Valentin Dikul

Valentin Dikul wanted to work in the circus.

Soon he began to ask about small orders, and later he learned all the skills of acrobatics, weightlifting and aerial gymnastics. In 1962, during a speech in a tragic set of circumstances (snapped steel crossbar),he collapsed with a 13 meter height with equipment and insurance, not having had time to regroup. In the fall he received a severe concomitant injuries (compression fracture of the spine, traumatic brain injury and 10 local fractures). Three months it took to get out of a difficult condition and then to the fore the consequences of a spinal fracture — a complete paralysis of the lower extremities with loss of sensation below the waist. Conventional medicine gave a clear forecast for the future is to spend the rest of his life in a wheelchair.

And in the hospital started doing the exercises that were selected intuitively, not knowing the anatomy or physiotherapy. Only in the sixth year of intense training on his own, empirically-chosen, exercise program appeared pain sensitivity, and therefore a real opportunity to regain movement in his legs.

Exhausting physical exercise, not only regained movement in his legs and a full life, but also made him a very strong man and in 1970 he began to act as strongmen. His room with balls of 45 kg or tossing weights 80 kg are still unique. Strength exercises Dikul even appeared in the Guinness book of records.

But the greatest contribution Dikul introduced into medicine his unique method for the rehabilitation of patients with consequences of spinal cord injury.

The rumor that Dikul was able to overcome the disease and restore movement in the limbs, went among the people and he attracted patients with similar problems from all over the country and beyond. The first time official medicine categorically did not perceive his approach to the treatment of severe spinal patients, and he had to accept patients illegally, right in the circus. In 1988 was appointed Director of the all-Union center for the rehabilitation of patients with consequences of spinal injury and cerebral palsy.

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Nikita Chizhov