There are huge physiological and psychological benefits to walking, to any weight bearing activity really. Sometimes though, the damage to the neurological system is too severe, and the connections between motor cortex and muscles are no longer viable. In spite of this, there is often a discrepancy between what the clinician knows (prognosis) and what the patient believes (hope). The physiotherapy evaluation then becomes confrontational as we ask the client to perform certain functional movements, only to have them realize they are no longer able to.
After thirty years in the field, I can usually predict what the outcome is going to be. Then there are those times I am proven wrong. In this context, I love being wrong, being put in my place by a universe that knows better than me. Miracles, albeit small ones, can and do occur and clients who were slated to spend the rest of their days wheelchair-bound rise up to pat me on the head. Yep, once in a while the complacency of experience is humbled by a little upheaval.