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Innovative Technology Allows Paralyzed to ‘Step and Stand’

Published: January 5, 2012  |  Source: coreflorida.com

Longwood, FL – The music plays an upbeat song in the background that is almost in rhythm with the gliding motion of the latest in functional electrical stimulation (FES) technology. Dana Guest, a client at the Center Of Recovery & Exercise (CORE), is breathing heavy as she moves past the six mile mark, but smiling.

“I love the way it makes me feel. My heart is pounding and I’m even sweating a little! It’s the closest I’ve been to running in 11 years,” said Guest, who sustained a spinal cord injury resulting in paralysis in a motor vehicle accident in 2000.

Most people familiar with FES are used to seeing the therapy delivered via a cycle with users pedaling through their sessions. However, utilizing a special harness and lift, the new RT600 Step and Stand System from Restorative Therapies is the first to allow users to receive the benefits of this critical therapy while upright. The elliptical-like rehabilitative equipment delivers electrical currents to stimulate nerves and activate ten muscle groups to evoke a stepping and standing pattern.

“We are able to provide our clients, who have a range of neurological conditions, with the ultimate trifecta: load bearing exercise, functional electrical stimulation and locomotor gait training all at the same time,” said Malerie Murphy, Senior Exercise Physiologist at CORE. “Our clients are increasing their strength and endurance, and we’re seeing positive changes in other areas of their neurorecovery programs.”

And, research agrees. Numerous studies show the benefits of FES include increased muscle mass and improved cardiopulmonary function. There are studies that also link FES to a reduced frequency of pressure sores, improved bowel and bladder function and decreased incidence of urinary tract infections.

“I refuse to just sit around and watch my body deteriorate,” said Guest. “Until science delivers the cure for paralysis, the best options available for my recovery are utilizing the FES technology and participating in an activity based exercise program, like at CORE.”

For more information on the RT 600 Step and Stand System or the CORE program, please visit www.coreflorida.com or call 321-418-3050.

About CORE: Located in the Greater Orlando area, the Center Of Recovery & Exercise provides an activity based neurorecovery program to optimize the function, health, and independence for clients with spinal cord injuries and related disorders. The CORE program utilizes exercise science fundamentals in combination with state-of-the-art rehabilitative equipment and highly skilled trainers in a safe, supportive, goal oriented environment.

Submitted by: Dana Guest – The Injury Co-op

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