Spinal Cord Injury Recovery – Northern Virginia

Spinal Cord Injury Recovery 

spinal cord injury walking recoveryAbility Fitness Center, located at The Arc of Loudoun in Northern Virginia, serves people living with spinal cord injuries and other physical disabilities. At Ability Fitness Center, people living with a spinal cord injury can exercise, develop skills to practice daily activities, and create friendships with others who may have similar disabilities. 

The main goal at Ability Fitness Center is for each client living with a spinal cord injury (or other physical disabilities) to improve their quality of life and reach their maximum potential. 


Specialized Equipment 

Our specialized equipment is created for people living with physical disabilities. 

  • Functional Electrical Stimulation (FES) Bike – enables clients with very little muscle control to exercise using pulses of electrical current to stimulate their nerves 
  • NuStep – has an inclusive design and specialized adaptive equipment, making total-body strength and cardio work-outs possible for virtually any user, including many who use a wheelchair 
  • Lite Gait – allows client to comfortably walk in an environment free from falls, and also allows clients to learn to walk with proper upright posture
  • Easy Stand Glider – active standing provides lower body range of motion and upper body strengthening. Users move the handles with their arms (or a caregiver can assist) which creates a reciprocal movement in the legs. The full range seat  allows full leg extension while standing.
  • Learn about all of our equipment here. 


Meet Eric who is living with a Spinal Cord Injury 

In late 2015 Eric suffered from a bicycle accident that resulted in a spinal cord injury. In January 2018, Eric joined Ability Fitness Center. Since Eric first joined, he has seen tremendous progress! In February 2018 he walked for the first time on the treadmill with assistance.  Four months later, in May 2018, Eric was able to independently initiate the movement of his legs. He started by walking 7 steps and can now walk 15 total steps (see video below). 

Here’s what Eric has to say about Ability Fitness Center, “The thing I like about Ability Fitness Center is that I get to come here as many times as I wish. And for the past month or so, I’ve been coming four times a week. I get about 16 hours of work out! I feel more challenged everyday. Moreover, I look forward to coming here!” Check out Eric’s YouTube channel, where he tracks his progress. 


Meet MJ who is living with a Spinal Cord Injury. 

“My life changed November 20, 2016 when I was riding a horse that was a little bit tricky and was starting to buck. I was planning my dismount, and I pulled my feet out of the stirrups, and I was a little too far behind the vertical. His butt was coming up and my back was coming down. I collided with the back of the saddle. I sustained an immediate first fracture of my L1, and I hit the ground paralyzed.

Traditional physical therapy couldn’t give me the amount of time and energy that I needed in order to recover, so I came to Ability Fitness Center. At Ability Fitness Center, I can come here as often I want, and as long as I want. I’m not limited to one hour a week.

What I like about Ability Fitness Center is the environment, the other members, and the interaction that we have. I also love the energy and attitude of the people that work here. It’s really positive and upbeat! The staff has really helped me identify some of the asymmetries in my body. As a result, I can figure out what I really need to work on, on my own.

I can definitely tell I’m getting stronger and there’s more function and strength in my legs. In addition, I’m seeing muscles I thought were dead, come alive! 

Ability Fitness Center has given me a lot of hope. Coming here has made me so much more optimistic about my future.” – MJ, who is living with a spinal cord injury 

Learn more about Ability Fitness center here


Contact us:

Email: hparker@thearcofloudoun.org

Phone: 571.439.1520

Fax: 703.777.1935

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