Balance Therapy as a Physical Therapy Solution

OAKLAND, Calif., Apr 25, 2012.
Attaining proper balance and walking ability for Multiple Sclerosis patients is a challenge, An NIH study entitled “Movement Ability Changes with Balance-Based Torso-Weighting (BBTW) in Multiple Sclerosis”  provided important results for Multiple Sclerosis (MS) patients suffering with balance and walking challenges. The study was funded by a National Institutes of Health Recovery Grant at Samuel Merritt University (SMU). Physical Therapy Professor Dr. Gail Widener, PT, and Dr. Diane Allen at San Francisco State University could thereby  continue to do research into Balance-Based Torso Weighting (BBTW) and its effects on Multiple Sclerosis mobility challenges.
The first phase of the study establishes that previous research funded by the National MS Society is validated. Physical Therapist, Cynthia Gibson-Horn, discovered that strategic application of small amounts of weight could counter-balance directional losses and dramatically improve stability in  patients with MS, Parkinson’s disease, stroke, TBI, ataxia and other Sensory Based Motor Disorders (SBMD) while receiving treatment. This discovery led to the development of the  BBTW method, which has  helped hundreds of patients.
“The first phase of the NIH study supplements other research into BBTW, the technology behind BalanceWear, which has been highly successful in improving mobility for patients with MS,” according to Steve Cookston, of Motion Therapeutics. Gibson-Horn agrees that each case is different regarding the degree of improvement that can be achieved after being  fitted with BalanceWear. “Some patients walk nearly normally with BalanceWear” she says. “We can see immediately upon application if a patient’s balance has been corrected. Further, we now know that the improved stability provided by BalanceWear improves confidence, which can lead to improved success in physical therapy which often accelerates results.” Balance-Based Torso-Weighting is an assessment and treatment method that results in a BalanceWear custom made, strategically weighted orthotic. BalanceWear is made to the exact specifications for the patient’s counter-balancing requirements. It provides supplementary sensory information to the nervous system, and helps to improve balance and stability in all directions of movement. Clinically, patients with Parkinson’s disease, Multiple Sclerosis, stroke, head trauma, brain surgery, osteoporosis, ataxia, Cerebral Palsy and dizziness  have found balance and mobility improvement with BalanceWear.
Balance therapy is also one of the functions of the TUTOR system. Basically a LEGTUTOR or 3DTUTOR is placed on the less impaired leg and/or the more impaired leg.The patient then  stands on one leg (either impaired or healthy)  and then plays an aiming game like ”darts”. In this way he strengthens both his legs and improves balance as well as cognition.It also improves confidence and stability.
 The TUTOR system, consisting of the HANDTUTOR, ARMTUTOR, LEGTUTOR and 3DTUTOR,  has been developed to allow for functional rehabilitation of the whole body including the upper and lower extremity. The TUTORS are physical therapy products that consist of ergonomic wearable braces and include dedicated rehabilitation software that provide patient instructions and feedback to encourage intensive controlled exercise practice. The HANDTUTOR is used to give hand therapy to patients with SCI, Parkinson’s disease, CP, MS, stroke, Radial/Ulnar nerve and Brachial Plexus injuries. Hand, arm and leg surgery rehabilitation are also assisted by the HANDTUTOR, ARMTUTOR, LEGTUTOR and 3DTUTOR. The TUTOR system allows for controlled exercise of multijoints within the normal movement pattern which prevents the development of undesired and compensatory joint movement. This is especially important to ensure that brain and spinal cord injury patients learn to better perform functional tasks.
 The  TUTOR system is a physical therapy solution for manual therapy. Medical, physical and occupational therapists use the tool for children as well as adults and can also practice tele rehabilitation using the Tutors. They are FDA and CE certified. See WWW.MEDITOUCH.CO.IL for more information., .

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