Research on Spinal Cord Injury by Andrew K Fletcher
Colin C5 incomplete Case 8 (incomplete report)
Inclined Bed Journal - Colin M.
05-06-2007, 11:48 PM
Hello, I'm a C-5 incomplete spinal cord injury who was injured on July 10, 2004. My recovery has been hopeful but has not significantly changed my quality-of-life. Trace movements continue to be awesome signs of hope but have yet to be strengthened. I have now begun a new journey of recovery and expect to make significant gains in the near future.
I discovered inclined bed therapy during my first visit to Center IMT in Atlanta, Georgia. I began implementing the theory on April 22, 2007. I also dedicate myself to many other types of therapies including brushing techniques, neuromuscular and threshold electrical stimulation, using a chi exercise machine, sacral wedge, and a vibrator beneath my feet. On June 1st 2007 I plan on moving to the Atlanta area for an indefinite amount of time to participate in Center IMT's "first step" program along with Shepherd Center's "beyond therapy" program. In this journal I'm going to try and focus on the various effects I believe inclined bed therapy has on my body but because of the variety of techniques I'm using to enhance recovery, it is difficult to prove what is doing what.
-I raised the head of my bed 4 to 5 inches.
-The first night I began getting hot flashes.
-My legs, feet, and hands felt very warm during the night and when I woke up in the morning.
-Within a couple days my complexion was improving, my energy had gone up, and people began commenting on how healthy I looked.
- I also felt mentally sharper. I felt more communicative and my vision seemed more clear.
-Several days into the therapy , I began to feel very achey and sore in my shoulders and neck area.
-I thought I was sick but then read about a period of detox which occurs initially.
-A couple days later the soreness was gone.
-Increased energy began to feel less noticeable.
-Complexion still improved and extremities still felt warm at night.
-No more hot flashes at night.
-Anxious to speed up the process I decided to raise my bed to the recommended height. I struggled to discover a way to do so without causing the bed to be unstable. I ended up having to buy more bed risers and doubled the height. I would have liked to ease into it more gradually but didn't think much of it.
-Three nights sleeping at the new incline, I have not slept well, and my energy has been low.
-spasms increased at night.
-I get frustrated at night as I slowly slide down the bed each time I turn.
-The weather has turned cold and my ability to keep warm has not seemed much improved.
-I've now discovered that the incline I am at is more than the recommended 5.5 to 6Â°.
-I plan on reducing the incline tonight to start off week three.
-My overall impression of this type of therapy is very optimistic so far. I can feel the weight of gravity taking it's effect as I sleep and my legs just feel different. Any change is a good thing in my opinion
Your report follows the predicted pattern from tilting the bed. The increased spasm is generally a good sign that the nervous system is responding and has been reported many times by others as an initial symptom from sleeping inclined and may explain why you are sliding down the bed.
This is going to take several more weeks before you experience the full benefits from the bed.
Many thanks for helping me with this research.
Week Three: 05-14-2007, 12:56 AM
-I lowered my bed down to about 5.7Â°.
-the new positioning made a ton of difference and I am much more comfortable.
-I'm not sliding down the been nearly as much at night.
-Early in the week I began to get headaches and soreness. Detoxing I figure.
-I noticed my toenails are looking healthy. Never had much of a problem but slight ingrown toenails have improved.
-I'm no longer bleeding during my bowel program from haemorrhoids.
-other improvements not directly related to the incline bed include:
-increased tricep strength mostly from electrical stimulation.
-more sensation in the lower legs while using my foot vibrator.
I believe everything I am doing is playing a role and the inclined bed will most likely serve as a basis for much of my improvement soon to come.
Week Four 05-21-2007, 02:02 AM
-I feel like I'm slowly getting adjusted to sleeping inclined.
-I feel as if I have a lot of energy and I am tired at the same time. Kind of weird.
-The extension spasms in my right quad has kicked in. In the past it has only been the left and now both legs are doing it.
-I noticed in my toe nails that there are two definite colors. Towards the edge of my toe nail is a dark color while towards the base of the toenail is a light pink as if a new healthier nail is pushing the older nail out. I will know for sure as time passes on.
Not much else to report at the moment. Andrew, I was wondering what the most effective way of sleeping is? Right now I sleep on my side in a curled position. It is the most comfortable.
Hi Colin and thanks for updating your diary.
The toenail improvements have been reported by lots of people trying the inclined bed, and clearly indicate a very positive change in circulation to the nail bed. Also, the emergence of half moons on both finger and toe nails has been observed by many people. Improved nail growth has also been duly noted, all of which indicate improved circulation.
The recent changes in spasm you have noted follow exactly the same pattern as other people with spinal injury who have inclined the bed. But yours appear to be kicking in sooner than most, again indicating some changes to your physiology may follow sooner than expected.
