Tips & Advice

Guidelines for Functional Use of the Pacer Gait Trainer Part I

October 07, 2019 by Elena Noble, MPT
girl using Rifton Pacer

The Pacer gait trainer is a walking device used across pediatric settings and adult rehabilitation settings to support individuals with disabilities in upright postures and ambulatory activities. With the appropriate supports in the gait trainer, independent mobility becomes a possibility. Each Pacer accessory (or prompt) adjusts to accommodate any positioning need or is otherwise easily removed to...

Tips & Advice Pacer Prompt Reduction July 16, 2019 by Lori Potts, PT
See also: Part 2: Prompt Reduction Strategies. Using the Rifton Pacer’s full range of adjustment possibilities will help you meet goals for mobility and activity. Individuals who cannot bear weight fully through their lower extremities, or need prompting for alignment need appropriately positioned prompts and supports. Motor skills acquisition and strength building are best achieved when an...
Evidence Based Practice Teens with Cerebral Palsy Benefit from Treadmill Gait Training – A Case Story March 18, 2019 by Connie Johnson, PT, DScPT
As a pediatric physical therapist working in public schools, I want my students to move, and to move in the same way their peers do. When Rifton came out with the treadmill gait trainer, I was eager to explore increasing exercise intensity for my teenagers with mobility impairments. I was fortunate enough to get funding for one in my school. I went to the literature to look for protocols using gait treadmills for youth with disabilities and did not find much.
Stories The Magic of the Floating Frame March 19, 2018 by Amanda Blankley
Saad is a young man who just transitioned to our adult services from his school program in September 2017, and even though I try hard not to have favorites, Saad tests my resolve; he never fails to brighten my day. When Saad first arrived, he only had the wheelchair he came in. We put him in an old-style Rifton XL Pacer. Saad has cerebral palsy, involving a complex history with both his knees requiring...
PT/OT Intervening Early for Better Mobility in CP March 06, 2018 by Elena Noble, MPT
I recently attended the annual American Physical Therapy Association Combined Sections Meeting (APTA CSM) in New Orleans. Among the wealth of great programming, I chose a course looking at early intervention for children with cerebral palsy (CP), and I’d like to share a few points I took away. For therapy purposes, early intervention means providing services to a child before two years of age...
Evidence Based Practice Evidence Update: Adding Resistance to BWSTT November 27, 2017 by Elena Noble, MPT
Although integrated into pediatric clinical practice for the last decade, body weight supported treadmill training (BWSTT) continues to be an area of research interest and an evolving intervention. We can see this reflected in a recent study examining effective motor learning strategies for treadmill training. For children with disabilities, the treadmill is a safe place where they can organize their...
Evidence Based Practice Evidence Update: Dynamic Gait Training for Child with SCI October 17, 2017 by Elena Noble, MPT
Because good clinical evidence on the benefits of gait training is so scarce, we celebrate every contribution we find. Here’s one that specifically explores the effect of dynamic gait training on a child with a spinal cord injury. After sustaining a complete T10 spinal cord injury (SCI) at 23 months old, this child began a walking program six months later. She initially started with a posterior...
Evidence Based Practice Evidence Update: Children with CP and Home-based Treadmill Programs September 25, 2017 by Elena Noble, MPT
Motor learning suggests that practice, repetition and task specificity are instrumental to task improvement. Sometimes extending the practice of therapeutic activities beyond the clinical environment and into the home is a great way to apply these principles and reinforce the gains made in the clinic. Knowing this, I was interested to read a recent study looking at children with cerebral palsy and the...
PT/OT Removing Limits, One Step at a Time September 14, 2017 by Kevin Mullin, CNR Managing Consultant
The Center for Neuro Recovery (CNR) in North Palm Beach, Florida, is not your traditional training and recovery center. It’s rated among the top training centers in the country with referrals from 54 national rehab hospitals and 17 international rehab hospitals, and it might be best described as a highly skilled comprehensive training facility for those willing to push the boundaries. CNR provides...
Stories In Praise of the Athlete August 25, 2017 by Elena Noble, MPT
Johnny Agar never considered himself an athlete. Born with cerebral palsy, he used a wheelchair, depended on others to care for him and took his first steps—23 total—at 11 years old. But sports was always part of his life—after all his dad had been a pitcher for the Detroit Tigers. But father and son did not bond on the baseball diamond. Inspired by My Team Triumph, a program where able...
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