WHY GAIT TRAINING?
Falls are the leading cause of fatal and non-fatal injuries for older adults. They are expensive and can cause a spiral of decline, often leading to institutionalization. Neuromuscular re-education and gait training is an important, but often overlooked, modality for use in falls and balance therapy, as well as, brain injuries, musculoskeletal disorders, post-surgical therapy, and injury rehab.
How we walk is a complex phenomenon in which our whole body is performing a dance that has been ingeniously choreographed. Our visual, vestibular, and somatosensory systems are constantly adjusting and interacting. These are autonomic functions, like walking, where most of the time we don’t need to think about how these systems are working.
Gait speed is a vital sign that is described in the seven phases of the gait cycle, directly related to brain/body function. It is used as one of the measures for determining current health and independence.
Gait training is a specific form of therapy that can improve walking and stance by focusing on balance and posture while adjusting position and increasing endurance.
Gait rhythms and patterns can be retrained, improving gait efficiency, independence and confidence, which will decrease fear of falling and dynamic stability.
Vizziq Neuromuscular Trainer is an evidence-based mobility and gait training tool that can easily be adapted to user size and function levels. Vizziq is an effective gait training tool that can be utilized during both healthy times and after injury or illness, for faster recovery.
SCIENCE BEHIND VIZZIQ
The mobility device that syncs with your stride!
The Vizziq Neuromuscular Trainer is a novel 4-wheel pivoting gait training device designed to encourage gait efficiency. The patented spring-loaded pivoting frame enhances trunk and leg rotation. Proper posture is promoted through utilization of the upright handlebars positioned within the frame of the device. During walking, angular momentum of the user’s hips, trunk, and shoulders is efficiently transferred through the user’s arms and into the handles, activating the spring-loaded frame which reciprocates in response. This device frame articulation in response to natural hip and shoulder rotation, aids cyclical activation of the stretch receptors in the muscles and joints. These responses modulate the basic locomotor rhythm that is the basis of stable gait, by increasing pelvic rotation, lengthening stride, increasing walking speed, shortening double support time, narrowing step width, and increasing gait cycle symmetry.
The magnitude and timing of these rhythmic signals are modulated by proprioceptive feedback provided by the Vizziq Neuromuscular Trainer design, which is intended to provide user with critical sensory information that keeps them upright, balanced, and highly mobile. Through muscle and joint proprioceptors and cutaneous skin receptors in contact with the handlebars, the pivoting frame is designed to create repeated sensory inputs for the arms and legs with each step, providing cues for each successive part of the gait cycle, potentially compensating for declining proprioceptive abilities experienced by joint mobility/injury restrictions, or aging.
Another important advantage of the Vizziq Neuromuscular Trainer is its ability to place the body of the user within the device frame during walking. Upper handles, vertically oriented and lower handles, horizontally oriented, allow the user to safely stand upright while holding onto anti-fatigue foam grips to reduce stress on arm and wrist joints. Our handlebars were carefully designed to relieve joint pressure, encourage a more forward-directed gaze, improve posture and breathing efficiency, and minimally restrict natural arm and shoulder rotations
Repeated use of conventional mobility aids can lead to joint overuse and stress injuries, contributing to tendonitis, osteoarthritis, carpal tunnel syndrome, and/or joint inflammation. The enhanced somatosensory awareness produced by tactile connection to the pivoting frame of the Vizziq Neuromuscular Trainer allows small perturbations to be perceived and compensated for before they disrupt interlimb coordination, enhancing gait cycle symmetry. The pivoting frame also allows users to move farther with each step by facilitating pelvic rotation in the horizontal plane, increasing stride length as the hip is moved further forward during the stride. Longer stride lengths typically result in higher walking speeds, a key gait measure associated with lower risks of hospitalization, falls, and injury-related death.