With the help of funding from the Children’s Miracle Network, our robotics center will use the latest technology to help patients recover from injuries or disorders that have hindered their motor skills.
In robot-assisted therapy, a therapist uses a robotic device to help the patient with continuous movement patterns. A computer controls the pace and movement of the child, tracks the body’s response and provides feedback. Robot-assisted therapy:
- Allows for more repititions.
- Promotes better communication between the brain and muscles.
- Creates another tool for therapists to use in their plan of care.
Research has shown that therapy with repetitive patterns helps the brain and spinal cord work together to re-route signals that were interrupted by injury or illness. The movements of the robot reflect the ideal movement for the child, ensuring that he learns it as accurately as possible. While this new technology will play a big part in the treatment, physical therapists and occupational therapists are still heavily involved.
The robotics equipment we may use includes:
- Lokomat—This gait orthosis on a treadmill assists in walking therapy. Studies show that patients have improved speed, endurance and function after therapy with Lokomat.
- ArmeoSpring Pediatric——This device embraces the whole arm, from shoulder to hand, and assists in movement. A pressure-sensitive handgrip can be used for exercises and input.
- FES Bike—This cycle can be used on both the upper and lower body. It allows patients to stimulate core muscle groups.