Exciting News!

NextStep Orlando chosen as the only Florida NeuroRecovery Community Fitness and Wellness Affiliate of the Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation

NextStep Orlando is proud to announce that we have been recognized as a Community Fitness & Wellness affiliate of the Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation’s NeuroRecovery Network (NRN). The Reeve Foundation NRN is a cooperative network of cutting-edge rehabilitation sites designed to develop and deliver therapies that promote FUNCTIONAL recovery to improve the health and quality of the life for people living with paralysis. 

The NRN was designed based on the idea’s of Christopher Reeve who believed the way forward for rehabilitation from spinal cord injury was to provide activity-based therapies that promote functional recovery. By combining technological advancements with scientific knowledge, the NRN is able to broaden its understanding of neuroplasticity- the brains ability to form new neural connections to compensate for injury. 

The NRN utilizes activity-based therapies focused on regaining motor and sensory function below the level of the lesion in individuals with spinal cord injury. This is accomplished through repetitive training of specific motor tasks that provide both sensory and motor input to the nervous system. 

Our Activity-Based Trainers are now accredited to deliver the following NRN interventions that focus on activating the neuromuscular system below the level of the lesion- Locomotor Training (LT) and Neuromuscular Electrical Stimulation (NMES). 

Locomotor Training emerged from recent advances in the understanding that the spinal cord can interpret sensory information below the level of injury and relay signals to generate a motor response. This works to awaken dormant nerve pathways by repetitively stimulating the muscles and nerves in the lower body and thus retrain the spinal cord to “remember” the pattern of walking. 

The Neuromuscular Electrical Stimulation (NMES) approach was developed by the NRN. It uses the Restorative Therapies XCite system with a unique protocol that targets many muscles at the same time during a useful movement, using parameters that activate the spinal cord. Combining this with precise administration of the electrical stimulus to move the muscle or paralyzed limb excites the central nervous system in such a way that it can promote neuroplasticity. In this way, the signals start to develop new or strengthen existing pathways in the spinal cord circuitry. 

NextStep Orlando is honored to continue Christopher Reeve’s mission.