Intensive Physical Therapy
At More Than a Gym we offer intensive physical therapy programs individually designed for children with neurological disorders to achieve functional independence. Our one-on-one sessions with a licensed physical therapist encompass a variety of effective techniques and equipment intended to improve strength, range of motion, balance, coordination and gross motor skills. We use a collaborative therapeutic approach, specific to the needs of each child, which may include the TheraSuit, Universal Exercise Unit (spider cage), NDT, Theratog, kinesiotaping, treadmill training, etc. These tools and techniques allow children to perform repetitive functional activity in improved alignment to achieve their next milestone. Our intensive physical therapy programs accelerate the attainment of significant functional gains.
The intensive physical therapy program is typically 3 hours per day for 3-4 weeks. The eligibility, duration and time of each program will be determined by a More Than A Gym therapist upon evaluation, consistent with the needs and goals of each child. 1-3 hour weekly (2-3x per week) physical therapy sessions are available in between participation of a 3-week program.
Diagnoses that may benefit from intensive physical therapy include but are not limited to:
- Cerebral Palsy
- Traumatic brain injury
- Developmental delays
- Incomplete spinal cord injuries
- Chromosomal disorders
What is the TheraSuit®?
The TheraSuit® is a soft orthosis consisting of a vest, shorts, knee pads and shoe attachments connected by small bungee cords. It is intended to load to body with weight and provide proprioceptive input to restore muscle synergies while decreasing pathological reflexes. The TheraSuit may be worn during an intensive physical therapy session while completing functional tasks to ensure appropriate body alignment, provide sensory input and improve body awareness.
Benefits of the TheraSuit®:
- Re-trains the nervous system
- Provides stabilization and dynamic body correction
- Assists in normalizing muscle tone and reducing pathological reflexes
- Improves balance, coordination, and body awareness
- Supports weak muscles while providing resistance to strong muscles
Contraindications to use of TheraSuit®:
- Hip dislocation or hip subluxation greater than 50%
- Severe scoliosis
Precautions to use of the TheraSuit® include: (eligible participants with any of the following precautions will be monitored throughout sessions)
- Hip subluxation less than 50%
- Uncontrolled seizures
- Cardiac conditions
- High blood pressure
- VP Shunt
What is the Universal Exercise Unit?
The Universal Exercise Unit (UEU), also known as the spider cage, consists of a pulley and suspension system. The goal of the pulley system is to improve active range of motion, muscle strength and flexibility. This system allows for isolated strengthening of any muscle group. Isolated muscle strengthening is then followed by functional strength training with assistance of the suspension system. An individual is de-weighted with use of bungee cords attached to a belt. This dynamic support allows the child to perform functional activity and maintain positions with an increased sense of independence. The TheraSuit® coupled with the Universal Exercise Unit are two primary tools used in the intensive physical therapy programs which assist in accelerating a child’s progress and achievement of goals.