Anil is a remarkable individual who has been living with cerebral palsy since birth. Despite his condition, he has always been determined to lead a fulfilling life and is now eager to share his story about attending NICE – Centre for Movement Disorders:

In February 2022 I was diagnosed with Cervical Myelopathy and therefore, on March the 15th that same year I underwent surgery at New Cross Hospital in Wolverhampton. The operation was a success and then I was discharged a week later and transferred to West Park Rehabilitation Hospital. However, I was left very disappointed as I did not receive regular physiotherapy sessions as I only received twenty minutes a day if I was lucky as that didn’t always happen. There was no physio on the weekends.

I also felt my Cerebral Palsy was not taken into consideration either and instead I felt that I was treated like an eighty year old by the physiotherapists in that they were not very encouraging and saying that this was as good as it is likely to get. They implied that it would be unsafe for me now to carry out my daily routines and tasks independently and from now onwards I would require the intervention and support of cares in my life and quite frankly I was extremely disappointed!

This is why that on my behalf my Mother contacted NICE – Centre for Movement Disorders in Birmingham. I then had a Zoom consultation in July for an hour with a Senior Conductor in where I demonstrated the range of movements I could complete.

The exercises included moving my legs up and down, kicking my legs forwards and lifting my arms up and down. I also mentioned that I do some standing and squats during the day using a Molift (Transferring Aid). The consultation went very well and I was extremely happy as the Conductor stated that they would be able to help me improve my mobility and more.

I joined a Conductive Education session on the 12th of September 2022 at their adult services. I attend a Cerebral Palsy group on a weekly basis every Monday for an hour and half session

The Conductor plans, structures and delivers the Conductive Education program and also teaches individuals how they can achieve their goals. The Conductor also guides and explains the group of muscles that should be used to complete each movement or exercise the correct way.

This knowledge and understanding has been very beneficial as due to my disability and difficulty my body has learned to compensate some movements. This has been by using my neck and shoulders which has unknowingly, over time impacted on my body having it to work twice as hard as normal. Which sadly I believe may have contributed in me having to undergo Cervical Myelopathy surgery.

The session includes a range of exercises lying down on the plinth from your head right down to your toes including rolling over and sitting up on the plinth. Every movement is spoken out in a rhythm in the form of a count from one to five which helps the individual to perform the movement faster. The plinth program also includes exercises to improve coordination, breathing and exercises to improve your vocals and range. I believe that the plinth program has benefited me as my muscles feel less tight and I feel that my control in legs have improved.

The most challenging exercise for me during the plinth program is crossing my leg over the other leg and vice versa. I also find it difficult to roll over and sit up from the lying down position however, I am confident that I will overcome these difficulties with practice.

After completing the exercise on the plinth we then do some seated work on a wooden chair which include moving your head up and down. Stepping forwards and then backwards with each leg and this exercise is difficult because I have to maintain my core strength at the same time. We then do some standing using parallel bars and I try my level best to straighten my legs as much as possible whilst maintaining my balance. It is difficult for me to straighten my legs which means I have less stamina which results in me getting tired quickly.

There is usually a short group activity planned as well for example throwing a ball to one another and catching it. Another activity I was involved in was cutting out pre-made Christmas decorations and then gluing them together. It was good fun and an opportunity to interact with all the participants in the group and in this instance improve my dexterity and fine movement skills.

We finish the amazing Conductive Education program by practicing walking to our wheelchairs and I use a Zimmer frame. I believe my walking has improved with the Zimmer frame in terms of being able to distribute my weight on both legs better.

Conductive Education at NICE is brilliant and a life changing concept of rehabilitation and I would highly recommend it!

The reason for my recommendation is that from just receiving my first session I noticed a difference in how relaxed my muscles were. I was also able to walk for the first time since 2004 from the plinth to my wheelchair with a Zimmer frame. Two Conductors supported me one on each side and I managed to do it without my knees collapsing and my parents and I were very proud! Also, since joining NICE I now believe I will have more of an optimistic future as I have become more independent.

Before signing off, I would like to say a huge thank you to all the Conductors, Students and Participants in the group for their encouragement and support!

Anil’s journey at NICE