sig: PHYSIOTHERAPY: GOING OFFBEAT Gym touts way to heal spinal cord injuries
2:00 PM, Jun. 5, 2011

RIVERDALE — Franklin Crespo, a quadriplegic, was strapped to a harness as trainers moved his feet on a treadmill to simulate running, even though he hasn’t walked in seven years while his legs withered.

He’s one of about 30 clients who exercise regularly at Push to Walk, a non-profit gym for people with spinal cord injuries based on a similar program in California. The operators say they help people work on areas traditional physical therapy sometimes ignores, muscles in areas where people have no feeling, limbs that are no longer being used.

“We focus on the whole body,” said Cynthia Templeton, whose family founded the gym. “Every one of our clients has had gains in strength. Some have been able to stand independently. Some have been able to take a few steps.”