It is becoming more evident that incomplete Spinal Cord Injured patients can actually recover many functions by re-igniting existing, preserved but “slow” nerves and weak muscles and generally, to improve, in lot of cases significantly after building neuro-pattern by continuous, persistent and programmed walking training.
There is also many examples how electrical neuro-muscular stimulation in functional manner can speed up this process.
In short – My therapy program that will make it happens is based on weight support walking therapy with FES* (Functional Electric Stimulation) 4 to 5 times per week through the whole 2020 (or at least for 5-8 months)! As this particular therapy customized for my situation is not really existing in my neighborhood, I am going to make it.
Right now I am attending PACE exercise program with MacWheelers at McMasterUniversity in Hamilton, ON, where in specially designed Gym for mobile impaired people I am attending assisted weight support walking therapy 2 times per week.
So far, just 2 walks per week (40 minutes per walk) since September 2019 shows up great improvement in my ability to push, step, also my balance improved, metabolism etc.
Now, to start implementing my customized therapy I have to increase number of walks per week and to add FES – Functional Electric Stimulation.
Parastep system from sigmedics.com is only commercially available walking FES system I am aware of. I I have already tested Parastep and I am planning to use it for my walking FES therapy. Parastep price is close to CDN $ 20,000.
I would also need to use over ground (not treadmill based) weight support system.
If I can not use existing track based system as ZeroG, for example I can use LiteGait 330 4Home, the least expensive weight support system appropriate for my weight & height and for therapy requirements.
LiteGait 330 4Home can be purchased with shipping & taxes up to $ 8,000.
If one buy Parastep system and Weight support apparatus minimum $ 28,000 for both devices need to be cashed out.
Also, to pay hours and hours of physiotherapies and helpers through period of 5-8 months of intensive physio with this customized program, it is going to cost way more than equipment itself.
Total cost with equipment and 5-8 months of therapy can run from $ 60,000 to $ 80,000.
To put this kind of money together in the next few months, realistically I would need to run very successful fundraising operation or to find interested party that would develop this novel kind of therapy using me as testing subject.
Parastep FES walking system can be improved for quick application with programmable garment.
I am very excited this therapeutic combo might be available soon thanks to the great vision of people from Myant.ca and sigmedics.com .
Now, If people from my Pace program decide to test out this Parastep therapy along with programmable garment addition on existing ZeroG / weight support system in MacWheelers gym it might be great chances to succeed with this new therapy without breaking the bank.