Spinal Cord Injury Physiotherapy at In Step Physical Therapy: Reclaim Your Mobility and Independence

At In Step Physical Therapy, our dedicated and skilled physiotherapists provide specialized rehabilitation for patients suffering from spinal cord injuries. We aim to help individuals reclaim mobility, enhance muscle strength, and facilitate a better quality of life

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Comprehensive Spinal Cord Injury Rehabilitation Programs

We provide spinal cord injury physiotherapy programs designed to meet each patient’s unique needs. Our programs focus on improving functional independence, enhancing muscle strength, promoting cardiovascular fitness, and improving body functions. Our experienced physiotherapists are highly skilled in spinal cord injury rehabilitation and work closely with patients, providing compassionate care and tailored treatments to maximize recovery.

A layout of the Spinal Cord Injury Physiotherapy plan:

A treatment plan is designed to address each patient’s unique challenges and aid their journey toward improved mobility and independence.

  1. Initial Assessment: Our physiotherapists conduct an initial assessment to evaluate the patient’s physical abilities, pain levels, and overall health. This also includes understanding the details of the type and level of the spinal cord injury, the patient’s medical history, and rehabilitation goals.
  2. Personalized Rehabilitation Program: Based on the assessment, we developed a personalized rehabilitation program that includes therapeutic exercises, manual therapy, mobility training, and functional electrical stimulation. The objective of the rehabilitation program is to help the individual gain physical, psychological, vocational and social independence considering their limitations. Our neuro-rehab gym, which is equipped with two parallel bars, a low mat and several neuro-rehabilitation-enhancing equipments and our neuro-trained physical therapy assistants with several years of experience working with neuro patients with positive therapeutic outcomes, will act as a strong support system in your path to recovery.
  3. Regular Monitoring and Adjustment: Our team monitors the patient’s progress and adjusts the treatment plan as necessary. We believe in a collaborative approach and encourage ongoing communication between the patient, the physiotherapist, and the broader healthcare team.
  4. Patient Education: We place a strong emphasis on patient education, helping individuals understand their condition, the rehabilitation process, and self-management techniques.
  5. Long-term Follow-up and Support: Even after the completion of the intensive rehabilitation program, we offer long-term follow-up appointments and support to ensure continued progress and health management.

Conditions related to Spinal Cord Injury treated at In Step

Spinal cord injuries can lead to a variety of related conditions due to the disruption in the communication between the brain and the body, such as

  1. Paralysis includes quadriplegia (paralysis of all four limbs) and paraplegia (paralysis of the lower limbs). Our physiotherapy programs aim to improve functional independence and quality of life for patients with paralysis.
  2. Spasticity: This condition involves involuntary muscle contractions and stiffness. Our physiotherapists employ various techniques to manage spasticity, including stretching exercises and mobility training.
  3. Neuropathic Pain: This is a chronic pain condition due to nerve damage. Our physiotherapists use a combination of exercise, manual therapy, and pain management techniques to alleviate neuropathic pain.
  4. Muscle Atrophy: Lack of muscle use after a spinal cord injury can lead to muscle wasting or atrophy. Our physiotherapy programs incorporate strength training exercises to combat muscle atrophy.
  5. Pressure Sores: Limited mobility can lead to pressure sores or bedsores. Our team educates patients on pressure relief techniques and skin care to prevent this condition.
  6. Respiratory Complications: Higher-level spinal cord injuries can affect the muscles used in breathing, leading to respiratory complications. We offer breathing exercises and techniques to improve respiratory function.
  7. Bowel and Bladder Dysfunction: Spinal cord injuries often affect control over bowel and bladder functions. Our physiotherapists can provide training and strategies to manage these issues.
  8. Autonomic Dysreflexia: This is a potentially life-threatening condition seen in spinal cord injuries above the mid-thoracic level. It involves sudden high blood pressure and is often triggered by an irritant below the level of injury. Education about triggers and early symptoms is a key component of our treatment approach.
  9. Orthostatic Hypotension: This condition involves a sudden drop in blood pressure upon changing position. Our physiotherapy services can help manage symptoms and improve body functions.

At In Step Physical Therapy, our dedicated team works closely with each patient to manage these conditions and enhance overall well-being. Our holistic approach focuses on improving physical function, reducing pain, and promoting a higher quality of life.

