CYCLING WITH YOUR OWN MUSCLES, DESPITE A CONDITION

Complete Spinal Cord Injury

WHAT CAN A BERKELBIKE SIGNIFY IN THE CASE OF A SCI?

A complete SCI is caused by damage to the nerves in the spinal cord. There are several ways this can happen. When the nerves are completely damaged, we speak of a complete SCI. The nerves are unable to recover or to regain their function.

People with complete SCI experience loss of sensibility and function in part of their body. Which parts of the body are affected depends on the level of the SCI. This also determines what problems people with a SCI are experiencing. The different solutions of the BerkelBike can help you to get the most out of your body.

THE BENEFITS OF A BERKELBIKE
  • Activates paralysed muscles
  • Easy to transport (in a car)
  • Apt for use both indoors and outdoors (till cervical 5)
  • Uses combined arm and leg drive
  • Available in a model with a fixed frame
  • Available in a model that can be coupled with your own wheelchair
THE ADDED VALUE OF A BERKELBIKE
  • Less risks of depression
  • Diminishes the frequency of spasms
  • Increases muscle mass and flexibility
  • Improves bowel movement and blood flow
  • Enables training at home, without dependence on a physical therapist
  • A more effective fitness and strength training than a handbike can offer
JOHNNY BEER TIMMS – COMPLETE TRANSVERSE LESION (C5)

“In 2011, I had a trampoline accident due to a failed back somersault. The result was a complete transverse lesion, so I could no longer move my arms and legs. Meanwhile, I can move some of my arms a little more. My hands don’t work anymore and this causes many problems.

My interest in controling muscles through electrical stimulation brought me in touch with BerkelBike. This amazing bike with electric stimulation lets me cycle again with the muscles in my arms and legs. I can’t move my legs, this is true, but this keeps me fit. I am even building up new muscle tissue! Personally, I believe that staying fit is extremely important for patients with a spinal cord injury. “

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HOW DOES A BERKELBIKE FUNCTION?

You can drive a BerkelBike with your arms as well as with your legs, in such a way that the arms can support the legs. For many people with a complete SCI, however, this is still insufficient to be able to ride a bike. That’s why we developed a method to electrically stimulate the nerves of the legs.

With this method, the legs are stimulated to perform a pedaling movement, even if they can’t make any movement themselves. In the case of a very low lesion provoking a flaccid paralysis, it isn’t possible to let somebody ride a bike, but even then we offer a possibility to stimulate the leg muscles and to get health benefits.

RICHARD WILSON USES THE BERKELBIKE CONNECT

Richard uses the BerkelBike Connect which he can couple with his wheelchair. The Docking Station VR allows him to cycle along his favourite route, even if the weather doesn’t allow it. So he can keep monitoring his improvements, even in winter.
He always uses the FES, both indoors and outdoors. This system allows him to cycle both with his arms and his legs, or even only with his legs, thanks to the enormous progress he has made. Thanks to the BerkelBike Connect, he was able to build up muscle mass in his legs.

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WHAT IS FUNCTIONAL ELECTRICAL STIMULATION?

Functional Electrical Stimulation (FES) is an innovation in the area of muscle stimulation, which is able to induce movement into muscles that are completely paralysed. Combined with the BerkelBike, it offers users the possibility to cycle with their legs, in spite of their SCI.

Most people with a spastic paralysis are using the BerkelBike FES box. For people with a flaccid paralysis, the RISE stimulator can be used. The RISE stimulator cannot be used in combination with the BerkelBike, but it can trigger tension of the muscles. You can’t cycle, but you have health benefits in the areas of muscle mass, blood flow and skin condition.

WHICH BENEFITS HAS A BERKELBIKE FOR MY HEALTH?

The BerkelBike has shown that it can support the rehabilitation process after a SCI, but besides, there are many other positive effects as well. For example, the BerkelBike minimizes the risk of developing a decubitus and prevents the loss of muscle tissue. Physical activity, moreover, not only has positive effects on the body, but also on the spirit. Movement provides a good and healthy feeling throughout the day.

An important health benefit of the BerkelBike is that the BerkelBike stimulates both the arms and the legs toward movement. The leg muscles are the largest muscle group in the human body. These muscles must be trained in order to become physically fit in an optimal manner. The blood circulation in the lower body improves, and this will help the rehabilitation process after a SCI.

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