Submitted by Cathy Cuff-Coffman

March is the fourth anniversary of my SCI. Here are some tried and true supplies, equipment, and threads that I swear by….

For the New Year, one of my promises was to examine my home-based programs. I wanted to assess what I owned, what (if anything) I needed, and what I might be spending too much money on without getting any benefit.

First up is my “regular diet” of necessary meds. I take the usual cocktail of baclofen and gabapentin, sometimes with a “twist” of Valium if my tone is through the roof. Additionally, I take other meds for a variety of conditions. I won’t list them here, but if you are curious if we are on similar “cocktails,” email me at and we can talk privately.


*Please consult with your doctor, or medical professional, as I did, before adding any supplements to your daily regimen.

I use Life Extension exclusively for my supplements. Not only are they highly rated, but their products are “what they are.” And if they don’t work for you, they have a generous return policy.

Here’s a photo of some of the supplements I take.

Extend-Release Magnesium

FLORASSIST® Probiotic GI with Phage Technology

N-Acetyl-L-Cysteine (NAC)

Super Omega-3 EPA/DHA Fish Oil, Sesame Lignans & Olive Extract

Vitamin D3

Bone Restore w/ Vitamin K2

Two-a-Day Multi Vitamin

These all get a discount for first-time buyers and can be set up on auto-ship for an additional discount. Please don’t make the mistake I made and set up everything for a month! Some of the supplements have two- or three-month supplies. I was able to correct that.

Assistive and Workout Products

Veick Resistance Bands

These are affordable, and with a chair and a dresser high enough to hold onto, I can do so many exercises. Right now, I’m dealing with something in my lower body that has truncated my PT and robbed my right side–arm, hand, leg, and foot–of any strength and replaced it with extreme spasticity.

After a month of stretching, I’m ready to try the bands at 10 lbs.

And, for extra stability and ease, my husband found the studs in my bedroom wall and inserted two heavy-duty eyehooks. I can “clip and go.”

Yoga Mat

This is Amazon basics. It’s less expensive than the other mats, but it’s non-slip and ½-inch thick. I’ve had mine for four years, and it’s still performing well, even when I’m not.

Adjustable Yoga Step

This step is adjustable and must for tight calf stretches, step ups-and-downs, and other exercises requiring a platform. I start with the lowest level, and as I get better, I add height. Trust me, I’m back at the lowest level, but I’m thankful I bought a step that works with me.

Stretching Strap

With several loops between the bottom and the top, straps like these fit everyone. I use mine to stretch my hips by putting my foot at the bottom. Lately, because of my degraded condition, I use the strap by putting my foot in the second loop and using the strap to bend my leg through spasms and to get myself into bed.

One caveat about using the strap for bed: Make sure you remove it for those midnight bathroom breaks, or you’ll find yourself tripping the “un.” Light is fantastic!

Slant Boards/Foam Calf Stretcher

Every morning, every night, without my AFO (ankle-foot orthotic). Another quick stretching tool, and with three pieces, adjustable for comfort.

Foam Balance Pads

Get the two-pack! I stand on these when sorting pills and combing my hair. Later, when I get stronger, I’ll do exercises on them for balance.

360 Degree Rotation Anti-Slip Wooden Balance Board

The “Holy Grail” of balance. I only used mine a few times before my current problem took over. This is one I can’t wait to revisit.

Light Hand Weights

I’m showing my one-pound set, but I also have the two- to five-pound sets. The set I’m referencing is excellent for gripping, strengthening wrists, and doing regular arm workouts.

I’ll be honest, I was a workout aficionado, hitting the Snap Fitness Gym at 5:30 am several mornings a week before work. Buying these “baby food” weights momentarily hit my “workout ego,” but then I realized what my surgeon said, “You’re my 1%-er. Only one percent of the people with your injury even get to walk.” Another friend sent me a patch, “1%.” That momentary ego hit melted away like ice in hot water. I’m proud of and thankful for my weights.

Hand Workout Items

Special Supplies Physical Therapy Putty and Hand Exerciser Kit

I used everything in this kit in outpatient physical therapy, so I was familiar with the routine.

If you’re not, the Amazon site offers “USER MANUAL AVAILABLE- Scroll Down To Product Details And Under “Product Guides And Documents” There’s A Full User-Friendly Product Manual Available For Download.”

Ezencon Hand Massager with Heat, Rechargeable Finger Massager

My right hand is like a ball. I wear a straight brace every night and found this hand massager on my own. I’ve had it for two years. It’s hard to get my fingers unfurled and in the right slots, but it’s worth it once you succeed. It can go on either hand and has heat and feels like acupuncture, massage, and a heating blanket rolled into one.

Whew! I realize that’s an extensive list, but what I’ve used to date has helped.

If you have anything to add, send it our way at

Happy Health to you!

“Almost four years ‘in’ with a C3-7 and L4-6 incomplete. Accepting the past, living today with joy and gratitude, and basing my future on living as the best person I an be.”