Trunk task-oriented training combined with functional electrical stimulation to improve functional independence in spinal cord injured individuals

Following a spinal cord injury (SCI), sensory and motor impairments affect the ability to perform daily life tasks independently, such as transferring or grabbing an object. Intuitively to accomplish these tasks, the use of the upper and lower limbs is obvious, but the trunk is equally essential. Trunk control alterations generate deficits in the functional independence (FI), even in sitting position. However, alteration processes and clear treatment guidelines have not been issued.
Trunk task-oriented training (T-TOT) combined with function electrical stimulation (FES) is a novel rehabilitation approach using the capacity of the central nervous system to reorganize (neuroplasticity) to increase trunk motor control and therefore possibly improve FI.
The objectives are to 1) evaluate FES/T-TOT efficacy on sitting balance and FI, and 2) understand the mechanisms of neuroplasticity that would improve FI following FES/T-TOT in individuals with SCI.
Improving FI of individuals with SCI will reduce healthcare costs for the individuals themselves and the health system. Private clinics are increasingly becoming key players in the healthcare system for the recovery and health of Canadians.

Charlotte Pion
Superviseur universitaire: 
Dorothy Barthélemy
Partner University: