Are there any ‘symptoms’ that may indicate potential to regain function?

Absolutely! Moving a toe. If you can move a toe, it’s a promising sign for regaining leg function. Toes are the furthest from the injury site, so if signals can reach them, there’s potential to bridge the gap.

Spasms, burning, tingling, pain, or any leg sensations. These indicate a dysfunctional nervous system that can be trained. Starting your recovery early can help you regain control over spasms and reduce the need for pain and spasm medications. Many athletes who’ve regained movement or sensation experienced spasms initially but learned to manage them.

Ability to move one muscle in your leg. If you can move even one muscle in your leg, your chances of restoring function in all leg muscles increase. Most injuries create a strong side and a weaker side, which must be addressed early. Focusing on the strong side alone leads to more dysfunction, making walking nearly impossible. Stimulating the weaker, dysfunctional side with developmental movement patterns restores balance, resulting in a functional gait.

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At The Next Step Recovery and Wellness Centre in Melbourne, our mission is to provide tailored programs and services for athletes recovering from spinal cord injuries and neurological conditions. Our Athlete Scholarship Program secures generous funding for athletes without financial support.