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Meningitis Now
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Has anyone been given exercises to help improve walking post meningitis?

I had BM in April this year. By July I was still having problems walking - balance and coordination- so I was referred to a specialist physio who helps people who have had strokes and other neuro difficulties. I am still on the waiting list and am getting a bit fed up as I would like to ditch the crutch. (But as I live on an island I just gave to wait as there is only 1 physio who can help) Has anyone been given any exercises that have helped? Thank you

16 Replies

hi i have been having physio of and on for 9 years and stll have to use crutches and a wheel chair My gp says i should not use crutches but a walking frame fat chance f me going out with thatI found hydrotherapy was good at strengthing muscles My physio does not think there is much more she can do for me but i keep pushing

I suggest to all keep trying you may not get where u want to be but it cant do any arm

good luck to all


Thank you.


Hi there...

I too had BM when I was 11/12 ...it left me paralysed for about 12 weeks and all sorts of long lasting effects...I am now 48... And still have a lot of after effects.

The biggest help I got was from a cranial osteopath called Stuart Korth in Tunbridge Wells in Kent. He was able to get me back walking and to help with my balance and co-ordination problems. I don't know where you live or how old you are...but it wold be well worth looking for a good cranial osteopath in your area...and also...I started rowing about 4 years ago...which is a brilliant all over body workout...and non-impact...and this has transformed my body. And this year I took on a challenge to row 2012 miles on a rowing machine which is nearly over (and I started on jan 1st) and yesterday I completed rowing my 2nd 100km (62 miles) in 8hrs.

So...there is hope for all of us...you just have to believe in what you can do.

Good luck



Thank you Darren - my husband has said that his rowing machine is all mine :). Thanks for the thought about cranial osteopthay - it is something I will look into but the options on a small island are limited.


Hi, I am a physio who has spent many years doing musculo-skeletal work both in hospital and privately. I would say most physios would be able to help with gait, of course there are specialist neuro physios but we are all taught the neurological system and developmental control for balance, walking etc. Please dont wait if you have access to a physio, I am sure they would be able to help you in some way, even if by giving some exercises to be getting on with and offering a bit of moral support to get you going on your road to recovery. Best of luck for you for the future.


sorry I just read above and I would entirely agree if you can afford it craniosacral physiotherapy or osteopathy would be good for you. There are several physios now who specialise in CST (cranio sacral therapy) you can check their website.


Thanks Canada. My GP said there was no point refering me to the ordindary physio but I will try and find out if there is a cranial osteotherapist (not sure if thats the right word) on the island.


When I was released from the hospital (6 months after the BM attack), I was shocked that my doctor said, "Don't get a walker...you'll become dependent on it." So instead, I shuffled along in a very slow gait. wearing plastic Baggies on my feet because I couldn't tolerate the pain of anything touching my feet. In 6 more months, I was forced to return to work (for income) and was finally able to tolerate white socks (dyes could cause an infection) and men's wide sandals. (I'm female). It was quite a sight but I knew I had to be "pretty" in order to receive promotions so I bit the bullit and worked hard, really hard, to hide my "imperfections". I'm convinced this determination to appear attractive at work helped GREATLY in my recovery! You know. the ol' "Grin & Bear It." This was a year after the attack & I still consider this determination the "greatest feat of my life."


Thank you ignoreit. Your story is amazing and puts me to shame for getting fed up with a crutch. I am just not used to 'taking life easy' and a crutch in my job (teaching autistc children part time) can be a pain, then again so is falling over! but you're right about getting on with we have. Thank you.


hi Brim

what i should have added was it it me when i was 48 so plus 9 i am old lol

as i said when i had it they told me the damage to my brain with the total earing loss i would not walk again

i got sick of my sons pushing my wheel chair and forced my self on to crutches and yes i do fall over a lot only 4 weeks ago i fell and broke 3 ribs but i will not go back in a chair

so keep up the good work all and best of luck

also happy xmas and have a reat new year and best of luck


Hi Blim,

Have doctors found the cause of your balance and coordination problems?I n my case it is damage to vestibular system - inner ears,eyes,brain and muscles -which is causing my 24/7 vertigo and inability to walk without crutches /wheelchair needed.I cant even stand up without the crutchesIt could be damage to one .or all of the parts but anything you can do to retrain /strengthen the individual parts of the balance system can only help..I suspect this is the case if they are sending you to a specialist neuro physio,but in meantime you can find a lot of excellent info online -just google vestibular rehabilitation exercises.I, like you, waited ages for vrt and in end the exercises I was given were the same as ones Id printed out myself.Only difference was you had some support and could give feedback on how they were going.

