Extra Services

Gait Training

Gait training is a multifaceted therapeutic approach designed to enhance your walking ability, encompassing both physical and cognitive aspects. Gait training involves a comprehensive process that necessitates the seamless coordination of the entire central nervous system, including the brain and spinal cord.

This coordination facilitates the execution of normal human gait patterns, which typically encompass walking on a treadmill with supported harnesses, engaging in core and muscle strengthening exercises, specific exercises to enhance power relevant to gait phases, mental imagery techniques, and the integration of music therapy.

This specialised training regimen serves to strengthen muscles and joints, fostering improved posture, enhanced balance to reduce the risk of falls, increased endurance, the development of correct motor patterns, heightened power, and an overall boost in physical activity and mobility. Gait training proves particularly beneficial for athletes facing various challenges, including those with neurological disorders such as spinal cord injuries, stroke, Parkinson’s disease, and muscular dystrophy. Additionally, athletes with musculoskeletal issues, such as joint injuries or replacements, amputations, or post-surgical cases, can also reap substantial advantages from this therapy.

 

Biodex Unweighing System

The Biodex Unweighing System is a ground breaking therapy that facilitates partial weight-bearing therapy. By alleviating a portion of the body’s weight, it creates an optimal environment for early rehabilitation, ensuring safety throughout the process.

Exercise Physiologists can actively assist by manually guiding lower extremities to ensure precise limb placement and sensory feedback. The system’s open design encourages a natural arm swing, an essential element for stimulating neuroplasticity. Additionally, it offers comprehensive gait analysis, encompassing various gait kinematics for a more comprehensive assessment.

 

Clinical Pilates

Clinical Pilates is a specialised form of physical exercise that places a strong emphasis on key aspects including posture, core stability, balance, control, strength, flexibility, and proper breathing techniques. Widely recognised for its therapeutic benefits, Clinical Pilates is frequently employed as a means of managing various injuries, with a particular focus on neck and back injuries. This therapeutic approach is firmly rooted in research, which presents compelling evidence supporting its efficacy in the treatment of athletes dealing with injuries, especially those afflicted by low back pain.

It’s essential to note that while Clinical Pilates can yield substantial benefits for athletes with specific injuries, its application must be tailored to the athlete’s needs rather than employed as a one-size-fits-all approach. This personalised approach ensures that each athlete receives exercises specifically suited to their needs, optimising therapeutic gains while minimising the risk of exacerbating injuries. Our Pilates equipment includes the reformer, trap table, trap bar, and wunda chair, enhancing the versatility and effectiveness of our therapeutic interventions.

 

Functional Electrical Stimulation Therapy

Functional Electrical Stimulation (FES) Therapy stands as a well-established rehabilitation technique that uses electrical current pulses to stimulate peripheral nerves, thereby causing contractions in weakened or paralysed muscles and instigating patterned muscle activity.

Central to the FES system is a motor, a critical component that provides assistance or resistance, effectively augmenting the function of muscles impaired by weakness or paralysis. The motorised systems empower users to engage in repeated, high-intensity exercises, promoting massed practice repetitions. The motor orchestrates circular arm or leg movements, mimicking the physical work while synchronising precisely with the FES-induced muscle contractions, both in terms of timing and the degree of natural rotation.

 

The advantages of FES therapy are manifold and include the following

  • Muscle Atrophy Reduction: FES helps stave off muscle atrophy, a common concern for athletes with limited muscle use.
  • Muscle Spasm Reduction: It aids in diminishing muscle spasms, enhancing comfort and mobility.
  • Improved Local Circulation: FES therapy contributes to enhanced local blood circulation, fostering better tissue health.
  • Maintenance or Expansion of Range of Motion: It supports the preservation and potential expansion of joint range of motion
  • Facilitation of Muscle Re-education: FES assists in the process of retraining and re-educating muscles, particularly after injuries or prolonged disuse.

Overall, FES therapy represents a valuable tool in the realm of rehabilitation, offering a wide array of benefits to enhance the physical well-being and functionality of athletes facing muscle-related challenges.

 

Allied Health Assistants

Allied Health Assistants play a crucial role in collaboration with Allied Health Professionals, particularly in our case, Exercise Physiologists. Allied Health Assistants operate under the guidance and direction of the Exercise Physiologist, whether it involves implementing treatment plans previously established by the Exercise Physiologist or providing support during a session.

Beyond this, Allied Health Assistants undertake various additional responsibilities, which may encompass managing appointments, organising health programs and group classes, as well as handling administrative tasks associated with athlete care. Their multifaceted contributions are integral to the overall care and well-being of our athletes.

 

Group Classes

Group fitness classes are cost effective and enjoyable way of integrating exercise into your regular routine. Our all-inclusive classes offer a variety of exercises, thoughtfully adapted to accommodate various conditions and fitness levels, including both progression and regression options. These classes are designed to target different components of fitness, including strength, endurance, cardiovascular health, balance, and core stability, all contributing to an overall enhancement of well-being.

Participating in group fitness classes offers the added benefit of camaraderie, allowing you to exercise alongside friends who can provide motivation and accountability. While our athlete sessions focus on tailored goals, our group classes concentrate on fostering general health and fitness improvements that can complement your specific objectives. Engaging in group sessions presents an ideal opportunity to boost your weekly physical activity levels, aligning with recommended guidelines for a well-rounded fitness regimen.

Allied Health Benefits

Patient support
Increased patient engagement
Facilitation of exercise programs
Assistance with activities of daily living
Collaborative approach with other health care professionals
Promotion of independence
Community integration
Effective use of resources such as funding

Functional Electrical Stimulation Benefits

Muscle activations
Improved motor function
Enhanced cardiovascular health
Prevention of muscle atrophy
Improved circulation
Increased range of motion
Assistance In improved physical function
Enhanced independence
Bladder and bowel function improvement
Reduced spasticity
Improved gait and walking ability
Psychological benefits
Adaptation to neuroplasticity

Health Enhancement Program Benefits

Convenience and accessibility
Personalised approach
Independence and autonomy
Increased frequency to therapy which can lead to increased neuroplasticity
Compliments exercise physiology appointments by allowing participants to complete more complex movements during face to face sessions

Rehab Counselling Benefits

Individualised support
Empowerment and independence
Assessment and goal setting
Vocational guidance
Psychosocial support
Advocacy
Life skills training
Crisis intervention
Assistive technology guidance
Community reintegration
Education and information
Holistic approach
Quality of life improvement

Download our application pack

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.