Paralysis :: Home exercise tool for people with tetraplegia

People affected by paralysis could enjoy more independence, better health and a higher quality of life thanks to an innovative system designed to improve fitness and increase arm strength.
It uses electrical signals to stimulate movement in arm muscles where function has been lost, making it possible to work an arm-exercise machine (similar to an exercise bike but worked by the arms).

This enables people with paralysis to enjoy the health benefits of regular work-outs. For those with some function in their arms, it also helps them become strong enough to perform more activities unaided (wheelchair propulsion, moving from wheelchair to bed/bath, washing and eating etc). Aimed at people with injuries to the spinal cord, the system may be able to help those with paralysis caused by strokes or head injuries too.

This breakthrough is the result of a collaborative project undertaken by University of Glasgow engineers and Glasgow’s Queen Elizabeth National Spinal Injuries Unit with funding from the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC). A company is now commercialising the research with a view to a product launch in the coming months. The project team is also producing a video with EPSRC support to raise awareness of its work among people with paralysis and the healthcare community.


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