Thursday, October 12, 2006
Medical Reports: Spinal Cycle
All of us remember watching Christopher Reeve after his accident. Well before he died, he was experimenting with a new way to regain movement. 7's Christine Cruz shows us how today's paralyzed patients are benefiting from using the spinal cycle.
WSVN -- Maggie Brown and her mom know all too well about life's ups and downs. You see, when Maggie was 11, she broke her neck diving into a shallow pool.
The injury was so agonizing, doctors thought she would never walk again.
Maggie Brown: "It's like, this is how it is. Whatever. That's not going to stop me from doing anything."
She definitely proved that at her high school graduation.
Jean Brown: "She walked across the stage without a walker or anything and didn't tell anybody she was going to do it."
She was able to do it because Maggie had the right attitude and the right equipment.
This bike is similar to the same one used by actor Christopher Reeve when he was paralyzed. It operates electronically, so if patients can't pedal, their legs are still working.
Maggie Brown: "It's a good workout. It's fun."
And it's worthwhile. Doctors believe the bike not only provides a cardiovascular workout but can help patients regain movement.
Dr. Lawrence Vogel: "It's critical that we provide them with a way to remain fit, beginning at a young age."
And a way to help improve their self-esteem. Fourteen-year-old Meagan Waffle has already gained back some feeling after being paralyzed in a car accident.
Meagan Waffle: "Now, it's just like inside. It feels like I have my legs."
Same with Jackie Durbin.
Jackie Durbin: "I can see my muscles moving, but I don't feel it, so it's cool."
But the coolest part is that these stationary bikes may help patients reach their destination. If experimental research holds true, the bikes may even cause the spinal cord to regenerate.
It's way too early to reach any conclusion on the spinal cycles.
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