During ambulation the pelvis wants to move freely, both vertically and laterally. Most gait trainers limit these normal biomechanics – until now. The Pacer from Rifton offers an upper frame with fabulous new possibilities: vertical movement for dynamic weight bearing and lateral movement for dynamic weight shifting.
Watch more videos in this series:
Getting to Know the MPS Adjustments
New Pacer Transfer Using the MPS
Good Positioning for Optimal Gait Training
The Advantage of Dynamic Movement
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Transcript of Video
During ambulation the pelvis wants to move freely, both vertically and laterally. Most gait trainers limit these normal biomechanics – until now. The new Dynamic Pacer from Rifton offers an upper frame with fabulous new possibilities: vertical movement for dynamic weight bearing and lateral movement for dynamic weight shifting.
Here we meet Scott, an 18 year old with mild cerebral palsy and autism. Given his compromised strength and low tone, the treadmill will provide an opportunity to gain strength, endurance and walking stamina.
Here we see the dynamic upper frame placed on the treadmill/stability base. The built in height adjustment of the base allows it to clear the treadmill while Scott steps up onto the belt. This is Scott’s first time ever on a treadmill.
Note how the dynamic feature on the upper frame encourages a more natural gait pattern and easier stepping for Scott.
We anticipated that the moving belt would be a new and different experience for Scott. Without the support of the Pacer it would be very difficult to do this kind of gait therapy safely.
The side-to-side movement allows for up to two inches of horizontal movement. This lateral freedom allows Scott to shift his weight from one limb to the other.
The up and down movement allows Scott to move his center of gravity vertically and assists weight bearing, so that the opposite limb can swing through more easily.
With practice, Scott will improve his ability to walk on a treadmill. This option enables him to do more walking at home, where space and opportunity for overground walking are very limited. On the treadmill, Scott can continue to increase his walking strength and endurance.
Reuben is a 16-year-old young with global developmental delay and significant hip, knee, and ankle contractures. Here we see him using the dynamic upper frame on the standard base with 5 ½ inch casters.
With the multi-positioning saddle and arm prompts he has sufficient support and no longer requires a chest prompt or further leg accessories.
Notice how the combined action of the vertical dynamic weight bearing and the horizontal dynamic weight shift mechanisms together permit an up/down and side-to-side floating movement of the entire upper frame and prompt system.
With the dynamic upper frame, Reuben requires notably less energy to generate movement and is actually approaching a jogging pace with much less fatigue. Needless to say, he loves it.
Ben is a tall, active, 21-year old with global developmental delay who can present with sudden drop seizures. He poses a challenge with his large size, poor balance, and his tendency toward movement sensory seeking behavior. Ben uses a helmet to prevent head injury in case of a seizure or fall.
Although he is fully weight bearing and ambulatory, it normally requires 2 or 3 staff to keep him safe while walking, and even so both he and staff are at constant risk for a fall or injury. But Ben has to keep walking for health; he is currently on a weight loss program.
With the multi-position saddle and the dynamic upper frame, Ben can walk comfortably and safely with the supervision of one adult. The free-floating dynamic system allows for the subtle but natural movements that occur with walking, enabling Ben to move his center of gravity smoothly and easily.
Instead of fighting against the device Ben is enjoying more freedom of movement. With dynamic movement, walking is more energy efficient. For the first time Ben has tolerated walking for up to an hour at a time.
Notice that with free movement of the front casters, the whole frame moves side to side along with the movement of the dynamic upper frame. By applying the swivel lock to the front casters there is no side-to-side movement of the base frame and the lateral movement of the dynamic system is maximized.
The utility base has 8 inch front casters and 11 ½ inch rear wheels, for improved ease of movement over any surface, and is designed to be used indoors and out.
The odometer caster is an option for tracking the number of feet ambulated, and can be re-set to zero between sessions.
Since the start of this program, Ben has shed 40 pounds by combining increased exercise and a careful diet. Being able to exercise outdoors adds excitement and variety to Ben’s day.