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Treadmill Training for SCI

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  • Treadmill Training for SCI

    Is treadmill training helpful for spinal cord injury?

    I am paraplegic. But i have never done that kind of training before in the physio centers locally.

    There are a lot of videos on youtube showing this.

    Some people are in water tank.

    But i think the above guy can walk

    The following one needs assistance of two men, himself hung

    Who has gained apparent improvement after doing treadmill training?

  • #2
    The emphasis is on incomplete. I have witnessed remarkable physio work done on this type of injury, as much as to say that one lady, at the beginning of her rehab was in a wheel chair full time; after therapy she walked out of the ward. It took a while, but came. The important point was that she had enough motor-sensory equipment to build on. I am skeptical about the ability of anyone benefiting from this who cannot, with help, at the outset "paddle" their legs on parallel bars.
    2010 SCINet Clinical Trial Support Squad Member
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    • #3

      Like mentioned above, there are lots of stories and cases where people have gained significant improvement from locomat or treadmill therapy. Also, as mentioned already, therapy programs usually require some motor function in legs before deeming a candidate worthy of this therapy. I think it also says alot that quite a few (if not most) serious clinicals focused on a "cure" include treadmill therapy to one extent or another.


      • #4
        Depending on your level and severity of injury, it can be very helpful. I was an incomplete injury at T4. I took part in a clinical trial that last 4 months, it started about 9 months post injury. When I started, I was only able to walk short distance, maybe 300-400 feet at a time, with two canes, or wrist crutches and very unstable. When I finished I was able to walk with one cane and much more stable. I think if you have some level of function there is huge benefit to come from it.


        • #5
          Long before the Treadmill........

          It might be worth mentioning that also a powered cycle machine might be a good early start prior to a treadmill. My injury involved 3 separate levels leaving one leg without ANY power. Physio were reluctant to start therapy during the first few weeks. With some pressure they brought me cycling exercise machine, the reclined type and with some assistance I could get onto it. The machine would drive my legs essentially in the powered mode.

          However, I discovered that once the motion had commenced and with only my bad leg on the pedal, I could switch the power off and my leg would pedal automatically producing about 3 watts. During this motion, no intentional signal was made by me to cycle. The machine was not defective. Pedalling would continuefor perhaps 15 minutes. It was as though an autonomic response existed below the injury. It was quite bizarre. I could not increase the rate of pedalling intentionally during my stay in hospital. Several physios told me not to expect to walk again or gain recovery from the leg. Anyway, I am walking now on good floors perhaps a couple of Km at a time.

          I do feel that that this phonomenon was not produced by my intention to pedal and is of significance and worthy of scientific investigation.


          • #6
            We use treadmill training at our facility with all levels- complete or incomplete. Treadmill training can be beneficial in multiple ways. We believe in neuroplasticity meaning that the brain is capable of relearning movement patterns so by doing repetitive motion on a treadmill we hope to reteach the motor system the basic gait pattern. But besides just walking doing treadmill training helps prevent osteoporosis because you are bearing weight through your legs, increases blood circulation, can help decrease edema (swelling in the legs), and all these factors help prevent skin breakdown. A lot of our clients get a positive mental/emotional reaction to it as well.


            • #7
              Does the fact that it is 8 years post injury have an effect on the process