Spinal Cord Recovery Program – Whole Body Vibration Therapy

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As part of our spinal cord recovery program here at Walk It Off, we encourage our clients to get active and out of their chairs during their workout sessions. One of the components of a workout session is getting the clients standing with a trainer.  We are able to offer our clients the option to use vibrational therapy by way of the Vibe Plate during this standing session. Standing offers many health benefits to individuals with spinal cord injuries, some of which include increasing bone mass density, bowel and bladder function. The Vibe Plate uses Whole Body Vibration (WBV) technology, which offers additional health benefits to the individual standing on the equipment. It has been suggested that using the Vibe Plate for 10 minutes, three times a week will result in improved range of motion and flexibility, increased blood circulation and muscle strength, and increased bone density to help fight osteoporosis.

Due to the nature of the injury, most individuals with spinal cord injuries use wheelchairs to perform their daily activities. Constantly being in a sitting position takes the load bearing out of the lower extremity, increasing the rate that calcium leaves the bones of those lower extremities, therefore increasing the risk of osteoporosis. Evidence from multiple studies has shown that the use of WBV is an effective intervention to maintain and even improve bone mass density. The vibrations felt during the Vibe Plate sessions imitate the mechanical strains on the bone that occur during physical activity. The use of the Vibe Plate can induce osteogenesis (making new bone) and bone remodeling; increased healthy bone mass density is the result.

Vibration technology has been suggested to contract and relax the targeted muscles due to the influence on excitatory and inhibitory reflexes in the spinal cord. Given that, using the Vibe Plate may lead to reduced muscle spasticity during the time spent standing and for a short time after the standing session. For individuals who have spasticity that affects their daily living and mobility, the Vibe Plate may provide temporary relief.

WBV training has been shown to increase postural control by stimulation of the proprioceptive pathways (body position awareness) and strengthening of the postural muscles. In addition to increasing postural control, use of the Vibe Plate may aid in increasing balance through activation and strengthening of those postural muscles.

Studies looking at the benefits of WBV have reported that use of equipment such as the Vibe Plate increase blood circulation. The use of WBV in individuals with spinal cord injuries has been specifically noted to increase the circulation and blood flow in the legs. At Walk It Off, we have found that WBV also helps to increase blood pressure to lengthen the standing sessions.

Technology such as the Vibe Plate has become a common tool found in athletic training and sport performance to give athletes a competitive edge. The Vibe Plate is incorporated into workouts to increase the effectiveness of strength training because the transmission of vibration during the exercise stimulates the fast twitch muscle fibers- increasing explosive strength, motor learning and muscular endurance. As a testament to the effectiveness of the Vibe Plate, the 2013 Super Bowl Champions, the Seattle Seahawks use the Vibe Plate during their team workouts!

We welcome your feedback! Need more information about our program? Please feel free to contact us. You can reach us by email or telephone or leave a comment right here on the site.

Until next time,

Heather

Functional Electrical Stimulation (FES) for those with Spinal Cord Injury

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Hello there! My name is Talal and I am a trainer at Walk It Off Spinal Cord Recovery and Wellness Centre in Newmarket.  I would like to share information regarding one of the training modalities we use with our spinal cord injury clients called Functional Electrical Stimulation (FES).

After a spinal cord injury, many individuals will have weaker muscles or muscles that can only be activated through external stimulation. We use two techniques to stimulate contraction: Nervous System Activation Technique (NSAT-discussed in our previous blog) and Electrical Muscle Stimulation (EMS). EMS is a modality that is used by placing electrodes over the skin of a targeted muscle group and then a current is passed through to generate muscle contractions.

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Nervous System Activation Technique (NSAT) for Spinal Cord Injuries

NSATHi, I’m Ashley, one of the SCI Recovery Trainers at Walk It Off. We use a variety of equipment and exercise techniques that provide a wide range of health benefits to our Spinal Cord Injury (SCI) clients. One method that makes the Walk It Off experience unique is Nervous System Activation Technique (NSAT).

