Unweighting Studies

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Fall Reduction Study

This study is based on a two year study done by the Legends Nursing Home group out of San Antonio, TX.  Their historical data over the previous 3 years on over 4000 patients showed they were averaging 3.12 falls with injury per 1000 patient days. Over a 2 year period after implementing the Pneumex Gait & Balance program they were averaging .87 to .81 falls per 1000 patient days.Their costing data shows each fall with injury costs them over $3000.00 per incident.

1 Electromyographic Analysis and Energy Expenditure of Harness Supported Treadmill Walking: Implications for Knee Rehabilitation Scott M. Colby ME, Donald T. Kirkendall, Ph.D., Robert F. Bruzga, MPT, ATC

Harness supported treadmill ambulation has been recommended for patients as a way of decreasing loads on the healing tissues, conserving energy and reducing pain. We quantified muscle activation levels around the knee and metabolic responses during harness supported treadmill walking.

4 Supported Treadmill Training for Gait and Balance in a Patient with Progressive Supranuclear Palsy Monthaporn Suteerawattananon, Betty MacNeill, Elizabeth J Protas

Impaired balance, gait disturbances, and frequent falls are common problems in people with progressive supranuclear palsy. This case report describes the use of a modified body weight support treadmill training program to reduce falls and improve the balance and gait of a patient with PSP.

7 Rehabilitation For A Stress Fracture Using Harness- Supported Treadmill Running In A Collegiate Level Female Lacrosse Player: A Case Study:    Bass CD; Sports Medicine Physical, Therapy, Duke University Medical Center, Durham, NC

The purpose of this case report is to present the use of a harness-supported un-weighting device in conjunction with treadmill running for the treatment of a femoral stress fracture that had been resistant to standard treatment.


12 Energy Expenditure Of Normal Subjects During Harness Supported Treadmill Running. Scott Richards, Malcolm Macaulay, Mike Foley Isernhagen Clinics Inc.

A study was done to determine the energy expenditure of 14 healthy volunteers running on a treadmill during varying amounts of harness support (HS). The subjects were well-trained runners who had all volunteered to participate in another study during which the speed at which the subjects reached anaerobic threshold (AT) was determined.


14 Mechanical Unweighting Effects on Treadmill Exercise and Pain in Elderly People With Osteoarthritis of the Knee  Kathleen Kline Mangione,  Kettneth Axen, Francois Haas

People with osteoarthritis (OA) of the knee who have pain generally exhibit decreased activity and physical deconditioning.  This study investigated the effects of mechanical unweighting on knee pain and exercise responses in people with OA of the knee who have pain.


15 Treadmill Training With Partial Body Weight Support Compared With Physiotherapy in Non-ambulatory Hemiparetic Patients  S. Hesse, MD; C. Bertelt, MD; M. T. Jahnke, MD; A. Schaffrin, PT; P. Baake, PT; M. Malezic, MS; K. H. Mauritz, MD

Treadmill training with partial body weight support is a new and promising therapy in gait rehabilitation of stroke patients. The study intended to investigate its efficiency compared with gait training within regular physiotherapy in non-ambulatory patients with chronic hemiparesis.


16 A New Approach to Retrain Gait in Stroke Patients Through Body Weight Support and Treadmill Stimulation Martha Visintin, Hugues Barbeau, Nicol Korner-Bitensky and Nancy E. Mayo

A new gait training strategy for patients with stroke proposes to support a percentage of the patient’s body weight while retraining gait on a treadmill. This research project intended to compare the effects of gait training with body weight support (BWS) and with no body weight support (no-BWS) on clinical outcome measures for patients with stroke.



8 Stanford Studies List

Supported treadmill ambulation training after spinal cord injury: a pilot study. Protas EJ, Holmes SA, Qureshy H, Johnson A, Lee D, Sherwood AM

A new approach to retrain gait in stroke patients through body weight support and treadmill stimulation. Visintin M, Barbeau H, Korner-Bitensky N, Mayo NE.

Partial body weight support with treadmill locomotion to improve gait after incomplete spinal cord injury: a single-subject experimental design. Gardner MB, Holden MK, Leikauskas JM, Richard RL.

