Effects of Dynamic Overground Body Weight Support Training During Inpatient Rehabilitation After Traumatic Spinal Cord Injury: A Retrospective Case Series

Elizabeth Salmon Powell, John Lopez, Philip M. Westgate, Emily Hines, Lumy Sawaki Adams

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

ABSTRACT: Rehabilitation strategies after traumatic spinal cord injury aim to maximize functional recovery by applying principles of neuroplasticity via task-specific, repetitive training. Rehabilitation of patients with traumatic spinal cord injury poses unique challenges, including bilateral limb involvement, autonomic dysfunction, loss of proprioception, and potentially spinal precautions/bracing. The purpose of this retrospective case series was to determine whether use of dynamic body weight support would yield greater improvement in functional recovery compared with standard of care in adults with traumatic spinal cord injury. Data were collected from patients with traumatic spinal cord injury who completed inpatient rehabilitation incorporating dynamic body weight support (n = 5) and who completed inpatient rehabilitation without dynamic body weight support (n = 5). The primary outcome measure was the change in Functional Independence Measures. The dynamic body weight support group had a significantly greater improvement in Total Functional Independence Measures and in Functional Independence Measures motor subscale compared with the standard of care group (P = 0.023 and P = 0.033, respectively). This study presents initial evidence that dynamic body weight support therapy during inpatient rehabilitation has the potential to improve functional independence compared with standard of care in patients with traumatic spinal cord injury. Larger prospective randomized studies need to be conducted to expand on these findings.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)196-200
Number of pages5
JournalAmerican Journal of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation
Volume101
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 1 2022

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
Copyright © 2021 Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc. All rights reserved.

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation
  • Rehabilitation

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