A physio would be good for strengthening the muscles and helping coordination.

If you cant find the exercises online,Id be happy to email you them as I am sure I have them somewhere.

One excellent one if motion vertigo is involved ie if you get dizzier watching movement is to watch a moving screensaver for up to a minute several times a day.This has definitely helped me and is the only one I continue as the rest gave me awful migraines and vomitting so I was told to stop,though only after persevering more than 6 months with a bucket nearby!

I was told that vestibular rehab should have helped me,but for some reason( I am mainly housebound with ME/unable to walk/exercise due to fatigue and pain) my brain has not compensated -coming up to 5 yrs since BM.But as Paul says, if you can force yourself to walk,do the vestibular training etc ,in the end it will help rewire your brain and it will make new connections.This is how people afetr strokes can be rehabilitated.

Hope this helps and just hang in there - you are in veryearly days after BM.


Thank you. I have only seen my gp since I got out of hospital and whilst they are lovely but not specialists so I have no idea why I have these difficulties. I have found some exercises online so will try them. My gp did suggest a wii fit which might help when I don't fall off the balance board! That has made me have a few fits of giggles which I think was better for me! Thanks again for your support.


Hello, I have had meningitis Bacterial 4 times in my life time and also unstand what yuo mean about walking and balance issues. Fortunately i survived the 4 cases , dispite the after effects . eg memory loss , hearing andf balance issues and also stuttering periodically., As for treatment for the balance issues I was encouraged to do swimming and also standing up and challenging balance eg standing on 1 leg , reaching down and picking up objects , etc. I had this at the physio for 8 weeks but to be honest the travelling to the hospital 30 mile round trip was too much hasstle,. I am able to walk but every day i seem to walk and can appear drunk as i stuble freaquenty, which can be embarrishing indeed l

I wish you well ...............

I Guess having had menincocal Bacterial Meningitis 4 times in my life I should be able to answer some of your concerns , Firstly its a Horrible illness and as yuo life threatenign to many , besides the horrendous potential effects .

The answer to the first question is yes you can catch it again, howver this is an over common illness, eventhough I recognise soem people are more susecptical to getting it again . Unfortunately I have had the illness 3 times in childhood and sadly again 2 years ago, ( I am now 51 ) . The cousation in my case is an immunity defficency and therfore i take life long penecillin to assist with not getting it again , however there are NO Guarantees my specialists tell me , hence the penecillin failed to stop another attack .

IN respect of the head aches I fully understand the pain and severity of the head pain when meningitis is full blow , its horrible )....... I still get on going head aches today and I take prescibed on going Co- codomal as required but in trueth this is not the solution as taking pain killers on going is not too Great ., hence i now only take as required. I also need to sleep more i find and some times have the need to go to bed early to rest the head due to head preasure and head aches ., so dont be afraid to take more rest . I guess Im lucky as i have also reduced my working hours as I get more tired ..

Im also aware this condition is life threatening and often leaves people will significant after effects, and whilst i was in and out of coma condition and almost lost my life i regard my self luck as I survived, and my thoughts are with those not so fortunate. In respect to the effects i suffer 2 year on are the ongoing head aches intermitant . and also significant memory loss , which can be embarrishing at times , besides frustrating indeed. Also Balance issues and also an annoying stutter at times , difficulty getting words out and also difficulty recalling words., and hearing problems .

I wish all those who have experienced the illness the best recovery possible and those who have a friend or family member with the condition I would ask you to have some HOPE, as having survived 4 attacks it is possible to survive against the odds .

God Bless and feel comfortable to email me a reply or a PM if yuo wish to discuss or gain some reasurence



Thank you for your reply. My children think I walk like a drunk Thunderbird at times which makes me smile - better than crying! I have not felt confident about going swimming but I might give it a try over the holiday with the children.


I recently went swimming for the first time since getting BM. It was fun and a good workout to. I can only dog paddle. But I alternated between dog paddle and floating on my back and doing the chicken-airplane-soldier movement with my arms and kicking with the full length of my legs. I hope this makes sense.

Also holding onto the edge and walking around the edge of the pool would help strengthen your legs and side to side balance. I only did all this in a 5 ft deep pool; about 1.5 meters.

Anyways any movement you can do in the pool would help strengthen your body. Good luck! !


A stationary bike helped me the most if used daily, especially

if you are able to walk some.


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