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Phys Ther. 2000 May;80(5):477-84.

Spinal cord control of movement: implications for locomotor rehabilitation following spinal cord injury.

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  • Division of Physical Therapy and The Miami Project to Cure Paralysis, University of Miami School of Medicine, 5915 Ponce de Leon Blvd, 5th Floor, Coral Gables, FL 33146, USA. edee@miami.edu.


In recent years, our understanding of the spinal cord's role in movement control has been greatly advanced. Research suggests that body weight support (BWS) walking and functional electrical stimulation (FES), techniques that are used by physical therapists, have potential to improve walking function in individuals with spinal cord injury (SCI), perhaps long after the stage of spontaneous recovery. Walking is one of the most desired goals of people with SCI; however, we are obligated to be judicious in our claims of locomotor recovery. There are few controlled studies that compare outcomes of BWS training or FES with those of conventional interventions, and access to services using BWS training or FES may be restricted under managed care.

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