To get the optimum benefit from the inclined bed, if possible stretch out rather than curling up as this according to the theory may prove to accelerate your progress. Sleeping on your side may prove marginally more beneficial as it increases the angle of the spine, although people sleeping on their front or backs have experienced significant positive changes.
Have you noticed a change in your urine output? change in colour or odour or clarity?
I unfortunately cannot say for sure whether there has been a change in my urine. I feel as if there has, but nothing has jumped out at me enough to point it out. My urine outputs have always been very erratic so it's hard to tell when there has been a definite change. There is a chance that my urine has gotten darker and smellier, but once again I cannot be sure.
I will try and stretch my legs out more. I don't think I can sleep well on my back and definitely not my stomach.
Week Five: 05-27-2007, 08:11 PM
-I was getting headaches at the beginning of the week especially after being in the sun.
-I feel as if I cannot take as much of the suns heat as I used to. I seem to get overheated easily.
-by the middle of the week the headaches disappeared.
-I'm no longer getting sore aching muscles for no reason other than the incline.
-I have been getting some faint dizzy spells, as if my blood sugar level is low.
-The past few days my legs feel as if they are constantly vibrating. Tingling sensations are also occurring. It is not a sudden occurrence of sensation because I have had similar sensations for awhile now, but they have significantly increased. The sensation has also increased in the genital region.
-Along with the increased sensation I get the antsy desire to get up out of my chair and move around. Once again I have felt this way for awhile now but the feelings of increased.
I expect more to come in the near future so stay tuned.
Week 9 06-24-2007, 10:46 PM
So it's been four weeks since my last entry. That would put me at week nine. I'm to the point now where it's going to be harder and harder to tell what exactly the sleeping inclined is doing for me. My progress is going to be a collaboration of many forces. At week six, I do remember noticing an increase in the tingling in feelings of vibration in my legs. Weeks seven and eight were spent taking part in two programs for spinal cord recovery. Center IMT in Atlanta, Georgia, and beyond therapy which is also in Atlanta. I spent week nine visiting a spiritual energy healer who did healing on me once a day for five days.
Overall, I feel myself recovering and I do believe sleeping inclined is playing a role. I cannot stand sleeping flat anymore and was always desperate to find a way to incline the beds at the hotels that we stayed in. I had to sleep flat one night and didn't care for it at all. When I sleep inclined I can feel sensations pouring into my legs and it feels like healing is taking place. I just feel stagnant when sleeping flat.
I have no miraculous reporting to tell but the overall awareness of my body is magnifying and I feel connections being made. More and more so I feel as if I'm going to jump out of my seat. In a couple weeks I will permanently be in Atlanta to speed up my recovery process.
Week 13 07-20-2007, 06:57 PM
At this point I believe sleeping inclined is actually helping to increase the bulk and size of my muscles. A couple weeks ago my parents began to tell me that my legs looked bigger. Following, a couple of people outside of my home also said the same thing. I had thought my legs seemed bigger but I did not know for sure until others began to notice it as well.
My upper body is also getting a lot bigger especially in the chest, shoulders, and back. I believe this is also due to electrical stimulation and muscle recovery.
My dad told me that a couple months ago he was actually worried about me because of my health and the apparent degeneration of my body. He said he saw me getting thin, struggling with my energy and such and was not happy about it. He now tells me that he is no longer worried and sees a much healthier individual when looking at me. I too agree and feel much healthier. It is most certain that inclined bed therapy along with my other methods is changing my entire physiology. This will allow healing to be directed towards the nervous system where it is needed most.
10-05-2007, 01:06 AM
I have now been sleeping inclined for about 5 1/2 months. I continue to believe that it is having a major impact on my recovery, however, it is becoming difficult for me to exactly pinpoint what the effects are. Starting in June I began a dedicated plan of recovery, going to two different rehab programs and visiting a spiritual energy healer every two to three months. I have another thread which follows some of these experiences...
My improvements as of recently have been the most dramatic since my injury back in 2004. I've had some major stabilization occurring in my scapular muscles and I can actually see the muscles begin to fill in around the shoulder blades. My chest muscles and triceps are also firing more consistently and increasing in size. My truck muscles and pelvis muscles have also increased in strength and I can actually keep my hips tucked in while doing assisted standing. I am also feeling increased sensation and awareness throughout my body. Energy and health also seems to be constantly improving.
So what is inclined bed therapy doing for me? I believe it is serving as a basis for my health and in so my recovery. I'm addicted to sleeping inclined now and when I lay down to sleep at night I have a confidence that the incline is encouraging recovery and neural growth. I do not think that sleeping inclined alone is enough. But the combination along with integrative manual therapy, exercise, and energy healing will lead me to walking again.