First Steps Wellness Centre

Our Program

Activity Based Therapy Programs

Activity-based therapy (ABT) is composed of interventions that target activation of the neuromuscular system, below the level of the lesion. The goal of ABT is to retrain the nervous system to recover specific motor tasks and functions. Our ABT sessions are based on the principles of neuroplasticity including high intensity, high repetitions and specificity of exercises. FSWC also involves various types of stimulus to help induce neuroplasticity, including functional electrical stimulation, pneumatic resistive/assistive training, and vibration training. In some cases, stimulation is done manually or through the proper application of specialized equipment. Our clients repeatedly go through the functional exercises to promote the relearning of developmental movement patterns including rolling, sitting, kneeling, standing and walking. Loading weight to the limbs through developmental movement patterns also helps to gradually rebuild muscular endurance and strength. FSWC customizes programs for clients based on their current level of function as well as the client’s goals. In order to stimulate the nervous system to change and adapt, most of the exercises done here at FSWC will be aimed at restoring function below the level of injury. A minimum of one therapist will accompany each client during their session; sessions are typically 2-4 hours a day, 3-5 days a week. ABT for spinal cord injuries is being applied around the world. In Canada, there are a handful of centers that are beginning to apply these techniques, with FSWC leading the way with over 10 years of experience.

Therapy Equipment Available

FSWC uses specialized equipment including but not limited to;
  • LiteGait® body weight supported gait trainer
  • FES (functional electrical stimulation) systems
  • FES Xcite System
  • Power Plate® vibration training
  • Keiser® Rack
  • Biodex Biosway®
  • Total Gym®
  • Parallel Bars
  • Universal Exercise Unit®
Therapy sessions at FSWC uniquely combine aerobic and strengthening exercises for physical conditioning, with task specific patterning, and developmental movement patterns to promote functional relearning.
Last but not the least, our qualified and educated staff, along with our inspiring clients creates a positive environment that is ideal for recognizing the untapped potential to improve each day.

*Before acceptance to our programs, we require a note from your doctor clearing you to participate in an intensive exercise program, as well as clearance to participate in load bearing activities such as standing (a bone density scan may be needed).

If you are unsure if you are a candidate for our program or if you have further questions please do not hesitate to contact us by email or by phone 306.522.3792. We would love to hear from you.

First Steps Wellness Centre

First Steps Wellness Centre (FSWC) is a non-profit organization with charitable status. We opened our doors in 2010 and have become the leading facility in Canada for spinal cord injury and neurorehabilitation. We provide innovative activity-based therapy (ABT) for people with spinal cord injuries and associated disorders.

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