I have not received payment of any kind for this review.
It’s hard not to get all metaphorical about vibroplates, the exercise equipment that help people like us recover or at least improve our balance.
The one I’ve invested in after my last MS attack looks a bit intergalactic. Like something Buzz Rogers might use. But it cost a reasonable £149.99, turned up promptly and I’m already getting lots of use from it.
The idea is you stand on it to improve core strength and stability. Literally. Just. Stand. There. It wouldn’t look out of place on the flight desk of the Starship Enterprise, but is actually fairly straightforward to use – to my relief.
It comes with a sheet showing various exercises you could theoretically do with it. Since I’m too weak even to attempt those, I’ve put them in recycling.
All I can do at the moment is stand on it, though in my defence I should maybe say that’s more demanding (at least for me) than it might sound. The board shakes and vibrates as users stand on it.
Swooping and lurching
The physios at the MS Centre in Edinburgh advised I invest in one, since my last MS attack has affected my balance, making me swoop and lurch like a drunkard if I’m not walking with Zim (my Zimmer frame).
The physios gave me good advice, although every time I step onto my board I hear my father’s voice intoning in my ear, “Has she no sense of proportion?” – an issue he unfortunately had plenty of experience with himself, being bipolar.
I’ve gone for the Slim model, (pictured), since it’s easy to store under a sofa or at the side of a room. You need something to hold onto while you’re standing on it; I lean against my wardrobe.
What’s your name again?
When first diagnosed, I was having trouble remembering my husband’s name (he gallantly says he didn’t notice, which can’t be true). Trying to walk was like when you see newborn foals taking their first steps after birth. Wobbly, with lots of falls.
According to the makers, vibroplates were pioneered by Russian cosmonauts (seriously). The idea is they contract and relax your muscles, making your body react and work harder to maintain balance.
I’m managing ten minutes every evening on mine. I still feel utterly exhausted after even such a short time.
The good news? The ten minutes every evening is – yes, really – working. I no longer need to grab onto the sofa as much or as heavily when I cross the room.
Small steps. Enough to make a big difference to my life.
There’s still the chance for people to win a cooling towel by subscribing for email updates on Travels with a Zimmer Frame. Simply enter your email address before 31st July and I’ll enter you in the prize draw.