Opened to the public in 2011, NextStep Atlanta provides lifelong health and recovery for people living with paralysis. Today, most of these individuals are deprived of the resources they desperately need to live long, healthy and happy lives. NextStep Atlanta exists to provide an improved quality of life to people suffering from paralysis through intense exercise-based recovery programs, education, support and encouragement.
NextStep Atlanta understands that every client has special needs. Therefore, we offer several programs to best meet those needs and optimize our clients’ chances for recovery. Being a pioneer in activity-based recovery programs, and with over a decade of combined experience, its staff is on the cutting edge of this emerging field. Our center is staffed with certified Activity Based Trainers who treat thousands of client hours every year from more than 25 states and 6 countries. Our center located in Alpharetta Ga is a 6500 square foot (state-of-the-art) facility designed to not only treat clients but to teach, encourage and motivate through their recovery. We are the only center, not attached to a hospital or university, that is supported through published research in peer reviewed journals.
We have some of the most advanced equipment designed to treat paralysis including a few items available in no other location that have been developed by and for NextStep Atlanta.
It was two weeks before our oldest son Chris’ graduation from Lambert High School and the night before prom…an exciting time of year for a senior. On Friday evening May 13, 2011 at 10:20pm we received a phone call and learned he had possibly been in an automobile accident. We arrived to the scene of police cars, fire trucks and ambulances, and were relieved as we did not see his truck. Within seconds, through the flashing lights, we caught a glimpse of our son lying on a stretcher and found out that he was a passenger in an automobile that had crashed into the nearby brick sign. He had sustained a burst fracture to his C6 vertebrae and would need surgery right away to relieve pressure on his spinal cord.
All of a sudden, our world was turned upside down and, after spending a week in ICU at North Fulton Regional Hospital, we were on our way to the Shepherd Center in Atlanta. Our son was a quadriplegic and we would find out over the next three months, exactly what that meant. We were bombarded with the reality that there is much more to a spinal cord injury than being paralyzed and in a wheelchair. While at the Shepherd Center our son learned how to function in a wheelchair, and we were educated on how to live with a spinal cord injury. All the while, we were wondering, “Where do we go next?” as our goal was for him to walk again. After much prayer, hours of research and the discovery of a friend, we believe God led us to Project Walk in Carlsbad, California. We had visited several facilities while researching our options and, without a doubt, we knew Project Walk was where he needed to be. For the first time since his accident, we were filled with hope. It felt like the ball was finally in our court, and our son would have the opportunity to work toward gaining optimum recovery and the arduous goal of walking again someday.
Through God’s provision and the generous support of family, friends, and even strangers in our community, Chris’ dad Paul, and Chris, spent seven weeks at Project Walk in California. Project Walk exceeded ALL of our expectations. We were very encouraged as Paul and Chris met people who had been told in traditional therapy that they would never walk again, but after being at Project Walk, they were proving them wrong.
At Project Walk we found a very different philosophy. We saw with our own eyes the success of the clients at Project Walk and we knew our son needed to continue this therapy, which our insurance would not pay for. Once again, God moved in a big way, and we signed a deal to bring Project Walk to Atlanta! The motto we have inscribed on our hearts is: “Project Walk Atlanta… it’s personal.” It’s personal because we understand firsthand what families are going through after experiencing the devastation of a spinal cord injury. We strongly believe that EVERY person affected by a spinal cord injury deserves the opportunity to receive this kind of therapy. Not only does this intense activity-based therapy give them the best chance for recovery, but it also helps prevent secondary health issues such as pressure sores, blood clots, poor circulation, blood pressure issues, loss in bone density and pneumonia. Sitting in a wheelchair promotes poor health, reducing the quality of life and the hope of gaining independence. That is why a major portion of our time will be focused on raising awareness for the needs of spinal cord injury patients in order to raise funds to help those whose insurance will not pay for this kind of therapy.
We need your help, to step up and scholarship clients who have been put in a position where they cannot help themselves. A spinal cord injury can happen to anyone…a daughter, a son, a spouse…anyone. Please partner with us as we help those who have been affected by this traumatic injury. With your help we can change lives!
