Space-age Therapy Suit Aids Cerebral Palsy Patients
Non-traditional therapies are always attracting the attention of those with cerebral palsy. One of the most interesting therapies to come onto the scene in the past decade is a space-age therapy suit designed to help with alignment, compression, and strengthening muscles.
About ‘suit therapy’ used to help CP patients
Suit therapy has been available at Euro-Peds National Center for Intensive Pediatric Physical Therapy in Pontiac, Michigan since 2001. It was the first clinic in the USA to provide the therapy to cerebral palsy patients, and four other clinics have opened since. Over 1,000 patients have participated in the suit therapy since the clinic started, mostly children with cerebral palsy, traumatic brain injury, spina bifida, and down syndrome.
How the suit helped a patients with spastic CP
One patient who used the suit with positive results is Austin Hammar, an 18-year-old from Wyoming. Austin was born with spastic diplegic cerebral palsy, which causes tight muscles in the lower half of the body, usually in the legs, hips and pelvis. It is the most common type of cerebral palsy, occurring in around 70% of all CP cases.
Austin has gone through many different therapies and operations designed to help him walk, including a double osteotomy operation, during which his femur bones are cut and the tendons are reattached. The goal was to improve his walking. After the surgery and nine weeks of physical therapy, Austin was walking, but at a 90 degree angle. His mother decided to seek out more help, and was led to the Euro-Peds therapy.
For three weeks Austin received therapy four hours a day five days a week, in addition to participating in physical therapy. After three weeks it was time to take a break and let Austin’s body rest, and therapists will determine later if more suit therapy is needed.
Optimism about suit’s benefits
The suit is not for every patient, and some may not qualify for different reasons such as seizures or scoliosis. However, Austin is hoping that the suit therapy will allow him to walk easier and lead a more independent life.
To learn more about the Euro-Peds therapy visit their HYPERLINK “http://www.europeds.org/“website.