Tuesday, December 26th, 2017
One of the most common impairments resulting from stroke is paralysis, which can affect a portion or the entire side of the body. Problems with body posture, walking, and balance can be significant. A patient’s rehabilitation should start as soon as he or she is stable. That could be anywhere from a couple of days to a few weeks or longer. Established guidelines, as well as a huge body of literature, insist that the earlier therapy is initiated the better.
Rehabilitation equipment and technology has been proven useful and effective when treating clients afflicted by various physical disabilities. Listed below are common neurorehab devices used to assist stroke survivors with leg and foot recovery.
Biofeedback or electromyography (EMG) is a non-invasive technique used for measuring muscle electrical activity that occurs during muscle contraction and relaxation.
Body Weight Support
Body Weight Support uses a suspension system and a harness to support a percentage of the user’s body weight during standing, walking or exercise.
Edema is a medical term for swelling caused by excess fluid trapped in the body’s tissues (i.e., hand/foot). One of the common treatment techniques used to reduce edema is a compression garment. Examples of garments include gloves, elastic stockings, and ace wraps.
Electrical stimulation or neuromuscular electrical stimulation (NMES) is a technique used to elicit a muscle contraction using electrical impulses. Electrical current is then sent from the unit to the electrodes and delivered into the muscle causing a contraction.
EMG-Triggered Stimulation is based on the user’s voluntary movement, or intent to move. Electrodes, controlled by a unit, are placed on the skin over a specific area. Once the user attempts to contract his or her muscles and reaches the prescribed threshold, stimulation is triggered (delivered) to the same muscles. Various visual and auditory feedback options monitor the progress.
An Exercise Aid is a piece of equipment used during physical activity to improve strength and coordination of the body region targeted.
Foot Drop Brace
A Foot Drop Brace is a rigid or flexible support that offers dynamic or static assistance to the weakened foot so functional mobility and exercises can be possible.
A Leg Bike is a stationary cycle designed to strengthen and condition the lower body, as well as the cardiovascular system, by using the legs.
Lower Limb Robot-Assisted Therapy
Lower Limb Robot-Assisted Therapy consists of an electromechanical device, designed for the leg, that is used to assist users (through powered mobility) with exercise training and activities of daily living (ADL).
In Mirror Therapy, a mirror is placed beside the unaffected limb, blocking the view of the affected limb. This creates the illusion that both limbs are functioning properly. Damaged areas of the brain’s motor cortex may improve by viewing movements of intact, functioning limbs.
Motorized Arm and Leg Bike
A Motorized Arm and Leg Bike is a motor-assisted cycle designed to strengthen and condition the upper body and lower body, as well as the cardiovascular system, by only using the arms and/or legs.
Virtual Reality/Exercise Games
Virtual Reality/Exercise Games consists of computer-based, interactive exercise games and activities that allow players to engage in entertaining tasks while being physically challenged. These games rely on technology that tracks body movements or reactions. Some advanced games allow users to set goals, grade and customize, receive instantaneous feedback, reinforce behaviors, and record and analyze results.