Adam Dzialo

Adam Dzialo
Our son, Adam Dzialo, age 30

Monday, July 11, 2011

Adam's Back, Eggs and Super-Soft Balls...

       The biomechanical changes in the body of a spastic young man (Adam, in this case) resulting from many hours of daily ABR (Advanced Biomechanical Rehabilitation) are never simply linear and even.  Changes happen from the top (head) and cascade throughout the body.  At times, as parts of the myofascial membranes and supported structures normalize, other areas demonstrate their inherent weakness from the original collapse caused by the brain insult, either acquired or present from birth.  As we know, underneath all spasticity is weakness.  The "getting better" part of the process is neither smooth nor linear.  Transitions arise and changes in ABR protocols are necessitated.  ABR produces releases in the myofascial layers which reveal further weakness which must be strengthened.

Our present ABR project: differentiation of
sacrum and illiacs; mobility in sacroilliac
triangle to prevent pelvic tilt when
      We have now resolved the issues concerning excessive mucous production because of releases in the thorax and increased lung function. And we have fairly effectively removed restrictions in Adam's vertebral column through the mid thoracic area.  Prior to ABR his shoulder blades were rotated high into the clavicular areas and there was little differentiation between upper thoracic and cervical vertebrae.  These areas have greatly improved and alligned.  On the heels of this positive progress, we are now confronted with Adam's inability to sit in his chair for periods of more than an hour without discomfort.  Now, we need to confront the rigidity and lack of differentiation of the sacrum, illiacs and lower veterbral column.  This rigidity causes pain when loads on the column come from below and cause the pelvis to tilt.  Now begins the process of ungluing these structures from each other and strengthening the lower end of the vertebral column.

The EGG...actually we use the orange very soft
version by eggserciser and the red soft by theraband.
         After a video consult with Leonid, we are using the new "egg" rolling technique along the illiacs and the sacrum while Adam is prone so as to release the rigidity which produces the pelvic tilt when seated.  Also, we are using the egg to roll from along the hip bone to the pubic bone to strengthen the lower abdominal wall now that previous exercises have produced needed space.  Parents need to be trained to use this new tool and, most importantly, the necessary targets will be prescribed for them based on each child's physical challenges.
Since ABR, the rib cage evened out, abdomen strengthened
and expanded, shoulders moved to proper position and intercostal
spaces greatly expanded.
         After several weeks of the new protocols, we are noticing more changes in the sacro-illiac triangle and a greater division between the lower rib cage and pelvis on the right side of his body.  All good things!   Our belief in the success of ABR maintains our determination and we do the techniques daily for 3-5 hours and use the machine in the evenings for about 10 hours a night.  While Adam's body is not a pretty sight, it is getting prettier and more comfortable.

Note the finger pointing to the increased division between the lower portion of the rib cage and pelvic area.  For many years these structures overlapped and ABR has allowed for differentiation and production of space which will allow the hip bone to move into its rightful space in the abdominal wall.  No, by the way, Adam doesn't have two navels.  The upper one is the old g-tube stoma which held the mic-key that Drs. Phil and Sharon removed and got the old boy eating via mouth.

Again, ABR is a singularly effective therapy to normalize structures which collapsed as a result of brain's a parent intensive long haul, but changes develop along a predictable, yet non-linear, uneven path.  Nothing is simple in the world of severe disability.

Prior to ABR, you could not differentiate scapula nor
any of the cervical or thoracic they are visible and
aligned.  Next project:  mid thoracic to sacrum straightening and
strengthening.  We're getting there!


  1. Keep up the good work, what else is there to say?

  2. Amazing! I love the new ball and egg techniques! They make sense to me, the egg can really get into thoses small hard to reach areas and stay put. The ball is great for larger areas and it looks like you must have better control.

    When working with the rolls with foam, I would feel a good pump but they would come loose and used to move all over the place. I know they were working, as I have seen it with my own eyes.

    These new tools just seem like they target specific areas much better which I believe will produce quicker results. Adam is proof, you guys are amazing!

  3. My son Royce has severe spastic quadriplegia . He's nearly 20. He was born this way. I have just started reading your blog which is very interesting and relevant to me. Your son Adam is very inspiring.

  4. Eric: Well, we're both keeping up the good work..that really does say it all!

    Lisa: Agreed that the egg-rolling is both easier on the olde bodies and more focused. In the past three weeks we have seen clearer and quicker changes in Adam's lumbar and sacral areas. Also, after ABR, squeezing the olde eggs is great for out arthritic hands...a side benefit! Warmest wishes to the Dennison clan!

    mhk: Welcome to Adam's blog...pleasure to have you join us on our journey. I hope in the future you'll be able to share some of your journey with's quite a minority that we constitute in this world.

  5. I am humbled by the complexity of this and the effort it must take to carry it out.

  6. Phil,
    I am amazed at how well you and Sharon are doing in caring for Adam.

    I finally had a little time last night to read some of Sharon's book. I have only gotten to the part where Adam got his smile back so far, but Sharon does an excellent job of telling the story.

    Your ICU experience brought back memories as I worked in the ICU when I finished nursing school. I remember telling families that there was no way to know for sure what their loved ones could hear, so they should talk to them. I also remember doctors and some other members of the staff who got upset with me for allowing the daughters of a woman who had been severely beaten to stay in the room with her all night.

    I am glad Sharon spoke up at every turn and that Terri entered Adam's and your lives. Your story is inspiring!

  7. Sue: Thanks for the kind words and affirmation...we keep working on Adam as much as possible in as many ways as possible. Glad you are enjoying Sharon's book. She just finished "Delightfully Different" and loved it, I now can begin reading it and am looking forward to it. BTW, Terri is now in your "neighborhood"...Kauai, although we are in touch weekly. Warm regards...

  8. Phil,
    I will try to e-mail you in the next couple of days. I finished Sharon's book and I loved it! I would love to meet Terri sometime. I'll share more of our story when I e-mail you.

  9. That's brill, Oatie loves the Eggs, he calls them his "Eggies". That is so great you have seen the improvement with the eggs :)

    Which colours did you go for in the end? I went for all but the extra firm.




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