Back2feet®



Testimony for WalkAide®

Sylvia Bauer, Toronto February 2009

History
I began to experience signs of MS almost 10 years ago and was subsequently diagnosed with primary progressive MS (PPMS). Unlike other types of MS, this progressive form displays steadily worsening symptoms without any distinct periods of relapse or remission. Moreover, treatments available for relapsing remitting forms do not generally work well for PPMS. For me, the WalkAide has changed that paradigm.

My Story
I have been extremely fortunate in that my MS, although steady, has progressed at a rate that offered me time to adjust both mentally and physically to new symptoms and phases of the disease as they presented themselves. Walking has been one of the areas that has perhaps been the most challenging. I’ve used a cane now for several years, mainly because I developed Foot Drop. And, as the Foot Drop progressed so did the evolution of AFO’s (Ankle-Foot Orthosis) I used. Although grateful for the support offered by the brace, I had to fully concentrate and take care not to stumble or trip as my foot would drag if I didn’t lift my whole leg and swing it forward to take a step. Moreover, despite exercising regularly, this awkward gait led to substantial pain in my hip and my back. My muscles began to atrophy and the overall effort required going even short distances could be very draining.

WalkAide
A few months ago, I was at Back2Feet for an adjustment to my brace and was told that I might be a good candidate for a sophisticated new medical device designed to improve the walking ability of people with Drop Foot. Yim and Melanie had my full attention! The WalkAide device was pretty much all I could think about until I was able to go back to the clinic and try it out. I can’t even describe the feeling it gave me. Seeing my ankle flex and my foot lift on its own was amazing! Yim worked with me to adjust the device to my gait and I was up and walking in no time. Within a few weeks I was accustomed to the device and could enjoy the sense of freedom that walking more “normally” gave me.

Today
Now the WalkAide does the work of flexing my ankle as the other muscles work hard to get stronger. Where my ankle brace was heavy and awkward, the WalkAide is small and light and I can go back to wearing regular shoes! After having the WalkAide about 3 months the improvement of my mobility has been nothing short of incredible. I’m walking with a more confident step and most importantly, can walk longer distances with less effort, which means I’m less fatigued overall. My posture is better and my gait has smoothed out. Back and hip pain is gone.


I am very grateful for all the help and support I received from the Back2Feet team and I would highly recommend contacting Yim Lok to see if you are a candidate for the WalkAide device. It could truly change your life!