Nontraditional Therapy for Kids With Cerebral Palsy Shown Effective, Says StudyBy Rehab Management: Rehab Today,
Publication Date: February 15, 2010
Article describes treadmill therapy used to improve walking ability in children with cerebral palsy. In use in the Cerebral Palsy Program at Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Columbus, Ohio, the therapy employs a treadmill system including a harness and a series of straps to support the weight of patients, allowing their legs and feet to move more freely and reducing the children’s fear of falling. The device aids in building muscle memory and endurance by carrying much of the weight and slowly transferring it back to the patients themselves. At the end of an 8-week trial at the hospital using the treadmill 3 times a week, more than 90 percent of the children participating demonstrated improved walking speed, while one child transitioned completely out of braces and another transitioned to less supportive bracing. Most participants also demonstrated increased strength and endurance. According to the program’s director, the therapy can also be used to treat patients with spinal cord injuries, traumatic brain injuries, and strokes.
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