HealthSouth Chattanooga Discovers Rehabilitation Uses for Sports Training Device

Reported by: Joe Legge
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Updated: 9/04/2012 9:05 am
Carolyn Catlett suffered a stroke ten days ago, causing her to lose movement of her entire right side.  "I went to church, then I come home, and I just had it."

She's regaining control of her right hand and arm at an incredible pace, just by pushing a button.  HealthSouth Chattanooga Occupational Therapist Ashley Wells says "she's made improvements with her range of motion, coordination, standing balance and the way she uses her eyes to scan her environment."

HealthSouth recently invested in the Dynavision D2 machine, the first of its kind in the Tennessee Valley.

Here's how it works.  A therapist programs the machine to run a timed session, generally one to two minutes.  When the buttons on the D2 board turn red, the patient must find and press it as quickly as possible.  Wells says "we're able to track reaction times and track improvement.  It keeps a log so we can see how much they've improved over their stay here."

As patients improve, variables can be added.  "You can make not only red buttons but green buttons come on and the patient isn't supposed to hit the green ones, only the red ones, so it kind of makes them attend more to the task," says Wells.

To put coordination to the test, Wells had me stand on this balance board and call out numbers that flashed across the screen, while I tried to hit my targets.  My final score revealed a slower response time for my upper right side.  Wells says "we can use it with our orthopedic patients that need to work on shoulder range of motion, the parkinson's population, you can use it with them to just increase the size of their movements, range of motion."

While she became fatigued toward the end of a two-minute session, Catlett likes using the D2 because it pushes her.  "I want to see how far they can go. But they don't go very far, till lately."

Therapists say thanks to this device and traditional rehab, Catlett and others like her will be regain the ability to do things many take foregranted, like put our pants on.
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