Body Weight Supported Treadmill Walking
At our Therafit Rehab clinics in Maryland and New Jersey we specialize in treating children and adults with neurological disabilities such as cerebral palsy, stroke, TBI and Parkinson’s disease. Time and again our patients tell us their number one goal for rehab is walking -- whether for the first time, relearning to walk or just walking better. And it’s no wonder. Walking is an integral...
Boxing and Balance Exercise
Although on the market for over five years, the TRAM continues to surprise us. Here are some great ideas for using the TRAM in rehab, focusing on balance support and activity, from Jamie Haines, PT, DScPT, NCS at Central Michigan University.
This patient has Parkinson's disease, Stage III. He was afraid to participate in an exercise class until he used the Rifton TRAM. What a...
The Clinical Progression: Treadmill to Overground Ambulation
Gait training is central in the rehabilitation of individuals with neuromotor disabilities. In clinical circles, there is considerable debate over whether gait training is best performed over a treadmill or over ground. Is one intervention more effective than the other? The research on this topic is inconclusive at best. What we do know, however, is that studies comparing the two gait training approaches...
Evidence Update: Supported Standing Protocols
For decades already we’ve seen standing programs used as a therapeutic intervention for adults with neurological conditions. We’ve known that without such intervention, patients with spinal cord injuries, strokes, traumatic brain injuries or multiple sclerosis spend hours and hours each day in sedentary postures—with devastating results. Sitting for upwards of eight hours a day leads to...
Spotlight on SCI Rehab
By an act of Congress, September is Spinal Cord Injury Awareness Month. And well it should be: one person becomes paralyzed every 48 seconds—in the U.S. alone. Advancements in treatment continue today but we have a long way to go. To draw attention to the needs of SCI victims (and before September is gone) I’d like to tell about a recent visit I made to a fabulous clinic in Tampa.
Evidence Based Practice
Evidence Update: Quicker Recovery with Early Movement
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...
Improved Rehab Intervention with the TRAM
The Rifton TRAM is a great addition to our skilled rehabilitation department, especially for those patients with neurological deficits. One therapist can safely assist a patient in the TRAM through a functional mobility progression starting with sitting balance on the edge of the bed, standing tolerance, posture and then gait normalization. In the past, many of these therapeutic activities needed multiple...
The Rifton TRAM vs the Standard Four-Wheeled Walker
For those of us concerned with rehab following central nervous system lesions, the last ten years have been exciting. There has been extensive research focused on the brain and its neuroplastic properties, and it’s changing the way we think about treatment.
Specifically, recent research has encouraged gait rehabilitation—task-specific and repetitive. We all recognize now that ambulation...
Evidence Based Practice
Three Principles of Neural Plasticity to Apply in Your Rehabilitation Practice
There has been a great deal of interest in recent years in the study of plasticity in the nervous system. Plasticity simply means the capacity of the central nervous system to adapt and change. Changes in the structure and function of the nervous system accompany improvements in motor skills that happen with learning and with rehabilitation after neurological damage. Although much of the work on neural...
Safe Patient Handling and Movement: Effectively Using Gait Training Equipment
It is an exciting time in the field of rehabilitation. For people who have sustained a neurological injury such as a stroke, incomplete spinal cord injury or traumatic brain injury there is now hope for regaining the ability to ambulate and sometimes even achieving a full recovery. In the past, a neurological injury was viewed as irreversible, and rehabilitation was focused on helping patients adapt and...