spaSpaulding Rehabilitation Hospital Cambridge and Concept2 Rowing recently featured an “Exercise for Persons with Disabilities,” program which specializes in functional electrical stimulation (FES) rowing for individuals with spinal cord injury (SCI). The program was held September 21 during the Abilities Expo in Boston.

According to the Abilities Buzz, a newsletter released by the Abilities Expo, in 2006 Brian Andrews, PhD, professor from Brunel University in the UK, brought two spinal cord injured athletes paralyzed below the waist to CRASH-B Sprints, a race on an indoor rower established by on-water rowers in the early 80’s. Andrews demonstrated that the method enabled individuals with similar SCIs to use the indoor rowing machine. Andrews’ system, FES rowing, allowed the SCI subjects to achieve the coordination of upper and lower body to successfully row on the ergometers.

Later, J. Andrew Taylor, PhD, Harvard professor, principal investigator for Spaulding’s Cardiovascular Research, reportedly voiced an interest in furthering Andrews’ work with FES Rowing. The Abilities Buzz reports that Taylor received $2.5 million in funding from the National Institutes of Health to study a homogenous group of individuals soon after SCI.

Taylor has also recognized that the benefits of FES Rowing could be realized by a broader population than the study group. As a result, the Abilities Buzz notes that Taylor and Glen Picard, laboratory director, MS, made plans to develop a program that would make the exercise available to all quantifying individuals. The “Exercise for People with Disabilities” (ExPD) was then launched in 2009.

For more information about the program, click here

Photo Credit: Abilities Buzz


Source: Abilities Buzz