Activity and Chronic Spinal Cord Injury

Activity and Chronic Spinal Cord Injury: Kennedy Krieger Institute

Activity-based restorative therapy continues to gain in popularity. By combining progressive interventions with a focus on restoration of function lost to paralysis, ABRT has proven to have a significant impact on patients function and quality of life. As we learn more about the importance of activity in relation to the mechanisms that underlie neural recovery, we have refined the interventions associated with ABRT. In this talk, we will discuss the scientific basis and key therapeutic components of ABRT. We will highlight outcomes from the past 10 years of work at the International Center for Spinal Cord Injury, focusing on the capacity of structured activity to make meaningful incremental changes in patients with chronic SCI, and provide insight on the future direction for progressive rehabilitation.

Rebecca Martin

Rebecca Martin


Rebecca Martin, OTR/L, OTD, CPAM, Kennedy Krieger Institute. Rebecca is the manager of Clinical Education and Training with the International Center for Spinal Cord Injury at Kennedy Krieger Institute, where she has been since 2005. Rebecca received a bachelor’s degree in occupational therapy from Boston University in 2001 and her Doctor of Occupational Therapy degree from Rocky Mountain University in 2009. She is certified in physical agent modalities. Her experience spans inpatient and outpatient therapy for both children and adults with a variety of neurological diagnoses. Prior to joining the center, Rebecca worked in pediatric neurorehabilitation with the May Institute in Boston, MA. Her research interests are in the restoration of UE function with FES. She has presented her research in ABRT and training materials nationally and internationally.

Beth Myers

Beth Myers


Beth Myers, PT, DPT, NCS, is the Manager of Therapy Services at the International Center for Spinal Cord Injury at the Kennedy Krieger Institute, overseeing nearly 50 occupational and physical therapists. Beth is a graduate of Boston University with B.S. and M.S. degrees in Physical Therapy. She joined the Institute in 2000 on the inpatient brain injury team. With the arrival of Drs. Cristina Sadowsky and John McDonald In 2005, she was able to expand her passion for treating patients with spinal cord injuries. Since that time, she has facilitated the expansion of the clinic’s services, including aquatics and Wellness programs. In 2013, she was awarded Leader in Spinal Cord Injury Care Award at the Spinal Cord Injury Symposium in Baltimore. She has authored a case study on normal pressure hydrocephalus, co-authored a case series on the effect of underwater treadmill training on patients with spinal cord injury, and has recently written an article on the use of technology in the clinic setting. She recently received her DPT through the NeuroRecovery Training Institute and earned her board certification for the neurologic population (NCS). Beth spoke at last year’s Working2Walk symposium on the topic of spasticity management.

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