Adaptive Fitness Helps Patient With Complex Spinal Cord Injury Stay Active | MedStar Health

Adaptive Fitness Helps Patient With Complex Spinal Cord Injury Stay Active

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Imagine living with a spinal cord injury as a result of simply falling in your home?

The thought is quite scary and could happen to any one of us. And so it happened to Kent Keyser, who spent more than three decades working on Capitol Hill, following a terrible mishap one evening in his basement. In one instant, Keyser went from fully functional to suffering a spinal cord injury (SCI), while not a complete injury, still leaves him needing to use a power chair and requires him to have assistance when walking.

After years of physical therapy, a lot of hard work and determination, Keyser walks 20 to 30 minutes daily; uses gym equipment to help regain strength in his arms; shoulders; back; chest; and legs.

In more than 10 years since Keyser’s SCI, adaptive fitness, like the program offered at MedStar NRH thanks to a generous grant for our patients through the Gordon & Marilyn Macklin Foundation, has provided major assistance to Keyser in keeping him active.

“I am a firm believer that good health is the foundation of an independent and productive life,” Keyser told CARF International recently. “Couple adaptive fitness with good nutrition and you have a good recipe for a life of accomplishment.”

Keyser calls himself ‘privileged’ to have done his rehabilitation at MedStar NRH. Following discharge from both inpatient and outpatient programs, Keyser heard about the Adaptive Fitness programs, conducted with different activities four times weekly at the hospital on Irving Street in D.C., that provide patients the opportunity to stay active following a debilitating injury.

The open gym time, where patients can use the equipment, was extremely important to him.

For more information on the Adaptive Fitness classes at MedStar NRH click here.

About MedStar National Rehabilitation Network
The MedStar National Rehabilitation Network is a regional system of rehabilitation care that offers inpatient, day treatment and outpatient services in Washington, D.C., Maryland and Northern Virginia.

The Network’s interdisciplinary team of rehabilitation experts provides comprehensive services to help people recover as fully as possible following illness and injury. Rehabilitation medicine specialists, psychologists, physical and occupational therapists, and speech-language pathologists work hand-in-hand with other rehab professionals to design treatment plans tailored to each patient’s unique needs. Rehabilitation plans feature a team approach and include the use of state-of-the-art technology and advanced medical treatment based on the latest rehabilitation research.

The Network provides comprehensive programs specifically designed to aid in the rehabilitation of adults and children recovering from neurologic and orthopaedic conditions such as amputation, arthritis, back and neck pain, brain injury, cancer, cardiac conditions, concussion, fibromyalgia, foot and ankle disorders, hand and upper extremity problems, post-polio syndrome, stroke, spinal cord injury and disease, and sports and work-related injuries.

Inpatient and day treatment programs are provided at MedStar National Rehabilitation Hospital located in Northwest Washington, D.C., and at more than 50 outpatient sites conveniently located throughout the region. MedStar National Rehabilitation Network is fully accredited by The Joint Commission, the Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities (CARF), with CARF accredited specialty programs for Amputations, Brain Injury, Spinal Cord Injury and Stroke.

For more on MedStar National Rehabilitation Network and to find a location near you, log on to

Media Contact

For Immediate Release

Derek T. Berry

Director of Communications

Ph: 202-877-1773

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