Pneumatic UnWeight Treadmill
Unweighted treadmill ambulation augments physical deficits and increases mobility to improve rehabilitation. Unweighting assists with the management of orthopedic, neurological, and chronic conditions, active aging, and athletic performance.
Your physical therapist may prescribe the use of rehabilitation equipment—such as a special harness device that attaches to a treadmill to help reduce pressure on the spinal nerves during walking.
Unweighted treadmill walking has been part of a physical therapy plan of care in several studies for patients with musculoskeletal conditions.
Patients are unweighted to the extent that pain is relieved in order that they can ambulate with good quality movement and pain-free. The amount of unweighting is lessened over time as per the patient’s response.
Balance & Vestibular Therapy
Older people are at a higher risk of having balance problems; 75% of Americans older than 70 years are diagnosed as having “abnormal” balance. Balance problems increase by almost 30% in people aged 80 years or more.
Physical therapists develop individualized physical activity plans to help improve the strength, stability, and mobility of people with balance problems.
Vertigo is a sensation or feeling that the person or their environment is spinning. It can cause balance problems and often is a result of a problem in the inner ear. Vertigo affects people of all ages. Although it is very rare among children, it is common in adults over the age of 20. Vertigo and balance problems are more dangerous for people ages 65 and over. Older adults are at greater risk for fractures and major injuries from a fall caused by imbalance. A physical therapist can help people manage vertigo and dizziness symptoms so they can get moving again.
Chronic pain is a condition that occurs when the brain concludes there is a threat to a person’s well-being based on the many signals it receives from the body. This condition can and often does occur independently of any actual body tissue damage (due to injury or illness), and beyond normal tissue healing time. Pain is created in the nervous system even after physical tissues have healed.
Chronic pain affects each person experiencing it differently. In some cases, chronic pain can lead to decreased activity levels, job loss, or financial difficulties, as well as anxiety, depression, and disability. Physical therapists work together with chronic pain patients to lessen their pain and restore their activity to the highest possible levels. With treatment, the adverse effects of chronic pain can be reduced.
A concussion is a traumatic brain injury that can cause lasting effects on brain tissue and change the chemical balance of the brain. Concussion may cause physical, cognitive, and behavioral symptoms and problems, both short-term and long-term. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) estimates that 1.6 million to 3.8 million people experience concussions during sports and recreational activities annually in the United States. These numbers may be underestimated, as many cases are likely never reported. A physical therapist can assess symptoms to determine if a concussion is present, and treat your injury by guiding you through a safe and personalized recovery program.
Neurological Physical Therapy
Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a chronic, usually progressive, disease that primarily affects young adults. Approximately 400,000 people in the United States and 2.5 million people worldwide have been diagnosed with MS. Its effects vary widely. Although there is no known cure for the disease, it can be successfully controlled with medical management and rehabilitation. Physical therapists help people with MS regain and maintain strength, flexibility, and general fitness, and to live active, productive lives. Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a disease that involves the loss of myelin, a material that covers and protects the nerves in the body’s central nervous system. Without myelin, nerves cannot properly communicate with each other. MS symptoms vary from person to person, depending on what part of the nervous system is affected, including structures that control movement, sensation, and mental and emotional processes. Often, one of the first signs of MS is a change in vision, such as double vision. Nearly all persons with MS also report difficulty walking, and with other body movements.
Parkinson’s disease is the second most common degenerative brain disorder affecting adults. (Alzheimer’s disease is the most common.) People of all ethnic groups can develop PD, but it occurs less among African American and Asian populations. Parkinson’s disease was first defined as only a “motor” (movement) disease, but research has shown that it also causes “nonmotor” symptoms (such as lightheadedness when standing up) in other systems of the body. People with PD are at risk of falling and sustaining other injuries due to their movement and balance challenges. Treatment includes a combination of medication and physical therapy—and in some cases surgery. Physical therapists partner with people with PD and their families to manage their symptoms, maintain their fitness levels, and help them stay as active as possible
Regardless of the type of injury, physical therapists can help! Physical therapy assists in getting you back to work as soon as possible pain-free with a job-specific rehab program in mind. Your rehabilitation will typically begin with focused treatment to resolve the acute symptoms related to the specific injury while being provided a movement exercise program to restore range of motion and mobility. The final phase of recovery is to transition into a work conditioning/strengthening program to prepare to person/body for return to work demands, depending on the occupation requirements. This will ensure full recovery and minimize re-injury concerns with transitioning back to work.