Physiotherapy is the preferred method for physical rehabilitation and maintenance for patients with neurological disorders. However, under chronic conditions (time from diagnosis is equal to or greater than 6 months), availability and accessibility for patients to receive physiotherapy treatments in clinical settings are limited.
Also, the health system is restricted in its support for people with chronic conditions; for example, patients can only receive referrals and recommendations for physiotherapy in the first year after the diagnosis. However, following the first year, much of the recovery is dependent on the patients’ will and financial resources.
Thus, in chronic conditions, two possible options to recovery exist: first, patients can afford 2 to 3 private sessions a week with a physiotherapist or be involved in other paid physical approaches to treatment. The other option is for patients to assemble a learned and practiced physiotherapy program at home and to follow a consistent physical routine. Common to both, participants require constant and repeated practice to improve their physical conditions.
Physiotherapy sessions last 45-60 minutes, and the aim is to provide training, knowledge, and tools to improve. When treatments are done, it is the patient’s responsibility to maintain daily physical practices. There are significant differences between clinical and home settings for rehabilitation, for example, the quality and level of equipment along with the lack of proper guidance from a professional physiotherapist. Yet, most of the exercises can be performed in home-settings if the appropriate tools are available. The purpose of this article is to gather and disseminate information about some of the physiotherapy equipment used in clinical settings found on Amazon and to introduce it into home-based use.
In therapeutic settings, we want to start the training with a proper mobility routine that involves movements and actions for an extended period (greater than 20 minutes). Such can be achieved using multiple types of training equipment. For example, those who can maintain their postural gait during slow walking without any walking aids (canes, walkers) can practice walking drills within parallel bars for 20 minutes. For home use, the parallel bars are a good option to replicate clinical physiotherapy exercises but in-home settings.
Another machine that is commonly used in clinical treatments is the Nustep trainer – physiostep cross trainer is the closest option found on Amazon. Transfers to the machine are easy and secure even for people who are bound to a wheelchair. Moreover, it provides a full-body mobility workout for individuals at any level. It is specifically recommended for those who experience weakness on one half of the side of their body or hemiplegia/paresis condition. The affected leg can be tied to the leg pedal, and similarly, the fingers and wrist can be positioned in a grasping posture on the handle using a simple compression wrap or rehabilitation training glove. Beyond the standard features of the machine (resistance, Kcal, distance, etc.), it is an excellent training platform for an individual who is unable to walk independently. The stroke motion of the hands or the legs creates a momentum that runs the machine with limited resistance, giving a disabled person a sense of moving his or her own legs by himself or herself. Besides, in conditions of high muscle tone, the active motions of extending the knees and elbows assist in reducing the tension built up within the joints, ligaments, and muscles. In short, in clinical settings, this machine is ranked first in terms of patient preference and effectiveness. It can be used as the first step in rehabilitation for hemiparesis patients to promote muscle strength, aerobic activity, and other anaerobic benefits.
Lastly, a wooden Swedish ladder would be a great add-on to increase mobility in home-based training. Numerous exercises with multipurpose can be performed using the ladder. In terms of rehabilitation, it can be used for strength training, fitness, balance, and range of motion. Providing suitable and comfortable access for a person in a wheelchair, the bars can be used to hang various other tools like TheraBand or even TRX. The pull-up bars are also handy; an exercise pulley can be set up and used in sitting and standing positions, increasing the range of motion in a patient’s shoulders.