Rehab Medicine tests new bodyweight support system
Following a serious illness or injury, getting back on your feet can be difficult for individuals of all ages. Physical and occupational therapists in the Clinical Center's Rehabilitation Medicine Department now have a new tool to help patients on the road to recovery.
The ZeroG Gait and Balance System is a body weight support system that allows patients and therapists to safely practice balance and gait activities during therapy. The device is mounted on an overhead track that follows patients as they move while protecting them from falling.
"Impaired balance can put patients and therapists at risk for injury during rehabilitation," said Physical Therapist Joan Elliott. "The extra support of this system helps patients practice walking, getting up from the floor, using the stairs, sit-to-stand transferring maneuvers and posture re-education without the assistance of multiple providers."
Anecdotal feedback from patients has been positive. One patient, who uses a wheelchair for long-distance mobility, stated, "I feel like I can dance," after she practiced walking, stepping over obstacles and stepping up to or down from a curb with the ZeroG.
Rehab Medicine's physical and occupational therapists collaborate with NIH physicians and receive consult requests from all 27 NIH Institutes and Centers for in- and out-patient services for patients who present with conditions and/or impairments affecting safe and independent mobility.