10-09-2001, 01:50 AM
It would be highly appreciated if someone could indicate the various type's of "walking therapy programs" available and the differences between each or, give a brief description on what each one entails. Thank you in advance. http://sci.rutgers.edu/forum/images/smilies/wink.gif
10-09-2001, 05:40 AM
I don't think there are that many different programs. I would probably divide it as follows (although I am not a PT):
* Traditional brace ambulation programs: essentially the use of braces to stabilize and/or lock joints, then teach the person how to move themselves primarily through use of their trunk and arm muscles with canes, crutches or parallel bars. Different types of braces used for different levels of injury, generally used for both complete and incomplete injuries.
* Incomplete ambulation programs using pool therapy. Use of the pool reduces the effects of gravity, allowing walking with weaker muscles than possible on dry land. Used for strengthening as well as for the emotional benefits of walking even if not possible on dry land.
* Suspended ambulation programs. This varies from the high intensity (6 assistants) program that you may have seen on TV with Christopher Reeve or in research centers such as UCLA and some centers in Europe that is done with people with complete injuries, to more practical programs using equipment such as the LiteGait or ceiling track lift systems, used primarily for those with incomplete injuries with muscle movement in their legs at 3 or less strength.
* FES ambulation programs. These programs are done with either surface or implanted electrodes hooked up to some type of computerized controller that is triggered by the person walking (usually with a hand or thumb control) mounted on a special walker. These are very limited in availability.
I hope this helps.