Spinal Cord Injury
Individuals with spinal cord injuries (SCI) face a number of barriers that prevent successful and effective exercise. At the core of the problem is a lack of understanding and appreciation for the unique exercise requirements and challenges faced by individuals with spinal cord injury. The overall objective of Spinal Cord Injury Exercise Research is to help people with SCI to engage in safe and effective exercise programs.
Currently, the participants in our project are helping us to study the use of standing frames (EZ Glide 5000), hand cycles (Active Passive Trainer and Vita Glide), leg cycles, and adapted weight training devices such as the Bowflex Versatrainer and the Uppertone. In addition, some participants undergo body weight supported treadmill training (see this video link). This form of gait training that has been shown to be effective in improving locomotor recovery following complete and incomplete spinal cord injury. The participants work out with the help of SCIER student fellows who have been specially-trained to perform the exercises and use the equipment. At the end of the project, participants give us feedback about the exercise equipment and how to increase their motivation to exercise so that we can develop new devices that will facilitate exercises for individuals with SCI. This feedback will be reported to the manufacturers of these devices so that hopefully, they will consider improving their exercise equipment so that it is safer and more effective for the SCI user.
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