Robotic Rehabilitation

1. What is robotic rehabilitation?

Robotic rehabilitation or robot-assisted therapy is a quite effective physical therapy method which has been applied to regain the abilities especially in walking and gesture disorders. With the advancement of technology in recent years, robotic devices and virtual reality applications are started to be used in the sphere of rehabilitation. 

2. What is walking robot? What is the robotic walking therapy?

Walking robot is a physical therapy method which aims to make the patients who have lost the ability to gain the ability to walk again or fix the walk of the patients with a robotic device. 

 

The diseases where the walking robot is being used;

  • Stroke, 
  • Brain Injury,
  • Alzheimer disease, 
  • Brain disorders, 
  • Paraplegia from neck and low back, 
  • Parkinson disease, 
  • Geriatric patients (Immobility due to aging), 
  • Neurological diseases, 
  • Serious injuries, 
  • The period after prosthesis of hips-knees, 
  • After the operation of anterior cruciate ligament reconstruction, 
  • Multiple Sclerosis (MS), 
  • Patients with walking disorders.

Robotic walking treatment is classified under two main categories as the passive walking in the early stage of the disease and actively assisted walking in the advanced period. 

2.1. Robotic bed system Erigo Pro

Robotic bed system Erigo Pro is the first robotic bed system which provides an intensive physical therapy in the early stage of the patients who are confined to bed without being able to move. In the early stage, the patients are made used to stand upright slowly with the robotic bed system Erigo Pro.

 

During this period, high blood pressure and cardiovascular diseases should be taken into account. Meanwhile, a passive walking training is started to prevent the development of any toughness and limitedness in the joints. 

2.2. Walking robot Lokomat

Patients continue the actively assisted robotic walking treatment with Lokomat in the advanced stage of their disease. The most advanced robotic walking system in the world which assists to regain the ability to walk in the patients who have lost their ability to walk partly or completely is named as Lokomat Pro with Free D.

 

The walking robot Lokomat is an integrated system with an advanced sensor and virtual reality system. It prevents the joint and backbone problems caused by overload by taking the body load of the patient against the gravity. With the help of robotic sensors, the movements which can be done by the patient and also the patient’s muscle strength are reflected to the graphics on the screen. The movements which the patient is unable to do are supported with robotic legs. In front of the patient, there is a human graphic which represents their body on the screen. The movements which are sensed by the sensors are simulated on the human graphic on the screen and the development of walking ability of the patient is tried to be advanced via various games on that screen.

3. Hand and arm robot Armeo-Power

Hand and arm robot is a robotic rehabilitation method used in gestural function diseases and aims to increase the capacity of gesture. Armeo Power is a kind of robotic rehabilitation device which can be used beginning from the early stages of physical therapy and rehabilitation for the gestural disorders.

 

It helps the patient to develop some daily activities like gripping items, eating and dressing up. It provides the participation to the physical therapy and rehabilitation in early stages, including the patients with serious movement disorders. 

4. When should robotic rehabilitation be applied?

For a functional enhancement which is the closest to the normal healthy lifestyle, a comprehensive physical therapy and rehabilitation program should be applied right after the start of the disease. Presence of robotic rehabilitation in the process of physical therapy is a crucial approach which increases the effectiveness of the treatment.

Early application is crucial. It has been discovered that there are some reserve cells in the brain and new tasks can be learned via reshaping these cells with a descent rehabilitation program. In the light of this information, it is known that patient can benefit from a comprehensive physical therapy and rehabilitation program which is done regardless of the stage of disease. 

Prof. Dr. Engin Çakar

Prof. Dr. Engin Çakar has more than 15 years of experience in the areas of Physical Therapy and Rehabilitation, Algology and Electrodiagnostic Neurology.

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