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2 New Trainers Welcomed to the Walk it Off Team

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Spring marks growth and new beginnings at Walk it Off Spinal Cord Recovery and Wellness Centre as we announce the addition of two new Spinal Cord Injury (SCI) Recovery Trainers to our team; Talal Chaudhry and Ashley Richardson.

Talal is a recent graduate of the Kinesiology and Health Science program at Brock University. Talal brings clinical experience working with SCIs. As part of his studies, he worked in the Power Cord Exercise Program lab at the Brock-Niagara Centre for Health and Wellbeing. The goal of the Power Cord program is to promote healthy living through exercise for those living with SCIs. Talal is a devoted rugby fan who served as an Athletic Trainer for the Brock Badgers rugby team. In his spare time, he acts as a referee for the Ontario Rugby Union.

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4th Annual 5K Run-Walk-&-Roll for Spinal Cord Injury Recovery

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Walk If Off will be holding our 4th Annual 5K Run-Walk-&-Roll for Spinal Cord Injury Recovery on Saturday, May 31, 2014 in Newmarket, Ontario. This is a chip-timed event for all who want to race. Walkers and Rollers can come out and get some exercise for a good cause (strollers and leashed pets are welcome). Walk It Off asks for pledge collection from our participants to help our cause but we also offer the option for participants to collect pledges for specific Walk It off clients. One hundred percent of Pledge collections for Walk It Off clients go directly on credit to that individual’s account at Walk It Off.

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Walk It Off Spinal Cord Wellness Centre Celebrates 2 Years!

Walk it Off Spinal Cord Recovery CentreWalk It Off (WIO) fundraised for 1-1/2 years to reach the goal of $30,000 to officially open the doors to the facility. Since that date, we look back on the accomplishments of our organization and our clients as we celebrate 2 years of operation.

January 21, 2012 was the grand opening of Walk It Off Spinal Cord Wellness Centre Inc. and the start of reaching milestones.

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WIO – December Donations Discount Member Program Fees

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We all look for a way to give this time of year. What better present than the gift of health in the form of donation? Walk If Off would love your generosity to assist with our Members’ Recovery Programs. For the month of December, all donations will be directed to discount our members’ program fees. Please give generously and be a part of Spinal Cord Injury Recovery.

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Importance of Standing for Those with Spinal Cord Injuries (SCIs)

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In a previous post we talked about the importance of standing for those who have decreased mobility. We talked about the benefits standing has on preventing and slowing the process and osteoporosis and joint contractures (joint immobility).

At Walk It Off, our entire program is out of the wheelchair.  We incorporate not only standing in a session but other weight bearing activities with the body in various planes. The attraction to our facility is not just about the equipment we use for standing, but the one-on-one personal attention that our program calls for. We get EVERYONE up on his or her feet!

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Decreased Bone Mineral Density & Joint Contractures for Those with SCIs

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In our last blog post, we talked about the potential complications of immobility for those with spinal cord injuries (SCIs).  In this blog post, we’ll elaborate on issues such as decreased bone mineral density (BMD) and the potential for joint contractures (joint immobility).

Bone Mineral Density

In a healthy individual, the body goes through a cycle of reabsorbing minerals from the bones to use (or in a sense, borrow) for other bodily functions and processes to keep the body in homeostasis (regulating properly). The body then replaces the minerals, adding them back to the bone. At about the age of 30, bone density starts to slowly decrease, as the body reabsorbs the minerals faster than it can be replaced in the bone. There are other factors that may speed bone density loss, such as:

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Standing Tall Even With a Spinal Cord Injury (SCI)

standingIt’s Summer…You pack your bags for the weekend, pile your family into the car and head up north to the cottage or beach. When you reach your destination two or three hours later, getting out of the car and standing up tall, stretching and taking that deep cleansing breath, is an instant relief.  It’s innate in all of us to stand, even after a Spinal Cord Injury (SCI). Imagine not having the ability to stand and losing your mobility and the possible complications to your health from your disability.

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