Posts Tagged amputee

Tis’ the Season for New Year’s Resolutions

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What’s on your list for 2016 resolutions? For many, improving their health is at the top of the list. This may include making better food choices, such as adding more fruits and vegetables or cutting back on sugar, or your goals may be exercise related, to become more active and strengthen your body. Whatever it is, taking care of the body we are given is important. If you are an amputee though, figuring out ways to be more active can often feel daunting. Perhaps you might like these suggestions for improving strength and flexibility.

Flexability

Movement and stretching are key for all amputees. It’s important your body doesn’t stay locked in any one position for too long. For example, if you are a below-the-knee amputee, be sure to fully extend your knee in a stretch position throughout the day each day (perhaps 15-20 minutes each time). You can stretch it out on a couch, a chair or even the floor. Just be mindful of releasing your knee from its bent position for at least short periods of time each day.

It’s also important for amputees to keep their hips stretched out. So much of your walking strength and balance comes from this area. Try lying on the floor on your stomach with your hips flat on the ground. Do this a couple times a day for 10-15 minutes. For an even better stretch, slightly lift up your head and shoulders or even place a couple pillows under your chest to prop you up while your hips are stretching out.

Strength 

Hips and Legs: For strengthening your hips, lie on each side while you raise and lower your leg or residual limb on the side that is on top. Repeat on each side. Try several repetitions of these each day, and if possible, continue to keep the side of your body that is on the ground straight to continue allowing the hips to stretch out. This will improve strength in your hip abductors and adductors. If you want to strengthen hamstrings and quads, the suggestion is similar. For quads: while lying on your back on the floor, raise and lower each leg one at a time. For hamstrings: change to lying on your stomach on the floor and repeat the same process, raising and lowering one leg at a time.

Arms: Arm strength is another important area to not neglect. Arm exercises can be done in a variety of ways. If you own or have access to an exercise machine, take advantage of the various arm settings it offers, or even simple dumbbells can be used at home. You want to use some some weight resistance for strengthening these muscles. If your amputation allows you to do push-ups or tricep dips, this is a great way to strengthen your arms with your natural body weight.

Balance: Lastly, amputees must have good balance and this takes lots and lots of practice. Start first with balancing exercises on your good leg. While standing just on that leg, try reaching out for things, bending down to pick something up, twisting for something behind you etc. This takes a lot of work and really improves your core strength, where your balance stems from. Once you get better at doing these things on your good leg, start slow and try them while standing only on your prosthesis. Be sure to practice these moves safely, either with another person around to catch you or with a walker or wheelchair nearby. Also, don’t forget functional training for every day activities like shifting your balance back and forth between each leg, climbing a step, or even kicking a ball. You might just surprise yourself with what all you can do.

Remember, your overall health as an amputee plays a key role in your mobility. Keeping your body at a healthy weight, make good food choices, and practicing daily flexibility and strength training exercises are going to make a significant difference in your success. Becoming an amputee has likely shown you that you are stronger than you ever thought you were – keep up the good work as you inspire us all with your courage.

(Keep in mind, we are not doctors and this information is not intended to be taken as medical advice. Please consult your doctor before beginning any new exercise routine.)

Posted in: Tips and Self-Help

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A Journey Towards Hope From Palestine to Kinston, NC

We are honored we had the opportunity to help a new friend, 16 year-old Anan Fahid, who traveled all the way from a refugee camp in Jericho, Palestine to Kinston, NC to receive his first prosthetic leg. The Palestinian Children’s Relief Fund found EastPoint while searching online for an option for Anan. When PCRF saw EastPoint’s heart for serving and loving all of our patients both local and overseas, they knew we would be a good fit. The PCRF provided funding for Anan’s travel and Paul Sugg, owner of EastPoint Prosthetics and Orthotics, provided and fit Anan with his new leg.

Anan lost his leg two years ago due to cancer, and while he never imagined he would be in the USA, receiving a prosthetic leg, he never lost hope for what his future held. Hope, in fact is Anan’s biggest message to others, never give up, there IS hope.

During one of Anan’s appointments we were thrilled to introduce him to Faizal Handoon, an aspiring Paralympian who is also one of our patients. Faizal was able to share more with Anan about the unlimited opportunities he still has as an amputee. We appreciate Faizal for taking the time to meet with Anan and encourage him along the way.

Anan with continue to stay with a host family in Greenville, NC while he continues to gain strength and adjust to his new prosthesis. We look forward to continuing our relationship with Anan and seeing what his future holds.

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Posted in: Company News, Inspirational Stories

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Reclaim Your Life – Ottobock contest

Everyone has a story, especially if you are an amputee, and Ottobock wants to hear it. Click the link below to submit a photo and tell yours. Once you post your story, share it and tell everyone you know to vote. You could win a trip for 2 to Salt Lake City to tour the Ottobock facility and visit The National Ability Center. Additional prizes include free passes to the 2016 Amputee Coalition Conference. The deadline has been extended to October 16th, so start typing and tell Ottobock how YOU are Reclaiming Your Life!

