The approach, known as locomotor treadmill training with partial body weight support, consists of a treadmill outfitted with a harness. The patient is secured to the harness to support a portion of their body weight while walking on the treadmill. In this reduced weight environment, the patient can relearn how to walk in a safe and controlled manner. Once the patient becomes stronger, more body weight is added until they can comfortably walk on their own without the need for assistance.
"The key to the success of our method is early intervention. All of the patients started on the treadmill as soon as possible during the acute period of recovery after their stroke," explains McCain. "We wanted to keep these abnormal gait patterns from developing in the first place."
Currently, there is no consensus regarding the optimal treatment for reestablishing a normal gait pattern in stroke patients -- most are rehabilitated using walkers and other assistive devices.
"Our ultimate goal for this study is to one day change the clinical practice in physical therapy," adds McCain.
Baylor Institute for Rehabilitation is a not-for-profit, 92-bed hospital that offers intense, specialized rehabilitation services for traumatic brain injuries, spinal cord injuries, strokes, and other orthopaedic and neurological disorders. Physicians specializing in physical medicine and rehabilitation, known as physiatrists, lead interdisciplinary clinical teams, which work with patients to design and implement a treatment program to achieve the patient's goals. In 2007, Baylor Institute for Rehabilitation was named among the top rehabilitation hospitals in U.S. News & World Report's "America's Best Hospitals" guide, an honor it has received for 10 years.
For more information about Baylor Institute for Rehabilitation, visit http://www.BaylorHealth.com.
|SOURCE Baylor Health Care System|
Copyright©2008 PR Newswire.
All rights reserved