Technology is slowly but surely taking over the world. The iPods are getting smaller and their knowledge is becoming far more advanced. It is almost impossible to walk anywhere and not see someone using some form of technology. This ‘trend’ is no stranger to physical therapy. Technology offers new ways to assess and measure treatment effectiveness. Physical therapists working with spine injury or back pain patients typically do a lot of training for gait and balance improvement. Falls are the number one cause of injury in adults, and rehabilitation is an excellent way to avoid that after surgery or to relieve pain. American Spine uses stat-of-the-art rehabilitation techniques to effectively return their patients back to a normal quality of life.
A physical therapist helps patients improve function skills and strengthen their muscles. Technological advancements in this environment consist of computerized games. An engaging program is utilized for biofeedback, reward systems, and vigorous conditioning. These games can be used sitting down or standing up and usually involve a sensor board or scanning device that is able to pick up and asses the individual’s movements. One infamous game is a sailboat simulation. A patient is required to maneuver within a boat that is connected to a computer screen. Hydraulics on the boat makes the patient have to maintain balance and work core muscles to keep the sailboat afloat.
An enhanced gait training exercise requires the patient to walk along a 20 foot mat. Within the mat are sensors that are connected to a computer. This system is able to measure the patient’s cadence, velocity, symmetry, step and stride lengths, and how long they were standing or swinging. Patients find these computerized exercises to be quite engaging because they are able to quantify and compare their progress over their treatment period.
The most recent of advancements in physical therapy technology involves aquatic assessments. A body of water is controlled by a jet system that adjusts to a certain pressure that a patient swims against. The height of the floor can be adjusted (the more shallow the water level is, the harder the exercise is). Depending on how far along in the therapy the patient is, either treadmill exercises or swimming exercises can be used in an aquatic assessment.
The rate of technological advancements allows back pain and spinal surgery patients to access the most effective and useful exercises. By offering quantitative and objective date, patients are motivated to improve their muscle strength and physical performance.
American Spine offers physical therapy treatment to their patients. For more information about which treatment plan is right for you, call and schedule an appointment with us today!
At American Spine, we are dedicated to treating conditions of the spine and chronic pain. Offering the latest in minimally invasive spine surgery and other effective treatment options, American Spine is the leading pain physician group of California. For more information or to schedule an appointment, please call us at (951)-734-PAIN (7246)
The advice and information contained in this article is for educational purposes only, and is not intended to replace or counter a physician’s advice or judgment. Please always consult your physician before taking any advice learned here or in any other educational medical material.