Effect of Standing Training on OH

Active stand training that emphasizes weight bearing is thought to stimulate the neuromuscular system below the level of injury in individuals with SCI and may affect the response to orthostatic stress by increasing venous return (Harkema et al. 2008).


Only one study examined the effect of active stand training using the body weight support treadmill system on cardiovascular function among individuals with complete SCI. Harkema et al. (2008) found that after 80 sessions (60 minutes/session; 5x/week) of active stand training, individuals with complete cervical SCI demonstrated increased resting blood pressure and improvements in the cardiovascular responses to standing.

Figure 3. Normal Cardiovascular Response to Change in Position (e.g., Sitting to Standing)


There is level 4 evidence (from 1 pre-post study: Harkema et al. 2008) that 80 sessions of active stand training improves cardiovascular control such as response to orthostatic stress after cervical SCI.