We need to keep our bodies in the best possible shape. The lack of movement below one’s level of injury causes the body’s muscles and nerves to atrophy.
I had an MRI done about a year and a half after my spinal cord injury. The doctor looked at it and responded “I see the spinal cord injury, that makes sense, I see above his injury level and that looks healthy which makes sense, but what does not make sense is that the spinal cord below his level of injury is the exact same width and healthiness as above his injury level.”
He told my dad that he never seen that before. He said when someone has a spinal cord injury, the spinal cord typically shrinks below their level of injury because the lack of neurological activity. My dad went on to explain how much exercise I do below my level of injury.
Both with the standing frame and the FES bike, I’ve been able to keep my spinal cord healthy so that when the cure does come I don’t have to play catch-up; all I have to do is connect the two sides with the right combination therapy.