On March 1st, 2012, Project Walk Atlanta open its’ doors to the public. The facility houses 6500 square feet of the latest state of the art equipment necessary for clients to gain recovery. The success that clients were experiencing at Project Walk Atlanta began to spread through-out the Spinal Cord Injury community. Soon after, clients from all over the U.S. began seeking out the expertise of Project Walk Atlanta.
In 2013, the need for an Intense Activity Based Recovery program, designed for Spinal Cord Injury clients, was evident. New clients continued to visit and move to Alpharetta Georgia for this aggressive form of treatment. Clients sought out the Intense Activity Base program from 25 states in the US and 5 countries resulting in a 53% growth in client hours.
In 2014, after building a reputation for providing a high level of SCI recovery, Project Walk Atlanta began realizing that our program success can help individuals with other diseases and disabilities such as Stroke, TBI, Multiple Sclerosis, CCP, Transverse Myelitis, Guillain Barre, and other neurological conditions.
Today, Sept 1st 2016, we are proud to announce our name change to NextStep Atlanta through a collaboration with NextStep (www.nextstepfitness.org.) NextStep has four centers in Los Angeles, Kansas City, Orlando, and Atlanta. We will work together to continue to be the leader in paralysis recovery and health with a goal of expanding to communities across the country.
WHO WE SERVE
Individuals suffering from paralysis including;
- Spinal cord injury (SCI)
- Multiple Sclerosis (MS)
- Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI)
- Cerebral Palsy (CP)
- Parkinson's Disease
- and other neurological conditions
WHAT WE OFFER
Guided exercise consists of 1-on-1 or 2-on-1 training with our certified activity-based therapists. Our trainers will work with you to promote functional recovery and improved health.
Locomotor Training allows individuals living with paralysis to repetitively practice standing and stepping using body weight support. In a therapy session, the participant is suspended in a harness over a treadmill while specially trained therapists move his or her legs and body to simulate walking. As the person gains function, improvements in sitting, standing, reaching, grasping or walking occur.
Functional Electrical Stimulation (“FES”)
Functional electrical stimulation (FES) applies small electrical pulses to paralyzed muscles to restore or improve their function. (FES) is used to stimulate peripheral nerves, the "lower motor neurons" that connect the spinal cord to your muscles. FES can be utilized for muscle re-education, functional substitution, spasticity management or general health and wellness benefits.
NextStep’s FES bikes are specially designed ergonomic bicycles which a person can use from their wheelchair, using electrical stimulation through electrodes to cycle with and without motor support. These bikes can be used for either arm cycling or leg cycling. The benefits of FES cycling are numerous—from aerobic conditioning to increased circulation, spasticity management and muscle flexibility.
CUTTING-EDGE Equipment and Facility
Our facilities offer cutting-edge and accessible rehabilitation and fitness equipment and the space needed for advanced functional therapy techniques.
A comprehensive resource center including; access to doctors and the latest in research, free peer group sessions and educational classes, and informational materials for anyone in the community.
We also pride ourselves in creating a fun, supportive, progressive, and motivational environment with TVs, VR, a Wii video game system, and uplifting music throughout the facility. We also have changing rooms for our clients.
- Brain Plasticity - with a chiropractor
- Nutritional Counseling - with a naturopathic doctor
- Adaptive Yoga
- Cranial Acupuncture - coming soon!
Gait Training and Standing
- Locomotor Treadmill with Harness/Lift System
- Parallel Bars with Harness/Lift System
- Three (3) Standing Frames
- One (1) Standing Walker
Functional Electrical Stimulation
- FES RT600 Standing Elliptical
- FES RT300 Seated Elliptical
- FES RT200 Arm/Leg Cycle
- Portable Electrical Stimulation
- Bioness Wrist/Hand Electrical Stimulation
- Portable Electromyography System
- Four (4) Vibration Plates
Strength Training and General Exercise
- Tilt Table
- Total Gym
- Cybex Arm Ergometer
- Dumbbells from 3 lbs to 55 lbs
- Medicine Balls
- Resistance Bands
- Twelve (12) Various Resistance Training Machines