Spinal Cord Injury and Brain Injury Recovery Program

Intensive Neurologic Recovery for Spinal Cord and Brain Injuries


What is ABILITY?

ABILITY stands for Activity Based Intensive Locomotor Instruction and Training for You. The full program includes 3 hours of intense fitness training 3 times per week. ABILITY is based on the Neuro Recovery Network research based programming from the Christopher and Dana Reeves Foundation.  Our activity-based exercise services include locomotor training, overground training, and lower extremity functional electric stimulation (FES).  Our physical therapists and exercise specialist staff are trained specifically in neurologic recovery by the NRN (Neuro-recovery network).

Why should I participate in an intensive recovery program?

As a medical fitness and wellness facility, Exercisabilities provide a continuum of care for individuals living with paralysis and can enroll individuals with walking difficulties related to any cause.

Activity-based exercise programs are designed specifically for clients with physical disabilities to enable them to be “fit for life.”  Our personal trainers and exercise physiologists have received specialized NRN training.  Research conducted by the NRN

has shown significant improvements in clients following Spinal Cord Injury and Traumatic Brain Injury in many areas of function.  Improved trunk strength, improved bowel and bladder, improved circulation, improved health measures, and overall improved muscle tone and well-being have all been shown in multiple large scale studies.  In these studies, intensive 3 day per week/3 hour per day participation showed the greatest outcomes. It is important to continue your rehabilitation long beyond the point where insurances cover physical therapy.  Your PT will end too soon, and if you do not continue your rehabilitation in a safe, effective setting, you will lose your gains and b

egin to see side effects of immobility including increased weight, decrease muscle tone, risk of skin breakdown, contractures of your joints, and much more.  An intensive program will keep you strong and you will see further gains well beyond the traditional limited time.  We see improvements in many areas 3,5 or even 10 years after injury.  It is never too late to start.  You can start at any point, even after years of immobility.

Most Activity-Based Exercise programs in the US are not covered by insurance since it is considered experimental and beyond the usual and customary medically necessary insurance model.  Our business office staff will work with you to fully understand the cost of our program and will explore alternative funding.  You may find grants or fundraising is a great source to pay for the program.  Exercisabilities is the only facility providing activity based exercise and NRN bas

ed training in SouthEast MN, Western Wisconsin, and Iowa.

Services in the ABILITY Program 

Locomotor Training: Activities included in the A.B.I.L.I.T.Y Program: up to 4 Trainers use technical hand positioning for hands on muscle activation while moving a client’s legs on the treadmill. Sensory information from the legs and trunk during walking is repetitively sent to the spinal cord using BWST (body weight supported treadmill). The Lead Trainer ensures that the patient is optimizing standing and walking posture to allow a near normal experience of walking without the use of hands. As as the patient improves, the assistance of the therapist is reduced.

Functional Electric Stimulation: Uses electrical current to evoke a muscle contraction. FES allows muscles to work, perform activities and even grow despite the neurologic deficiency or weakness. http://restorative-therapies.com/faqs We offer several forms of FES with the RT300 and Bioness L300 plus to use during our sessions.

Overground: Technical protocol name used to describe the mat work a client completes directly related to measurable aspects of recovery including: Sit, Sit-up, Reverse Sit-ups, Trunk Extension, Stand, Walk as well as upper extremity work on Overhead Press, Pull and Open, and Forward Reach and Grasp.

Guided Exercise: Because each client has specific goals this portion of the training is to go beyond the stringent guidelines of the program to included general strength and cardio beyond those aspects specifically focused on recovery. Equipment such as E-Stim, Vibration training, Bioness, Pilates, Reformer and yoga mats may be used during this time.

Aquatic Program: We also have trained physical therapists that may work with you in the water.  Your insurance may or may not cover this.

Physical Therapy:  Your insurance may or may not cover additional physical therapy.  We have PT’s on staff and will work with you depending on your qualifications for skilled PT within insurance rules.  Often, you may be able to get 1 to 2 hours of PT per week in addition to your Intensive Programming.  PT cannot be used to provide Intensive Locomotor Training, Overground, long term FES, or guided training due to insurance regulations and skilled PT norms.

Each client will be assessed and recommendations will be made based on goals. Most clients participate in all aspects of the program, however there may be some activities clients need to work up to with strength and endurance training. Recovery is the focus of the program. Every 90 days clients are reassessed to measure their progress.

In addition to our intensive fitness program we also encourage our clients to participate in daily activity outside of our program to aid recovery. We will work closely with clients, families and care givers to promote home programs.

We offer Group Exercise classes as well as Yoga, stretching assist and personal training that may be added to your individualized programming as well.
Contact us today for more information or to schedule a 3-hour assessment. We will assist you to attain physician approval as well as assess your insurance coverage prior to your visit. 507-259-7570.

Contact us today for more information, current pricing, or to schedule a 3-hour assessment. We will assist you to attain physician approval as well as assess your insurance coverage prior to your visit.