Phases of Recovery
As identified in The Project Walk Method, there are Five Phases of Recovery® that every client goes through. The rate at which each client heals and progresses is different but similar. At Project Walk, there are clients in every phase of recovery and many of them overlap into various phases as their body progress.
Phase I : Reactivation and Phase II: Development/Stabilization
The goal of Phase I is to act as the clients’ nervous system to stimulate responses and excite it. This is typically done through load bearing and active recruitment to develop joint stabilization. In Phase II we are building the nervous pathways that are used in the latter phases of the program. Reactivation or re-organization is the nervous system bypassing the injury site and re-wiring itself to perform the job it was designed to do. These are the most difficult stages of the program and can be the longest in the road to recovery.
Phase III: Eccentric and Concentric Muscle Contractions
The goal in Phase III is to initiate muscle contractions through positional movement or stimulation. This is where recovery really starts to move away from traditional occupational practices. It is our belief that the nervous system is trying to connect the way it did before a the injury occurred. However, without the proper external stimulation to re-teach it, the result is spasm and tone. Clients will be more physically tired after workouts and their nervous system will not recover as fast as it did during Phases I and II. The Specialists’ task is to help clients do the work, not to do the work for them.
Phase IV: Function and Coordination
The goal in phase IV is to improve coordinated movement through all planes of movement and motion. Our Certified Recovery Specialists may refer to this as the transition phase. This is because the client is now between worlds; they have the ability to move and control their legs and arms, but do not have the strength or coordination to walk without aids. The evolution from Phase III to Phase IV can be long, arduous, and quite frustrating.
Phase V: Gait Training
Project Walk does not teach you to walk; we teach you the skills necessary to walk well. The objective of Phase V is to provide advanced functional gait training for our clients who are moving their legs or are able to walk with or without adaptive aids. The training program in Phase V is tailored to meet each client’s individual goals. While one person may want to get upright and walk, another may want to go beyond that and surf or snowboard.