Recover.

Physiotherapy.

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Mountain Rescue.

The task.

Many EGPA patients find themselves with periperal nerve damage (Hands, feet, arms and legs) and associated muscle loss. Recovering this is going to take specialist help and like Mountain Rescue, Physiotherapists are there to get you back up and running. Well walking, at least!

The extent of nerve damage depends upon the severity of attack, the speed of diagnosis and application of medication. Since muscles are controlled through nerves, there is an inevitable link between the two. Additionally, after long periods in a hospital bed, muscle wastage will occur.

Possibilities.

The work of the Physiotherapist is to find ways of getting reluctant muscles going again. This is going to involve a lot of repetitive exercises and pushing your body to do things that feel uncomfortable.

Unknowns.

Unfortunately, the Physio has absolutely no control over the regrowth of nerves, this is purely down to your body and the type of damage done in the first place. Nerves regrow very slowly, so don't expect any overnight sensory improvement.

Stretch yourself.

Challenge.

Living with pain, numbness and weakness can cause hesitancy about exercising and the first steps can be very challenging but with the help of your Physio you should see improvement.

Motivation.

Regular physiotherapy is important as it maintains motivation and provides a goal based framework for your exercises.

There is not much data on EGPA and exercise, but evidence of the response to exercise on type-1 diabetics, who also get peripheral neuropathy, showed increased nerve fibre branching, after 10-Weeks of structured exercises.[6]

Improvements over time will make you less dependent on walking aids,have better balance, build stronger muscles and give improved range of motion.[7]

But dont break yourself!.

Some ideas.

Most might be inclined to exercise rather less than they should but some can go over the top. This is a time to take good advice and keep to a strict, carefully controlled regime.

  • ☑ Only do the exercises that your Physio has designed for you, for the prescribed time each day.
  • ☑ Take a day or two off if you feel over fatigued or have unusual swelling or pain and seek advise if this persists.
  • ☑ Sometimes your Physio will give you exercises which can only be done when professionally supervised. Be clear about which exercises are in this category and avoid them until your next session.
  • ☑ Falling down is one of the worst things you can do so never put yourself in a position where this might happen. For example don't exercise on stairs or other dangerous places.
  • ☑ Talk to you Physio about any concerns you have.

Always assess what might happen if the worst event were to take place and stay safe by avoiding such situations.

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