Evidence Based Practice Evidence Update: Stretch Effectiveness in Children with Disabilities October 17, 2016 by Elena Noble, MPT
In therapy, children with neuromuscular disabilities receive routine stretching interventions for contracture management and the alignment of the hip and spine. Depending on a child’s clinical presentation, stretch interventions range from short-term passive and active stretching to prolonged stretches using adaptive standers, serial casts or orthoses. However, according to four therapists published...
Evidence Based Practice Evidence Update: Selecting Gait Trainer Features September 23, 2016 by Elena Noble, MPT
Once again Ginny Paleg, DScPT, MPT and Roslyn Livingstone, MSc have delivered a valuable literature review, this one on the all-important topic of gait training. In the therapy community we’re well aware of the importance of mobility for the developing mind and body. Because children with cerebral palsy at GMFCS levels IV and V are not independently mobile, supportive gait trainers provide critical...
Evidence Based Practice Evidence Update: Early Intervention with Treadmill Training August 29, 2016 by Elena Noble, MPT
Young children with disabilities respond well to early therapeutic intervention. Literature regarding cortical plasticity in the developing brain points to encouraging therapy results as well. Not surprisingly then, initial research on treadmill training in this population is positive, indicating quicker and more competent acquisition of gait skills. However, for children, access to treadmills and a...
Evidence Based Practice Evidence Update: Positioning for Cognition May 10, 2016 by Elena Noble, MPT
Motor development in children is closely connected to cognitive development. As children learn new postures and mobility skills they’re increasingly able to explore their environment. This, in turn, helps improve cognition. In order to nurture these same motor and cognitive gains in children with disabilities, therapists use supported positioning techniques to facilitate age-appropriate skills and...
Evidence Based Practice Evidence Update: Early Intervention Stepping Practice April 04, 2016 by Elena Noble, MPT
Because bone is dynamic and responds to positive stresses and forces placed on it through weight-bearing activity, the authors of a recent study set out to examine the effects of early upright supported stepping on bone mineral content in a population of infants (1-18 months) with a form of spina bifida called myelomeningocele (MMC). They chose patients with MMC because this condition presents with...
Evidence Based Practice Evidence Update: Comparing 3 Pediatric Gait Trainers February 09, 2016 by Elena Noble, MPT
Children with disabilities benefit both physically and socially from opportunities for independent mobility. This has been well-established (and documented) in the therapy community. In cases where children can’t ambulate independently, supportive gait training equipment helps them move to their maximum potentials. Currently there are a number of adaptive gait trainers available to this population...
Evidence Based Practice Evidence Update: Standing Programs for Hip Flexibility July 27, 2015 by Elena Noble, MPT
Secondary to the motor disorders which affect their physical development, children with spastic cerebral palsy tend to lose lower limb range of motion between infancy and adolescence. Researchers have measured hip abduction decreases of nine degrees in this population. Since loss of hip abduction makes balance and walking difficult, maintaining hip abduction becomes a crucial intervention. Because of...
Evidence Based Practice Evidence Update: Quicker Recovery with Early Movement July 13, 2015 by Elena Noble, MPT
A recent study at Cleveland Clinic, a leading rehabilitation provider, found that patients participating in early mobility routines after neurological injury recovered quicker and went home earlier than those receiving standard care. NPR recently ran an excellent segment on this study providing good detail and anecdotes from the researchers illustrating how early mobilization is improving the...
Evidence Based Practice Evidence Update: Children's Perspectives on Robotic Gait Training April 27, 2015 by Elena Noble, MPT
Gait training is a fundamental intervention in pediatric rehabilitation. At present, over-ground assistive devices and treadmills dominate the field, but we’re now seeing emerging robotic technologies that offer solutions to normalize and enhance the quality of gait mainly through the application of motor learning principles and the use of dynamic weight-bearing systems. We need to learn more about...
Evidence Based Practice Rifton TRAM and Safe Patient Handling March 30, 2015 by Gerard Dybel, PT, ScD, GCS
Gerard Dybel PT, ScD, GCS, is an associate professor in the Department of Physical Therapy at the University of Massachusetts Lowell. His research interests include ergonomics, injury prevention in health care workers and the implementation of no-lift technology by physical therapists practicing in rehabilitation departments. He recently conducted a pilot study on safe patient handling (SPH) to evaluate...
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