Spinal Cord Injury and Rehabilitation

Younker Rehabilitation Center

Our Approach to Spinal Cord Injury Rehabilitation

Spinal Cord Injury Rehabilitation at Younker Rehabilitation focuses on an integrated approach to medical, nursing and therapy care to address the complex needs of each patient. Younker Rehabilitation's spinal cord injury program serves non-ventilator dependent individuals who may have complete or incomplete neurological impairments.

Our goal is to maximize your recovery potential for a successful transition to home following your injury. With you at the center of our team, this approach allows you to improve your physical function and mobility, develop skills to perform daily activities, utilize adaptive technology to optimize your independence and overcome barriers to adjustment – in short, provide skills and strategies for living life to its fullest.

Recovery and the Family

A spinal cord injury affects the entire family and an important aspect of our program is supporting everyone involved. Families will participate in therapy and receive both classroom-style and hands-on education alongside their loved one. You will have the opportunity to utilize this knowledge and practice the skills you learn at Younker Rehabilitation in our transition room before returning home. Our comprehensive education includes: understanding spinal cord injury, bowel and bladder management, skin care, heart and cardiovascular health, autonomic dysreflexia, weight management and nutrition, lung care and complications, musculoskeletal changes, spasticity and heterotopic ossification (changes to muscle tone and bone growth), sexuality and reproduction, coping and adjustment to spinal cord injury, community resources, life-care planning, return to school/work and research for a cure.

Treatment and Advanced Technology

Younker Rehabilitation incorporates advanced treatment and state-of-the-art technology to achieve optimal outcomes and help individuals with incomplete injuries regain motor control. Our interdisciplinary team of physiatrists and spinal cord rehabilitation experts tailor treatment to your individual rehabilitation goals.

Treatment and Advanced Technology in Spinal Cord Injury Rehabilitation

Bioness® Plus L300 and RT300 Arm and Leg FES Bike
Functional electrical stimulation options include the Bioness® Plus L300 and RT300 Arm and Leg FES Bike. Neuromuscular stimulation can reduce muscle atrophy and improve cardiovascular function. This uses electrical stimulation of muscles and nerves using electrodes or patches over the skin to help bring about muscle contraction while you exercise.
EasyStand Evolv™ Standing Frame

A standing frame is an assistive technology used to provide alternative positioning to sitting in a wheelchair by supporting an individual in the standing position. This type of equipment is most commonly used by people with spinal cord injuries, traumatic brain injuries, multiple sclerosis, stroke and post-polio syndrome.

Tilt Table Younker Rehabilitation.jpg 


The benefits of using a standing frame are multi-system including:

  • An increased sense of well-being and quality of life
  • Increased ROM or muscle length
  • Decreased muscle tone/spasticity
  • Improved bone health
  • Improved balance and trunk strength as well as improved efficiency and regularity of bowel function
  • Improved cardiovascular and respiratory function
  • Improved skin condition
The exoskeleton is a wearable robotic suit that enables patients to stand up and walk with the assistive technology. The exoskeleton is designed for stroke and spinal cord injuries. The exoskeleton gives the patient strength and helps restore the nerve signals between the patient's brain and legs that make walking possible. The exoskeleton may improve mobility outside of the device such as walking speed, walking safety, abilities with transfers, endurance for functional activities, improved bone strength, intestinal health and pressure related concerns.
The LiteGait® is a training device that supports a patient using a harness system, allowing them to work on improving gait/walking performance with a therapist's assistance on a treadmill or the ground. The LiteGait® allows patients to practice walking in a fall-free environment and frees the therapist to be able to focus on aspects of movement to improve the quality of movement as the patient walks. Research in the past two decades has shown training using body weight supported treadmills enhances walking ability in adults and children with neurological injuries including stroke, brain injury, Parkinson's disease, spinal cord injury and cerebral palsy.
The mobile arm support (MAS) supports the arm to, in essence, remove the resistance of gravity for a patient who has a weak shoulder and arm. This can allow the person to work on functional activities and training that could not be accomplished otherwise. The MAS can also be used during tasks such as eating a meal to allow the person with a weak arm to begin to feed him/herself.
Technology-based environmental controls
Amazon Echo © Digital Assistant Speaker is a hands-free speaker you control with your voice, affording you increased independence in your environment.
Advanced wheelchair seating, pressure mapping and mobility options
Our wheelchair specialist collaborates with a certified Assistive Technology Professional (ATP) through UnityPoint at Home to evaluate and determine which wheelchair will be best for a patient during their stay at Younker Rehabilitation and at home. This may require pressure mapping. A pressure map is a computerized clinical tool for assessing pressure distribution to allow the therapist to determine which cushion will reduce the risk of pressure ulcers or wounds.