Gait training and falls in the elderly. Galindo-Ciocon DJ, Ciocon JO, Galindo DJ.

Treadmill training with partial body weight support compared with physiotherapy in nonambulatory hemiparetic patients. Hesse S, Bertelt C, Jahnke MT, Schaffrin A, Baake P, Malezic M, Mauritz KH.

Energy expenditure of below-knee amputees during harness-supported treadmill ambulation. Hunter D, Smith Cole E, Murray JM, Murray TD.


Magazine Articles

2 Osteoarthritis: Off-loading devices offer alternative to surgery     Andria Segedy

The aging of America dictates that knee osteoarthritis will increase in prevalence and incidence. This does not mean that replacing knees will keep surgeons busy day and night. In fact, it is estimated that only one in 10 patients is a candidate for surgery. The majority of knee OA sufferers will receive alternative therapies before—and in most cases instead of—arthroplasty or total knee replacement.


5 A Nonsurgical Approach for Patients With Lumbar Spinal Stenosis Julie M Fritz, PT, ATC;  Richard E Erhard, DC, PT;  Michelle Vignovic, PT

The purpose of this case report is to describe a physical therapy approach to the evaluation, treatment, and outcome assessment of two patients diagnosed with lumbar spinal stenosis.


6 LOSE 80 POUNDS instantly   Michael Merk & Timothy Ploss

No, it’s not the latest miracle diet. But it is an exciting new way to rehabilitate and train athletes at less than full body weight.


9 Put to the Test: Foot Orthoses complement harness unloading  Kurt Jackson. MPT

Diabetes mellitus is the most common human metabolic disease, affecting an estimated five million persons in the U.S. Diabetic neuropathy is the most frequent complication of diabetes and may be the most common cause of peripheral neuropathies in general.


10 Geriatric Rehab Supplement/Stroke Even chronic patients benefit from aerobic gait training Kenneth Silver, MD, Richard Macko, MD, Gerald Smith, PT, PhD, and Larry Forrester, PhD

Every year, 750,000 people in the U.S. suffer a stroke, and two-thirds of them are left with neurological deficits that persistently impair function.   Studies show that conventional rehabilitation provides little or no further functional motor recovery beyond six months post-stroke.    Current models of medical care emphasize early intensive rehabilitation, but do not address the potential for long-term or later phases of therapeutic exercise interventions.


Other Articles


3 The Use of Unweighting: Clinical Applications   Dina Lund, P.T., A.T.C,

The Concept of Unweighting is defined as applying vertical support to a patient in order to lessen weight bearing stress."


13 Prevention and Treatment of Low Back Dan Graetzer

The technological advances of the 20th century have resulted in most Americans having sedentary lives. The deterioration of the body in the absence of physical stress at work has contributed to serious medical problems such as reduced resistance to disease and a tendency to suffer low-back pain.


17 Overspeed Training: Does making your legs work faster than normal actually make you a quicker athlete?  Owen Anderson  

Exercise scientists and athletes have debated the benefits of treadmill workouts ever since the device became popular. Currently, the consensus is that the treadmill can provide runners with an extremely intense, very controlled training session, that the treadmill can create hill-climbing workouts for environmentally challenged athletes who live in flat parts of the and that the treadmill offers athletes a chance to get in some top-level running on days when weather conditions would normally stymie training.


18 The Fall Factor       Daisy G. Ciocon, PhD, and Jerry O. Ciocon, MD

Falling among older people is a challenging problem with potentially serious consequences and morbidity.   Fall-related events are among the leading causes of death among the elderly.   An older person who falls is also at significant risk for disability and injury and, consequently, institutionalization.   Functional disability and gait patterns in relationship to ground surfaces and shoes have been documented as key intrinsic factors that place an elderly person at risk for falling.


19 A New Technologic Approach to Managing Lumbar Stability     Steven A. Sodorff, PT, and William H. O’Grady, MA, PT, OCS, MTC, COMT, FAAOMPT

Lumbar instability is one of the most challenging spinal diagnoses seen in orthopedic physical therapy. The literature has amply documented the methods that have been used to assess and treat the lumbar area. What has not been available is a reliable system to access the spinal curves and segmentally strengthen the paraspinal musculature while providing long-term stabilization.


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