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Partnership provides inclusive workout
Date:5/11/2012

(Edmonton) People with spinal cord injuries and reduced mobility now have access to specialized exercise equipment in an inclusive community setting, thanks to a partnership between the University of Alberta and the Spinal Cord Injury Treatment Centre (Northern Alberta) Society.

Two new functional electrical stimulation (FES) rehabilitation therapy machines are now available at the Saville Community Sports Centre, operated by the Faculty of Physical Education and Recreation at the U of A. FES is a form of exercise for people with spinal cord injuries, stroke and other neuromuscular disorders that involves sending electrical currents to paralyzed or weakened muscles so they contract to restore some degree of functional movement.

The new FES equipment and staffing support was provided by the Spinal Cord Injury Treatment Centre (Northern Alberta) Society. One of the machines, called the RT 200 elliptical, allows users to exercise their arms and legs at the same timea rarity among such equipment in Canada.

"Through the incredible support of partners like the Spinal Cord Injury Treatment Centre (Northern Alberta) Society, the University of Alberta has established itself as a leader in adapted physical activity rehabilitation in Canada," said Karen Slater, associate director of the Steadward Centre for Personal & Physical Achievement, which runs the community FES transition program in collaboration with the society and Saville Community Sports Centre.

"This partnership allows us to bring in technology that no one else is using in a community setting in Canada. That means we can provide a better service to our users so they can live healthier, happier, more independent lives."

The value of independence and inclusivity cannot be underestimated given that many FES machines are located in hospitals and rehabilitation settings, said Louise Miller, president of the Spinal Cord Injury Treatment Centre (Northern Alberta) Society.<
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Contact: Bryan Alary
bryan.alary@ualberta.ca
780-492-0436
University of Alberta
Source:Eurekalert

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