As many on this forum are considering places like Project Walk (www.projectwalk.org) and realize the benefits and potential of exercise based (induced) recovery the reality is that many can't make the pilgrimmage for a variety of reasons.

That being said, what can we do to copy or replicate some of the already successful programs, clinics, etc.?

Having given this a lot of thought this is what I've come up with.

I see a need for strength training of the entire body. I also see a need for balance and stabilization training as well as coordination. And lastly I see a need for a gait training apparatus to help with patterning.

To tackle the strength training issue (different for quads vs. paras) I need to work on my upper body as well as my lower body. A couple of ways / suggestions to accomplish this - at least for upperbody. A) join a local gym and figure it out as you go, maybe with the help of a personal trainer. B) Weights and equipment in your home. There are too many options to mention but you can aquire it at garage sales, fitness stores, internet, classifieds, infomercials etc. C) Specific equipment such as an Uppertone for quads (insurance reimbursement is possible) available at www.gpk.com

Lower body. Much trickier for strength training. A) The obvious choice and ultimate piece of equipment is an FES bike available through www.electrologic.com Being as expensive as it is maybe searching for a local clinic or hospital who may have one might be more cost effective. B) Personal training with weights / gym equipment. Load bearing (muscle, not joint) exercise with assistance. C) Pool therapy. Again with assistance.

Balance, stabilization, etc.. A)I use floor exercises on a www.bosu.com which include trunk control, abdominal strengthening / use. Also back extensions, bridging, side to side motion, etc. B) Hire a personal trainer to help teach you with what you have available. C) Join the gym and hire a trainer until you learn what you can do on your own.

Gait training, patterning. This is very individual. (Members like Debbie7 have done an awesome job in creating their own systems. Read her thread.) A) You could try a home based litegait system available at www.litegait.com and hire assistants to help 'gait' you over a treadmill. B) If you live in Chicago or Alabama I would check out the lokomat (sorry, no link) and the autoambulator (www.healthsouth.com - keyword autoambulator). C) An elliptical trainer (www.fitnessquest.com) or 'natural runner' machine available at www.startrac.com (Again, check Deb's thread for equipment/harnesses.) combined with a hoist (simplistic, www.grainger.com keyword - electric winches) or the industry standard Guldmann @ www.guldmann.com

Ok, enough information to chew on. And obviously, depending upon your level of injury and function, the variations on the suggested above change from person to person.

In summary, personally I'd like my program to consist of the uppertone (www.gpk.com) the FES (www.electrologic.com), the balance ball (www.bosu.com) and a 'natural runner' setup (www.startrac.com) with a guldmann lift (www.guldmann). Three hours a day every day. Sprinkle in some e-stim for my hands and (I wish) some pool therapy and I believe I will be well on the road towards recovery.

The future is ultimately in home based recovery.

And finally, I'm curious, what kind of program / equipment do you use? Ideas? Suggestions?

Peace
Onward and Upward!

[This message was edited by Chris on Oct 12, 2002 at 07:57 PM.]