Techniques used in Spinal Cord Injury Rehabilitation at In Step

  1. Manual Therapy includes hands-on techniques to alleviate pain, enhance mobility, and improve function. It involves soft tissue mobilization, joint manipulation, and other specialized techniques.
  2. Therapeutic Exercise: Patients exercise to build strength, enhance flexibility, and increase endurance. This can include a range of motion exercises, balance training, cardiovascular workouts, and resistance training.
  3. Neuromuscular Electrical Stimulation (NMES): NMES involves using electric currents to stimulate the nerves and muscles in the affected area, which can help improve movement and function.
    • The Portable Neuromodulation Stimulator (PoNS) is a device that delivers mild electrical stimulation to the surface of the tongue to facilitate neural plasticity and promote regaining balance and walking abilities.
  4. Functional Electrical Stimulation: State-of-the-art devices such as Bioness L200 GO and Bioness H200, designed to provide precise stimulation prompting muscles to contract and assist with movement, are used at In Step to better aid patients in regaining mobility and functionality.
    • The Bioness L200 Go is a small, wearable cuff-like device placed around the patient's leg to stimulate the nerves, causing muscles to contract and produce movement. It improves mobility, balance, walking speed, and endurance.
    • The Bioness H200 is a device worn like a glove for individuals with hand paralysis caused by neurological conditions. It helps to activate nerves and muscles, aiding in hand movement and function, and assisting with tasks such as gripping, releasing, and fine motor skills.
  5. Gait and Mobility Training: We help patients regain their ability to move independently, whether that involves relearning walking skills or mastering the use of assistive devices.
  6. Spinal Stabilization Techniques: This includes exercises and activities designed to improve core strength, promote spinal alignment, and improve stability.
  7. Breathing Exercises and Respiratory Therapy: We assist patients in improving lung function and capacity, which can often be affected after a spinal cord injury.
  8. Balance Training: Various methods are used to improve balance and reduce the risk of falls.
  9. Pain Management Techniques: These may include modalities like TENS (Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation), massage, or ultrasound to help manage chronic pain.
  10. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy: We help patients cope with their injury's emotional and psychological aspects, which is a crucial part of comprehensive rehabilitation.

At In Step Physical Therapy Clinic, we are dedicated to providing patients with a comprehensive, evidence-based approach that suits their needs and promotes optimal recovery.

Potential Problems Faced During Spinal Cord Injury Physiotherapy Edmonton

  • Physical Discomfort: Some patients may experience discomfort or pain during the initial stages of the therapy. However, our physiotherapists ensure that exercises are done safely and at a comfortable pace.
  • Slow Progress: Recovery from a spinal cord injury can be slow, and patients may feel frustrated with progress. Our team provides emotional support and reassurance to help patients stay motivated.
  • Scheduling Issues: Regular physiotherapy requires a significant time commitment, which can be challenging for some patients. At In Step, we offer flexible scheduling to accommodate our patients’ needs.
  • Accessibility and Mobility Issues: Even though our clinic is fully equipped and designed to be accessible for individuals with mobility issues, patients with spinal cord injuries may face difficulties accessing our facilities.

Remember, each patient’s recovery journey is unique, and our team at In Step Physical Therapy is committed to providing personalized, compassionate care every step of the way.

Benefits of Spinal Cord Injury Physiotherapy:
  • Improved Mobility and Strength: The exercises and therapies in the treatment plan help improve muscle strength and mobility, thus increasing functional independence.
  • Pain Management: Physiotherapy can help manage pain associated with spinal cord injuries, improving comfort and quality of life.
  • Enhanced Cardiovascular Health: The cardiovascular exercises in the treatment plan can help improve heart health and overall fitness.
  • Psychological Benefits: Regular physiotherapy can help improve mental well-being, enhance self-confidence, and boost mood. And as a part of the collaborative approach and based on the patient’s conditions and goals, a psychologist is also consulted.
  • Prevention of further complications:  In the early phase of post-injury, physiotherapy management is predominantly involved in the prevention and management of respiratory and circulatory complications involving multi-disciplinary team members.


A treatment plan is made based on the limitations, level and type of spinal cord injury and the patient’s rehabilitation goals. So it might take a few months to a year of rehabilitation based on the treatment plan. And we offer long-term follow-up appointments and support to ensure continued progress and health management.

At In Step, we take utmost care to provide accessibility to all individuals. Our clinic has Automated door, wheelchair, washroom, handicapped parking to provide better accessibility.

The rehabilitation process varies from individual to individual as the type and level of spinal cord injury and the limitations of every patient are different. Considering their abilities and limitations, the general aim is to help the patient gain the maximum physical, psychological and social independence possible. In case of more queries about our treatment plans, please contact our clinic.


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At In Step Physical Therapy, our team of physiotherapists, massage therapists, lymphatic massage therapists, personal trainers, psychologists and nutrition practitioners are committed to providing comprehensive care for individuals who have sustained Spinal Cord injury, addressing a wide range of related conditions to help enhance patients’ quality of life and functionality. Contact us to receive the care you deserve. 

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