Project Walk

firststepsHooray! Project Walk will soon be in Canada!

By Kuen Tang, B.Ed

Great news to Canadians living with SCI: Project Walk has teamed up with First Steps Spinal Cord Injury Wellness Center in Regina, Saskatchewan to bring Project Walk to Canada.

What is Project Walk?

Project Walk is an intense exercise-based recovery center specifically designed for individuals with spinal cord injuries. Understanding the uniqueness of each spinal cord injury affects the rate at which the individual recovers function. Project Walk creates programs that are specific for the individual, the injury level, and current rate of recovery. They focus on targeting the areas of the body most affected by the injury.

What to expect:

Project Walk consists of intense one-on-one training that is structured to activate paralyzed areas and strengthen weak muscles. Exercise routines typically combine strengthening activities for all affected muscles in the extremities and core (abdominal, back, and pelvic) along with balance work and coordination drills. Each client works with a Specialist for up to 3 hours per day, 3 to 5 days per week. Specialists facilitate active and passive motions with clients in various planes of motion to reactivate and reorganize the nervous system. As clients progress, their program is modified to continually address the weakest areas of the nervous system.

Project Walk Specialists:projectwalk

Each of the Specialists holds at least a Bachelor’s degree in an exercise-related field (i.e. Exercise Physiology, Kinesiology, etc.) and most have over 2000 hours of experience working with clients in the program.

Specialized Equipment:

Project Walk Canada will have similar equipment to the Project Walk in California. They are looking into purchasing a Power Plate, FES bike, standing frames, and many more items. The Power Plate is a device that lowers the excitation threshold of reflexes and helps initiate the stretch reflex. It also makes demands on the neuromuscular system to attenuate vibration and to maintain balance. The Power Plate has an additional effect on motor learning by causing recruitment of inactive motor units. Depending on funding, Project Walk Canada may also be looking at getting a Robomedica Gait System and a Passive Gait Trainer, both of these simulate the upright walking pattern required for recovery.

If you are interested in receiving more information about Project Walk Canada or would like to attend this peer event, please contact me at (780) 424-6312 ext 2235 or e-mail me at kuen.tang@cpa-ab.org

To see what the equipment is like, check out the Project Walk website: http://www.projectwalk.org/index.htm

Watch a video about Project Walk on the CPA Odyssey website:

http://www.cpa-odyssey.org/index.php…=154&Itemid=97

Project Walk Canada’s website:

http://www.fswcregina.ca/