If you submit your story, let us know and we would love to help spread the word for votes.

RECLAIM YOUR LIFE PHOTO CONTEST

Miyah

Posted in: News

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Truly An Inspiration: Ben Baltz, Amputee and Cancer Survivor

Ben Baltz, an amputee and cancer survivor, has continued to motivate and inspire other amputees for 8 years now, and he does it again with these photos of his training for one of his many triathlons. Go Ben!

http://www.today.com/parents/amputation-hasnt-stopped-me-boys-inspiring-race-photo-lifts-fellow-t41916

 

Posted in: Inspirational Stories

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Limb Loss Awareness Month

April is Limb Loss Awareness month.  The Amputee Coalition is raising awareness specifically on April 25th with Show Your Mettle Day. This is a day that all amputees are encouraged to proudly wear and show their prosthetic devices or wheelchairs (metal) as we recognize the resilience and strength they posses in the face of difficulties and daily challenges (mettle).  For more information click below:

http://www.amputee-coalition.org/events-programs/limb-loss-awareness-month/ 

Posted in: Community News, Upcoming Events

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Choosing a Prosthetist – What You Need To Know

Does it really matter who I choose as my Prosthetist? How big of a difference could it actually make? Well…the truth is, you would be surprised how different your outcome could be if you don’t do your homework. Everything from credentials to communication, availability and of course a good fit should be considered. In the end, choosing the right prosthetist is an important decision that ultimately is up to you. A doctor’s recommendation can be a great place to start, but there are many other factors to consider before you move forward. It’s a great idea to do your research, ask questions, and even take the time to meet the Prosthetist before your decision is made.

Factors to Consider:

Credentials: Is he or she certified by the American Board for Certification? How much experience does this person or company have?

Proximity: All prostheses require follow-up appointments. How far is their office from my house? Do they offer mobile services that can save me time and money?

Communication: Does this person listen and communicate well? Is it easy to talk to them? Do I feel comfortable asking questions? Are they willing to operate through a team approach with my doctor, therapist, and/or caregivers?

Availability: How easily will I be able to get in touch with them for appointments? Who will I call if I have any complications?

Insurance: Will their company accept my insurance? If my device needs a prior-authorization, who will make sure one is received? What will be my out-of-pocket expenses? Do they offer payment plans?

Recommendations: Are there any reviews or recommendations I can find from current patients? (social media or word-of-mouth)

Updated Knowledge: Is this person well informed regarding the latest options, materials, components and research?

Each patient is unique, and finding just the right fit takes time, patience, skill, and open communication. You must be able to express to your prosthetist your lifestyle needs, activities, and goals. Make sure they understand what factors are a priority to you. Your prosthesis should fit comfortably and simply be a tool that helps you function more effectively, not something that slows you down or causes any pain. With a well-fit prosthesis and the right Prosthetist by your side, you really can achieve excellent outcomes in mobility.

Posted in: Tips and Self-Help

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Touch The Sky

Alex Zanardi, a man of resilience.  He was a former Formula 1 and winner of the American Champ Car series, and now is a double amputee due to a nearly fatal accident.  See more about his inspiring story here in this short clip.

http://vimeo.com/105550166

He also recently completed the Hawaii IRONMAN World Championship – unbelievable!

https://autos.yahoo.com/blogs/motoramic/alex-zanardi-is-now-an-ironman–proving-legs-will-never-beat-heart-164550278.html

 

Posted in: Community News, Inspirational Stories

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Guatemala Prosthetic Clinic 2014

Brent, from our Raleigh office, and a team of helpers just recently returned from their 2014 Guatemala Prosthetic clinic.  As always, what an amazing trip! During this week-long clinic, they were able to deliver 26 new prosthetic devices (21 above-the-knee, 3 below-the-knee & 2 arms) and 3 orthotic devices.  They also followed-up with 7 repairs from previous patients.  Whew!

Each patient had their own unique story and getting to know each one was a real treat for the team.  On the first day, one of the patients came in with a below-the-knee prosthesis he had made himself.  While he was definitely in need of a new one, they were amazed at how well he had done coming up with the design on his own.  Brent suggested the team could use an extra hand in the lab since there was so much work to be done, so they offered this patient a job for the week.  He was thrilled!  He came every morning and stayed all day until dinner.  He was a quick learner and it was very helpful to have an extra set of hands around.  He received his new leg mid-week, an orthoses on his other leg and he was so pleased!

One of the most fun parts of the clinic is kids day.  While the team enjoyed meeting all the kids, it is extra special that many of the pediatric patients are dear friends now as they have returned each year due to growth.  Many of the amputations are a result of birth defects, some to accidents and some to cancer, but regardless the cause, it is so heartwarming to see the kids WALKING away with a huge smile on their face.

What a treat for the team to have the opportunity to lead these clinics, and in the end, it’s the team that walks away actually feeling more blessed just from the time spent getting to know these wonderful Guatemalan friends.

Below are a few pictures and you can click this YouTube link for a short video summarizing the trip:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9kje4S_4RKs

Posted in: Company News, Inspirational Stories

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