Using Adaptive Equipment to Foster Participation in Vocational Settings
Physical therapists have long advocated for the use of standers and gait trainers to support the mobility, accessibility and health needs of youth and adults with mobility impairments including education of families/school teams and use of equipment in activity programs. Use of gait trainers, standers and other mobility devices allow individuals mobility they would not be able to achieve due to...
Busting that Persistent Myth about Adaptive Bikes and Recreation
I love the adaptive tricycle and the opportunities it affords many of my students. But how often have insurance companies denied requests for adaptive tricycles because they only see the recreational purpose? For my students with the most severe disabilities, the tricycle is a life-saver, and often the only piece of adaptive equipment that will help them achieve functional gains and participation. I&rsquo...
Creative Mobility Technology for Improved Outcomes
I recently attended the APTA Next Conference in Boston. A new component to this conference is the experience zone—an education space in the exhibit hall allowing presenters to draw on resources from the show floor as part of their presentations. A great idea. I attended a course called “Creative Mobility Technology for Improved Outcomes” in the zone.
Here we learned to get the most...
Weight-bearing Assistance and Pelvic Positioning with the New Pacer Gait Trainer
Rifton’s new Pacer gait trainer has three options for weight-bearing assistance and positioning of the hip girdle:
1. the multi-positioning saddle
2. the hip positioner, and
3. the pelvic support
Here’s a brief description of each with our recommendations to help you choose the right one for your clients.
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...
Toileting Initiative Produces Great Results
It all started when therapists from the three special day schools of Baltimore County Public Schools sat down to talk at one of our yearly meetings. The discussion turned from the mundane to the visionary, how to provide more functional, purposeful activities for our kiddos throughout the day. And, of all things, we talked about toileting. As a vital part of the student’s day, we wanted the toileting...
Tilt and Recline in Pediatric Mobility
We know that there are over fifteen body functions and body structures affected by the orientation of an adaptive seating system. So needless to say, when setting up such a seating system for a child with disabilities, it’s important to get it right. That task falls on the child’s therapist or ATP. Successful positioning and functional results depends on thoroughly understanding the...
Out in Front with Mechanical Lifts in Schools
Last week I attended the Combined Section Meeting of the American Physical Therapy Association. It was held in San Antonio (great choice, especially in February!) and included some excellent programming. I’d like to share highlights from one of the workshops which focused on using lift and transfer devices in schools. It was presented by therapists from four large school districts.
Nine TRAM Success Stories from the Public School Setting
Three years ago, because of significant work-place injury among the region’s educational staff, I along with other physical therapists from High Desert Education Service District’s (HDESD) proposed a safe patient handling and mobility (SPHM) policy which the region’s special education directors endorsed. This involved obtaining and teaching school staff how to use mechanical devices to...