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Virtual Sailing Helps Spinal Cord Injury Patients Build Strength

A new program has recently been developed in order to help people who have suffered from spinal cord injuries have the ability to build upper body strength. The current exercises that are used for those with spinal cord injuries in order to help them rehabilitate do not focus on muscle strength, but a new virtual sailing program may be the perfect amount of movement in order to help patients physically as well as mentally.

One patient in particular, who was injured five years ago when a ladder fell on top of him and crushed his spine, felt that he needed some type of exercise to help fight the confining feeling that he dealt with on a daily basis from his wheelchair.

The man was left permanently paralyzed from the waist down after the accident and wanted a way to maintain muscle strength. New research being studied at the Kennedy Kreiger Institute in Baltimore, Maryland, V-Sail, is an “access sailing simulator system” that allows patients to navigate a “boat-like vessel”  in order to help them build upper body strength.

A 12-week course has been created in order to help spinal cord injury patients not only build the muscle they may have lost, but also better their health in general as well as build self-esteem. Doctors associated with the research have stated that they are hoping to see progress on the physical strength as well as mental wellness.

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