Physical Rehabilitation and Music Therapy

The  effects of music are being recognized more and more in the field of rehabilitation medicine. Music therapy services are used to assist in the physical recovery and health maintenance of clients.It is known that music encourages participation in exercises and activities. Music can also ease the discomfort and difficulty associated with exercise and therapy activities. It can also help ensure consistent participation. 

One of the goals of the music therapist is to provide a means for the client to express himself in a musical activity. Music therapy and rehabilitation medicine are starting to find a common goal in working together with clients who suffer from various neurological or orthopedic conditions. Therapeutic application of music during rehabilitation exercises contribute to the quality of life of individuals with disabilities. Combined goals could include improving strength, range of motion, balance, communication, and cognition.  

Occupational therapists  use the  medium of music and the services of the music therapy discipline, in helping clients  maximize their  independence in their daily occupational roles. Researchers in Finland have found that stroke patients who listen to music for a couple of hours a day had significantly enhanced recoveries. Their findings were reported in the medical journal, Brain. A research team started working with survivors as soon as possible after hospitalization. As the brain can undergo dramatic changes during the first weeks and months of recovery, it is important to start listening during the acute post-stroke stage. 

Changes can be enhanced by stimulation from the environment according to one researcher. A study showed that three months after stroke, verbal memory had improved by 60 percent in music listeners, by 18 percent in audio book listeners. Ability to control and perform mental operations and resolve conflict among responses improved measurably for those that were involved  in a music group. The music group also experienced less depression and confusion than another group that worked without music.

 Along with the music stroke patients that are in the recovery period and need to improve movement in an affected limb can avail themselves of the state of the art rehabilitation solutions such as the HANDTUTOR or LEGTUTOR., The newly developed TUTOR system (which also includes the ARMTUTOR and 3DTUTOR),  has become a key system in neuromuscular rehabilitation for  stroke victims and those recovering from spinal cord injuries, Parkinson’s, MS, CP and other limb movement limitations. The HANDTUTOR is a hand therapy tool used by occupational therapists. These innovative devices implement an impairment based program with augmented motion feedback that encourages motor learning through intensive active exercises and movement practice. The HANDTUTOR, ARMTUTOR, LEGTUTOR and 3DTUTOR consist of wearable gloves or braces that detect limb movements showing the patient how much active or assisted active movement they are actually accomplishing. The rehabilitation software uses special rehabilitation games to set a new target  in terms of the patient’s ability to move their limb. The Tutor devices are therefore physical rehabiliation products that measure the limb movement and give feedback on the success of the patient in  this new objective. In this  way the patient understands which effort is more successful in allowing them to move their affected limb again. Subsequently the TUTOR system is a physical rehabiliation solution that provides exercises that are challenging and motivating and allows for repetitive and intensive exercise practice. The HANDTUTOR, ARMTUTOR, LEGTUTOR and 3DTUTOR are now part of the rehabilitation solutions program of leading U.S. German, Italian, French, UK and other foreign hospitals. See WWW.meditouch.co.il for more information.

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