Evidence Based Practice
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
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...
Tips & Advice
The Rifton TRAM is a versatile transfer and mobility device that can safely support people of varying abilities and sizes. To do this effectively it’s important to position the body support low enough on the trunk, but for people with shorter trunks or larger thighs this may be made easier by reversing the arm support post mounts so they don’t dig into the thighs as the body support is...
In Praise of the Athlete
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...
Getting Better Seat Positioning for the Child with Cerebral Palsy
Cerebral Palsy is a result of early damage to the parts of the brain that control muscle movements. Coordination and posture will be affected to varying degrees and symptoms can range from mild to severe physical disability (1). Some children with cerebral palsy can have mental retardation, seizures, or speech/hearing deficits as well. Although it is not progressive, cerebral palsy is a permanent condition...
Tips & Advice
Comparing Rifton’s Three Gait Training Devices
Since gait training is a focal rehabilitation activity, we’ve done our best to design gait trainers that meet all needs. In addition to our pediatric line of gait trainers we have three devices that can be used by heavier, larger clients: the TRAM, the XL Pacer and the E-Pacer. While the TRAM is good for tight spaces or if you need a device that can double as a toileting or transfer aid, for full...
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...
Features and Benefits of the Wave Bathing System
For people with significant support needs, bathing is essential to health and hygiene. However, transfer difficulties and the lack of appropriate supportive equipment often make it one of the most difficult tasks for families and caregivers.
If you care for someone who needs help with transfer and you don't have an accessible shower, your options for bathing aren't great – either bathroom...
Arm Prompt Positioning Tutorial
The arm supports of Rifton's Pacer gait trainer offer a wide variety of positioning options for upper extremity stability, comfort, steering, and assistance with head control, weight-bearing and weight-shifting. Use this tutorial as a guide for great positioning outcomes.
The clamp is the foundation for arm...
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...