A spinal cord injury (SCI) disrupts the communication within the nervous system, leading to limitations in sensorimotor activities, such as walking. These limitations are associated with muscle weakness, a disturbance of the reflex activity, and the inability or difficulty to recruit muscles below the lesion. Regular use of functional electrical stimulation (FES) can result in recovery of voluntary muscle control, muscle strength, and improved gait function. FES-assisted gait may provide effective gait therapy for incomplete SCI patients. This study will investigate if FES-assisted gait with body weight support (BWS) can improve gait function in people with an incomplete SCI.
A 20-week gait intervention, where the participants will walk on a treadmill twice a week for 30 with body weight support. The intervention is divided into two sub-interventions of 8 weeks. Participants will walk without FES during week 1 to 8, and participants will walk with FES during week 10 to 18.
Participants are asked to come to Reade 35 times in total. 32 times during the intervention to walk on the treadmill with or without FES, and once before, between and after the intervention for the pre-, mid- and post-intervention measurements. The trainings and measurements will take ±120 minutes. Possible benefits of participating in this study may be an improved gait function.