Source Video: Marianjoy
Vanessa Flaherty, PT, DPT, a physical therapist at Marianjoy Rehabilitation Hospital in Wheaton, IL, shows how ZeroG helps them safely perform gait retraining with their patients.
ZeroG can help those who are recovering from neuromuscular disorders such as stroke, traumatic brain injury and incomplete spinal cord injury or other orthopedic conditions. ZeroG enables Marianjoy therapists to provide the patients with task-specific practice. This means, that the patient is able to practice the entire task of walking as a whole without breaking up the movement into individual components.
ZeroG differs from conventional harness systems. Traditional systems catch the patient immediately once the loss of balance is detected in order to prevent a fall. ZeroG, however, allows the therapist to set the amount of distance before the catch mechanism is employed. Not only does this help the patient to relearn how to control and recover from a stumble or fall, it also retrains the brain on the proper way to react and correct for a loss of balance. Because ZeroG provides the opportunity to make errors in a safe environment, the patient is better able to carry over these skills to real-world situations.
Another benefit of using ZeroG, is that it allows for increased repetition and practice of the task of walking. ZeroG is also integrated with a Woodway split-belt treadmill. The treadmill allows the therapist to vary the speed of the patients gait as well as isolate working on one leg or the other to help improve the affected leg’s swing time and challenge it’s stability.
Because the system can be set to support any amount of the client’s body-weight, most clients are able to walk for a longer time period and often at a faster pace without fatiguing as quickly.
Recent neuroplasticity studies have shown repetition and task-specific practice like this is essential for the recovery of functional mobility as well as the cortical recovery in the brain itself. The ZeroG system can also be used while performing balance training, floor transfers and while teaching patients how to overcome other barriers such as stairs, curves and other obstacles they may encounter at home and within their community.
For more information on using ZeroG at Marianjoy, please call 800-462-2366 or visit: www.marianjoy.org
To see entire video, click here to view on YouTube: ZeroG Marianjoy Video