One of the ways that cerebral palsy is improved is through retraining the brain. By helping people walk the correct way, the brain can lay down new neurons that will improve balance and motor control. The trick is to have correct and consistent training.
That’s what a system called the Lokomat does. WYMT explains.
The machine helps people relearn how to walk after any neurological injury. Devices like these have been used at Pikeville Medical Center in Kentucky for about a decade.
The machine uses biofeedback to show patients how well they are walking and gives doctors valuable data about muscle weakness and weight placement. Physical therapists can then give the patients exercises to help them out.
In addition, the Lokomat has also helped people with CP deal with their spasticity better. The machine can adjust to take weight off of a patient’s spine and legs and provide alignment to the knees, hips, and ankles. Once they are in place, the machine simulates correct walking to retrain the brain.
The center also has a similar machine that is used for the upper body. Most of their patients who use the machines come from outside the area because the machines are rare. But according to the workers at the center, they are an excellent treatment option.