Bertolotti Syndrome Exercises are exercises that use the symptoms associated with Bertolotti Syndrome to help patients improve their ataxia, dysarthria, dysphagia, and other symptoms associated with the disorder.
Most likely not something you’ve heard of before- but now it seems like it will become something you can do during your daily routine to help keep your balance better!
This article goes through some different ways in which people use these exercises daily.
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What is Bertolotti Syndrome?
Bertolotti syndrome is a genetic disorder that triggers cerebral palsy, spasticity, and ataxia symptoms.
It is caused by mutations in the FGF10 gene, also known as Jagged-1. Almost all cases are caused by mutations in this gene, resulting in at least 10 different mutations. Symptoms include:
- Dysarthria (problems with speech)
- Ataxia (loss of balance)
- Spasticity (stiffness and tightness of muscles)
According to Dr. James Stone, a geneticist, and dysarthria specialist, Bertolotti’s syndrome is a very rare genetic disorder.
It is among the most complex of all known genetic disorders in that it affects multiple systems of the body.
It has been verified to be caused by several mutations in the Jagged-1 gene, occurring in the neonatal period (birth to first six months).
Fewer than 10 cases have been documented.
Best 7 Bertolotti Syndrome Exercises
1. Balance Board Exercises
Sitting on a rounded balance board will help with leg strengthening and coordination.
How To Do Balance Board Exercises?
Step-1: Lie on your back with your legs up on the board and your arms at your side.
Step-2: Roll yourself backward until you can place your back against the balance board.
Step-3: Extend your arms in front of you while on the board and look to make sure they are straight.
Step-4: Keep these arms extended while the rest of your body is moving. When you feel balanced, start to move forward and backward slowly, with knees bent and arms outstretched.
Step-5: When you feel comfortable, start to move your legs up and down as you did in step-3.
2. Swimming and other water exercises
Water therapy for patients with ataxia can help build strength in the extremities, which helps to reduce the symptoms of spasticity.
Swimming is one of the best forms of exercise for people with ataxia, especially when accompanied by family or friends.
How To Do Swimming?
Step-1: Have your knees bend far enough to sit on the end of the pool.
Step-2: Gently place your arms under a soft pillow on the bottom of the pool and start treading water with them.
Step-3: With each stroke you make, try to make sure that your head stays above water for as long as possible, as well as your arms.
You can also try filling an inner tube with air and having someone hold it between your knees while you swim. This will help you keep your head above the water for longer periods.
Step-4: These exercises will focus mostly on your trunk muscles, so try to ensure that you are using them when you swim.
3. Standing Exercises
Stand up straight with feet shoulder-width apart and arms hanging limply at your sides.
How To Do Moving Left and Right?
Step-1: Lift both arms straight up in the air, with palms facing out. Move your left foot forward so that you are standing on it.
Step-2: Keep your feet even and start to wiggle them back and forth. This will recruit the leg muscles of your legs. Keep moving your left foot forward further towards your head when you feel comfortable enough with straight arms. This will exercise the muscles in your shoulders and chest.
Step-3: Move your right foot forward until you are back on your left foot. Make sure that you have kept the same amount of distance between your feet. You may want to press against the wall to ensure that you are not moving too close to it.
Step-4: Keeping arms and legs even, move them in one direction, then do the opposite without lifting your knees or changing directions.
4. Overhead Exercise
While standing, lift your arms over your head and stretch.
How To Do Overhead Exercise?
Step-1: Lift both arms straight up in the air, with palms facing out. Move your left foot forward so that you are standing on it. Keep your feet even and start to wiggle them back and forth.
This will recruit the leg muscles of your legs. Keep moving your left foot forward further towards your head when you feel comfortable enough with straight arms. This will exercise the muscles in your shoulders and chest.
Step-2: Move your right foot forward until you are back on your left foot. Make sure that you have kept the same amount of distance between your feet. You may want to press against the wall to ensure that you are not moving too close to it.
Step-3: Keeping arms and legs even, move them in one direction, then do the opposite without lifting your knees or changing directions.
5. Ball Juggling
This type of exercise can help with balance and coordination because it requires you to be very aware of your body as a whole. Also, ball juggling is a great way to get your body moving with no risk of injury.
How To Do Ball Juggling?
Step-1: Place a large beach ball on a flat surface. Keeping your feet shoulder-width apart, bend over and pick up the ball with both hands using an overhand grip.
Step-2: Holding the ball over your head, start walking slowly backward away from the wall until you are comfortably far away from any objects you may run into.
Make sure that you keep a good pace while walking and maintain control of your balance at all times.
Step-3: Keep walking backward with good control of your balance and position until you reach the wall.
Step-4: While still holding the ball over your head, press against the wall with one hand, then turn around and walk back to where you started.
Step-5: Repeat this process as many times as you feel comfortable with but try to challenge yourself every time to not become too comfortable in your exercise routine.
When doing squats, make sure to keep your knees drawing together, as it puts less pressure on your back.
How To Do Squats?
Step-1: Stand with your feet at shoulder width and hold a light dumbbell in each hand.
Step-2: Bring the weights up over your chest and down to the front of your thighs while keeping them out in front of you.
Step-3: Squat down until your thighs are parallel to the floor, then press back up.
Step-4: If you already possess good balance, you can hold the dumbbells by your sides.
7. Chair Step-Ups
This exercise is great for people with ataxia because it helps to improve leg strength and coordination. It also helps solidify how your legs should work when climbing stairs.
How To Do Chair Step-Ups?
Step-1: Stand on a chair and then push yourself up onto the seat with both feet.
Step-2: Keep your back straight, bending at the waist only to lift your arms above your head or back in a squat position.
Step-3: Slowly lower back down until your legs are very close together and repeat as many times as you can without tiring out.
The Bottom Line
Anyone can do all the exercises for strengthening muscles and coordination for people with ataxia.
You can try to do them by yourself, but it is a good idea to have someone along when you start out to help you adjust your form and pace until you feel comfortable enough to do it on your own.
Ultimately, it is very important to stretch and exercise all parts of your body to keep them healthy no matter what kind of disability you may have.