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Robotic Rehabilitation For Physical Therapy Essay

1681 words - 7 pages

Robotic Rehabilitation, specifically the Lokomat or locomotor training, robotic body suits and the AlterG Leg, shows improvements to Physical Therapy. These devices strengthen muscles and bodies that have suffered from Cerebral Palsy, spinal cord injury, brain injury or stroke. Patients are harnessed into a treadmill that prevents them from falling and encourages them to strengthen their bodies. Through a computer system, a robot is thorough in tracking patient progression and controls the pace of the treadmill. As robotic rehabilitation continues to progress, more patients are aided through this procedure. Robotic use in Physical Therapy is proven to be more effective and efficient in patient recovery and gives more patients confidence and satisfaction. Robots can be stationed in homes for the convenience of the patient, but are more commonly found in clinics. Although robotic rehabilitation isn’t complete, there is evidence that this new system improves patients’ experience with physical therapy and signs of future advancements.

Rehabilitation Robots
Physical Therapy is a branch off of the health field that assists patients to overcome physical challenges forced upon them, whether it is from a mental or physical illness, or an injury. Through many exercises and procedures, trained therapists work with individuals to build up muscle and confidence so that they may live life fuller. Traditionally, Physical Therapists work with their patients by doing various exercises- even as simple as walking- however, as technology continues to enhance our lives, adjustments are made. Physical Therapy continues to progress through robotic assistance, such as the Lokomat, robotic body suits and the AlterG Leg, which help patients to overcome their fears and strengthen their muscles to the point where they are able to walk again with, or even without, assistance.
In Health News, the topic of robots aiding rehabilitation peaked an interest in readers. “For the past 20 years, robots have been billed as the next big thing in stroke therapy, a way for stroke patients to get more intensive therapy and recover more function” (Shute, 2008). In other words, Shute believes that robotic assistance will improve the effectiveness of physical therapy and be more efficient. I wholeheartedly endorse what Shute claims, and I believe that robotic rehabilitation will give patients enough attention and specific aid to their needs.
The Lokomat
Lokomotor training involves a treadmill to train patients to overcome their weakness; the Lokomat is a specific devise used to accomplish the patients’ goals. The Lokomat, commonly associated with pediatric physical therapy, consists of “robotic legs” that support the patient on the treadmill (NYU Langone Medical Center, Rusk Rehabilitation). This device is connected to a computer that helps two or more physical therapists to measure the patient’s progress and control the pace of the treadmill. Patients typically spend 30 minutes on...

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