Below is a list of some of the state-of-the-art equipment Project Walk employs in our Spinal Cord Injury recovery programs. Each of these items were specially designed to treat spinal cord injuries or they have been adapted by our SCI Specialists to serve the unique needs of our clients.
Robomedica, Inc.’s electronically controlled pneumatic body weight support system allows modulation of the ground reaction forces and permits more normal center of mass movement during body weight supported stepping. Research done over the past twenty years indicates that normal neuromuscular activity and sensory input to the central nervous system is important in retraining stepping after neurologic injuries. Robomedica, Inc.’s system is the only system that:
Passive Gait Trainer #1
Passive Gait Trainer #1 at Project Walk was designed through a collaboration between Eric Harness (Co-Founder/Director of Research and Development) and an engineer and is ideal for T-level injuries or taller clients who have a long stride length. This gait trainer performs nearly the same job as the Robomedica but without the same consistent ground reaction force. The passive gait trainer produces a movement that mimics the natural gait pattern in an upright position and is a necessity for the numerous repetitions the body needs while progressing through the phases of recovery.
Passive Gait Trainer #2
Passive Gait Trainer #2 at Project Walk is ideal for C-level injuries because it assists with the arm swing that should take place while the client works on his/her gait. It also has a shorter stride length for our smaller clients.
Keiser® Power Rack
The Power Rack works by incorporating pneumatic strength columns, which can be attached to an weight bar, allowing Keiser’s patented air technology to be used solely, or in combination with, free weights. This versatility allows for a wide spectrum of training, enhancing power and stability for any user. Project Walk uses the Keiser Power Rack to assist clients in load bearing exercises. Similar to the body weight supported treadmill training done with the Robomedica, the Power Rack allows Specialists to control how much weight a client loads into their feet while completing various exercises. Project Walk would like to thank Global Cash Card who donated the Keiser Power Rack on behalf of Anthony Purcell.
Functional Electrical Stimulation is a method of applying low level electrical currents to the body to restore or improve function. FES applied near the muscle or nerve can substitute artificial electrical signals for the missing normal motor signals. The artificial impulses make the muscle contract. In the case of the FES Bike, FES is used to stimulate patterned movement of the legs (cycling). This has been shown to do the following:
Project Walk has three RT-300 FES bikes. Two of the RT-300 bikes are equipped with foot pedals for lower body stimulation and one is also equipped with the electrical stimulation arm cycle.
For more information visit: www.restorative-therapies.com
The PowerPlate is a unique device which vibrates in 3 planes: up/down, front/back, and side/side. The exact effects this has on the body are currently still under study. What is known is that it lowers the excitation threshold of reflexes and it helps potentiate the stretch reflex. It also makes demands on the neuromuscular system via the muscle spindle and golgi tendon organ to attenuate the vibration and to maintain balance. The PowerPlate has an additional effect on motor learning by causing recruitment of inactive motor units.
The Total Gym is one of the very few pieces of equipment that can be used in all five phases of recovery. While clients are on the Total Gym they receive the benefits of active load bearing on the body while using a closed chain platform. The Total Gym allows clients to perform exercises in a very safe environment that the Specialist can regulate. The benefits of using the Total Gym for load bearing exercise include joint stability, increased muscle size and strength, increased sensory feelings, increased balance and coordination, and may help increase bone density.
Evolve® Standing Frames
Project Walk has three standing frames available to their clients which may be used during their workouts or in their free time. Passive standing has been demonstrated to prevent, reverse, or improve many of the adverse effects of prolonged immobilization.
The most widely accepted medical benefits of standing include:
Other specific reasons that people stand include:
Deep Muscle Stimulator®
The D.M.S provides deep muscle tissue with kinetic forms of percussion and concussion vibration, which may facilitate:
Horizontal Versa Climber®
The Horizontal Versa Climber® was created at Project Walk and is a great tool for clients because it allows clients to perform a cross crawl motion through a full range of motion. This motion may benefit clients by increasing coordination, cardiovascular endurance, range of motion and gait efficiency. In most instances clients will use this piece of equipment as a precursor to the traditional Versa Climber®.
Redcord is a unique and effective concept for functional training. Carefully designed training using body weight and slings is at the core of the concept. The Redord allows the Specialist to unweight specific body parts which may help with better voluntary control of the muscles.
The Pilates Reformer can be adapted in many different ways to increase the demand of gravity and load bearing into the axial skeleton for clients who are unable to stand or perform upright gait training activities. For clients who are in phases IV and V of the Dardzinski Method, the Pilates Reformer can be used in a variety of dynamic movements that require strength and coordination of both the lower and upper extremities.
Spin bikes are used on a daily basis at Project Walk because they allow for repetition of a movement similar to that of the gait pattern. The more time on the bike; the more stimulation there is for reorganization of the nervous system. While clients are on a spin bike they utilize hip flexion and extension as well as knee flexion and extension.
The combo twist can be used with both C-Level and T-Level clients who have joint stability. The most important benefit from using the combo twist is the rotation the machine creates in the thoracic and lumbar regions of the spine. Rotation can help stimulate the back muscles and the muscles of the pelvis.