Another interesting article looking at the use of plyometerics with incomplete SCI.

Spinal Cord. 2007 Jan 16

Resistance training and locomotor recovery after incomplete spinal cord injury: a case series.

Gregory CM, Bowden MG, Jayaraman A, Shah P, Behrman A, Kautz SA, Vandenborne K.

Veterans Health System, Brain Rehabilitation Research Center, Gainesville, FL, USA [2] 2Department of Physical Therapy, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL, USA.

Study design:Longitudinal intervention case series.Objective:To determine if a 12-week resistance and plyometric training program results in improved muscle function and locomotor speed after incomplete spinal cord injury (SCI).Setting:University research setting.Methods:Three ambulatory individuals with chronic (18.7+/-2.2 months post injury) motor incomplete SCI completed 12 weeks of lower extremity resistance training combined with plyometric training (RPT). Muscle maximum cross-sectional area (max-CSA) of the knee extensor (KE) and plantar flexor (PF) muscle groups was determined using magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). In addition, peak isometric torque, time to peak torque (T (20-80)), torque developed within the initial 220 ms of contraction (torque(220)) and average rate of torque development (ARTD) were calculated as indices of muscle function. Maximal as well as self-selected gait speeds were determined pre- and post-RPT during which the spatio-temporal characteristics, kinematics and kinetics of gait were measured.Results:RPT resulted in improved peak torque production in the KE (28.9+/-4.4%) and PF (35.0+/-9.1%) muscle groups, as well as a decrease in T(20-80), an increased torque(220) and an increase ARTD in both muscle groups. In addition, an increase in self-selected (pre-RPT=0.77 m/s; post-RPT=1.03 m/s) and maximum (pre-RPT=1.08 m/s; post-RPT=1.47 m/s) gait speed was realized. Increased gait speeds were accompanied by bilateral increases in propulsion and hip excursion as well as increased lower extremity joint powers.Conclusions:The combination of lower extremity RPT can attenuate existing neuromuscular impairments and improve gait speed in persons after incomplete SCI.Spinal Cord advance online publication, 16 January 2007; doi:10.1038/