Making accessible rehab a reality

Making accessible rehab a reality

Neurokinex has been delivering leading-edge rehabilitation and wellness programmes to the paralysis community for over eight years now. As we emerge from the pandemic, not only is their vision of making the best programmes available to everyone who deserves them still burning brightly, but the value and impact of such services has never been greater.

 

Protocols

Established using best practice in spinal cord injury therapy from around the world, the rehabilitation we offer here at Neurokinex is helping to redefine the possibilities for adults and children living with paralysis. With sites at Hemel Hempstead, Bristol and Crawley, Neurokinex is proud to be the only European affiliate of the Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation’s Neuro Recovery Network.

Our diverse range of specialised rehabilitation includes ground-breaking protocols from the Neuro Recovery Network consisting of:

Locomotor Training

Locomotor Training is a rehabilitation intervention that is driven by the main goal of recovering function.  It is based on our current knowledge of how the brain and spinal cord control stepping and how the nervous system learns motor skills.  It provides activation of the neuromuscular system below the level of lesion with the goal of retraining the nervous system to recover specific motor tasks such as those required for posture and mobility. The benefits from this restorative approach reach far beyond its ultimate goal. Cardiovascular and pulmonary function, increased bone density, reduced spasticity, decreased skin lesions and a greater ability to tolerate glucose are a few of the life-enhancing outcomes often attributed to this intervention. Generally, it is delivered with participants using body weight support systems suspended over a treadmill. Youngsters and adults alike engage well with this training which is precise and personalised to each individual.

 

Wide Pulse Stimulation (WPS)

Wide Pulse Stimulation (WPS) is a form of electrical stimulation we use to activate muscles superficially to promote the benefits of traditional stimulation whilst stimulating increased central activation. A diverse range of our clients use WPS as it’s the perfect complement to our renowned activity-based rehabilitation programme that focuses below the point of injury and has people standing where possible during their sessions. We now have WPS at all of our sites, ensuring every client has access to this vital training protocol.

The therapy comprises placing electrodes on the skin over the corresponding muscles which are associated with a particular functional movement and the participant consciously works alongside the WPS.

 

In order to maximise the potential of WPS, it’s imperative that consistent, high repetitions are completed – the body is wonderfully adaptive and neural connections can be strengthened through repeated activity, otherwise known as neuroplasticity.

 

WPS has many benefits including:

  • Increased muscle mass
  • Improved voluntary motor control
  • Improved function
  • Improved sensation
  • Improved autonomic regulation
  • Provision of the optimal environment for neuroplasticity

 

Partnerships

We work with a wide range of partners to deliver our ground-breaking rehabilitation, thus ensuring we reach as many people as possible. As a member of the internationally renowned Christopher & Dana Reeve’s Neuro Recovery Network, we have access to the best practices in rehabilitation and research in the world.

Neurokinex also works with a wide variety of funding partners and charities including Scinergise, the Peter Harrison Foundation, Active Sussex and Active Herts. Each of these charities provides funding for bursaries to ensure more people can participate and receive access to Neurokinex. Embedded in local communities, they help extend our reach to individuals who may need extra funding support to access our therapies.

Scinergise works specifically to offer funding for children to attend sessions at Neurokinex Kids. To date, seven children have been able to access our services thanks to their help. Set up by a young adult client of ours, this is a hugely rewarding partnership that is valued by all.

Another organisation which supports young children is The Peter Harrison Foundation Community Fund. A small grants organisation, it supports local community and voluntary groups and works with Neurokinex to offer funding as part of its ‘Special Needs and Care for Children and Young People’ programme.

Active Sussex and Active Herts work closely with our Crawley and Hemel Hempstead sites respectively and the grant funding they are able to award us has helped pay towards vital software to support our services and client sessions.

 

Step Up Scheme

Alongside the generous donations and bursaries from partners, we and our clients work tirelessly to fundraise to safeguard our services. The COVID-19 pandemic severely threatened the future of our Step Up Scheme which awards six free sessions to newly injured or diagnosed clients referred by the NHS. The service is a lifeline for many, giving them access to our services that can have life-changing results. However, it costs us £420 per person so when our doors had to close in March 2020, we needed additional fundraising to secure the Scheme’s future.

We launched our Step Up Appeal on June 1, 2020 to raise £25,000 to ensure newly injured people could access our services once lockdown lifted. The Step Up Appeal attracted individual donations while a number of our clients decided to set themselves personal challenges in an effort to help raise funds. A mighty £28,322.56 was raised by six Neurokinex clients aged two to 49 who set themselves a range of personal challenges to help protect the service that helped them.

This spirited fundraising was complemented by other funds raised through individual donations and a charity auction that ended the two-month campaign on July 31, 2020. The appeal ended having raised £52,850.49 to safeguard our Step Up Scheme.

 

Step It Up Challenge 2021

We are now gearing up for our Step It Up Challenge in August 2021 that will seek to raise another £25,000 to safeguard our services for another year. Each of our sites will be forming teams of clients and family members to travel as far as they can by foot and by wheelchair with the aim to complete the 333 miles between our three sites. People can use treadmills, bikes, tricycles and handcycles. They can wheel it, walk it, run or swim: just so long as they go the extra mile to raise funds.

 

“Science is ahead of the money”

Matthew Reeve said this at the opening of our Neurokinex Kids site in 2018. Sadly, today, it remains true. There is an enormous body of work being done to progress spinal cord injury rehabilitation. Here at Neurokinex we partner with universities and charities to further the progress of the scientific advances in spinal cord injury. We are currently taking part in an innovative research study investigating the use of transcutaneous spinal cord stimulation as a treatment for spinal cord injury.

‘Rehab for everyone’ is our key mission as we know the true value of accessing this goes beyond someone’s physical capabilities and extends to their mental health and wellbeing, confidence and independence. Not to mention the reduction in costs for their care and support, both at home and in medical settings.

 

The right to rehab  

Our overriding goal at Neurokinex is to make ‘rehab for everyone’ a reality. Over time, we aim to have a national spread of Neurokinex sites so that everyone who needs it can access it. As well as building more physical sites, we will strive to work with many different partners to find ways to fund rehab to ensure that everyone who needs this can benefit from our Activity Based Rehabilitation programme and world-leading protocols.

We believe that everyone who has a spinal cord injury should be able to access the best therapies available and not be limited by their geographical location or disposable income.

We will strive to bring new therapies to the fore and redouble our efforts to work with partners up and down the country and across the world to achieve this aim.

 

To find out more about Neurokinex please visit neurokinex.org

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