Neurological rehab depends on giving the correct demands to muscles and the central nervous system, and this can be hard - if not impossible - to achieve for those with a disability that affects their entire body and their ability to control posture. Our Innowalk technology means that this problem can now be overcome for many more patients.
In basic terms, you can think of Innowalk as a kind of ‘walking machine’. It allows people with severely reduced postural control to experience similar physical benefits to those of walking, in the supportive environment of our clinic.
Innowalk helps to stimulate and strengthen lung and heart functions, it also aids control of muscular tone and counteracts the tendency of muscles to lose flexibility. It’s a unique way to treat children with global neurological disability in particular – generally the only alternative is to use stationary aids, which have limited potential to maintain physical health.
Because Innowalk allows people attending our clinic to safely exercise when this was impossible before, we’ve seen strikingly better treatment outcomes. Patients can access the device by a hoist or seated transfer, and they’re fully supported while seated or any position between sitting and full standing. The legs can be propelled by the unit’s motor, assisted by the user or passively moved; this flexibility of modes means even severe levels of disability can be accommodated. The difference in tone and flexibility after treatment with Innowalk is vastly superior compared to traditional stretching and positional aids.
Experience has shown us that Innowalk is a really valuable part of a spasticity management programme. When combined with botulinum toxin, functional electrical stimulation and dynamic active weight bearing, it can help achieve the best results for patients with dystonic, spastic and stiff lower limbs. This has recently been highlighted in The Royal college of Physicians National Guidelines:
Exoskeletons in therapeutic programmes
‘Exoskeletons’ allow people with complete paraplegia to experience walking, and to benefit from physical exercise that would otherwise be unachievable. The latest exoskeletons are advancing the technology from a purely functional use to an important therapeutic treatment, and this is an exciting new opportunity for us at The Rehab Physio. We can now use exoskeletons to promote conditioning and muscle tone development in physiotherapy. We work with EcksoGT, Indego and ReWalk devices, and we have close links with these providers which allow us to include exoskeletons in any appropriate rehab programme, at our clinic or in the home. Please get in touch if you’d like to know more.