runs all the way up your back body to the crown of your head. So it stands to reason that massaging your feet can relax and invigorate your whole body.

No wonder Georgi enjoys it. It probably explains why I still like to sit and roll a football around with my feet… which is what gave me the idea to try it on Georgi.

Encephawhat?

Encephalitis - it really sucks.

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If you found anything on this site of use, interesting, or even mildly amusing please consider tipping a few pennies in the jar to help look after Georgi, to whom this blog is shamelessly dedicated.

Georgi contracted encephalitis and fell into a coma in the summer of 2007. He’s a strong boy and survived, but he suffered brain damage and still can’t walk or talk (well, not very well - but he does try). He’s growing all the time and every penny we collect goes towards his upkeep, and towards his future care requirements.

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