Nikolai has a neurological disorder that belongs to the polyneuropathy group, but none of the doctors can specify the exact disease. Some assume that it might be a multifocal motor neuropathy – a crippling affliction of the motor nerves. Motor and sensory information to and from the central nervous system (brain and spinal cord) is carried via the peripheral nervous system in which the somatic nervous system is part of. This system has a big role in initiating and controlling the movements of the body as it is responsible for nearly all voluntary muscle movements.
The somatic nervous system contains two types of neurons: sensory neurons, which carry information from sensory receptors towards the brain, and motor neurons that carry information from the brain and spinal cord to muscles throughout the body. Multifocal motor neuropathy affects the second type. What happens is that you gradually start to lose control over your body. Usually, it starts with the hands, then legs and might go all over the body as it depends on the progression of the disease. These kinds of disorders are challenging to treat due to the difficulty in accurate diagnostics and finding a suitable medication. Symptoms can stay stable with the help of exercise (proper muscle activation).
In the beginning, the functionality of the right hand was completely dependent on the help of the left hand. No matter how hard Nikolai tried, the commands to the right hand did not go through.
The disease affected many aspects of Nikolai’s life. Everyday tasks like putting on clothes or using a keyboard at the workplace became extremely challenging. The functionality of the whole right arm started to degrade, and his shoulder area couldn’t be used much either. It also had an effect on his legs, especially the left one.
When the disease started taking over, I had to teach myself to do everything with the left hand. The only thing that I kept doing with my right hand was the handwriting, as it was too demanding to change.
Now, after the treatment, Nikolai is able to hold his child who weighs 13 kg.
Nikolai was desperately looking for a solution, and he was meeting a great number of different doctors on a weekly basis. They could not give him any positive prognoses. The overall aim for the moment was to try to stabilize the situation. Exercise was something that doctors recommended to prevent this kind of disorder from getting worse. One of his physicians referred him to the Nordic Health physiotherapy clinic – a Helsinki-based center with DAVID devices. At the beginning of the therapy, strength and mobility tests were carried out and an individual program was created based on the results. During the first visit, the handgrip strength test couldn’t be done at all because Nikolai couldn’t hold the measurement tool. The focus of the treatment was to activate the muscles as much as possible taking into account the whole body.
The first improvements appeared after 3-4 months of regular visits to the Nordic Health when he started to actually feel the muscles activating. Upper body movements became easier to control and he was able to use the devices in a much more controlled manner. Nikolai has been persistent and almost never missed a visit to the clinic.
With DAVID devices a patient cannot trick the system. The software saves every single exercise, the weight that was used and speed which it was done with. It records the progress and knows everything how and what has been done.
The DAVID devices were helpful because they track your progress and cannot be tricked.
The tests show great improvement on several levels and he has been able to balance his strength levels a great deal.
Strength levels improved a lot besides in the upper body but also in the lower body. What he also gained was the control of the movement in upper body exercises.
Nikolai has been training at the Nordic Health clinic for one year now and a few months ago he began taking immune medication. The combination of medicine and exercises helped him to stabilize and even improve his health and has given him back an active life. Nikolai has shown what regaining the control of one’s body truly means.