Physical therapy technology and techniques have come a long way in recent years, and the tools available to therapists to optimize rehabilitation outcomes for those with injuries or conditions that affect gait are improving every day. As advancements in technology continue to evolve and as physical therapists have better tools at their fingertips, many patients are recovering faster than ever before, with better outcomes, and are better armed to avoid future injuries.
Video can be a useful tool for benchmarking patients’ status as they start rehab and be referred to as they progress though their program. These benchmarks can be used for a variety of uses: to keep patients engaged in therapy and improve their chances of achieving their full potential.
During therapy, the therapist and patient can evaluate the recordings together to help the patient identify and correct aspects of their gait they might not necessarily be able to feel, and to precisely focus on areas of greater concern. The ability to play the recordings back in either stop or slow motion even further helps this. No one can argue the benefits provided by the instant feedback from video recording gait patterns.
With video recording software, physical therapists and patients are learning more about gait analysis and treatment than ever before, and with improvements and advances on the horizon, recovering patients may achieve improved gait function in record time.
According to an article in the Journal of Bone & Joint Surgery, “Patient education involving the use of multiple senses (sight, hearing and touch as with video recording therapy sessions) during a physician-patient conversation about treatment…improves understanding of anticipated care and possible outcomes.” For our purposes here, simply substitute “physician” with “physical therapist.”
It’s simply undeniable how valuable the multi-sensory offerings of video recordings are when it comes to patient care—even from the moment the conversation about treatment begins. Patients gain a great deal of information about their gait, their progress, their strengths & weaknesses, and their therapist’s techniques & tools when they can watch and re-watch themselves on video.
Research has consistently shown that when video is entered into the diagnosis/treatment mix, patient retention of what is taught by a provider greatly increases. Videos use sight, sound, motion and illustration, which can help present complicated medical information in a way that spoken or printed descriptions simply cannot. While it’s still the responsibility of the physical therapist to ensure the patient fully understands what’s taking place as far as diagnosis and treatments go, video has proven to be one of the best supplements to a therapist’s education to date.
With advanced technology like The AlterG® Anti-Gravity Treadmill™ M320 with New Stride Smart, physical therapists are using gait and video analytics in therapy to identify asymmetry and gait deficiencies, and to calculate body weight support needed for pain-free, normal gait. AlterG’s improved video system with recording capabilities allows physical therapists to show patients their gait in real-time, or record clips, play them back in slow motion, freeze them and then save the videos for patient records.
AlterG’s cutting edge technology is helping to revolutionize the physical therapy field; please stay tuned to the AlterG blog to learn more about exciting advances in physical therapy technology and methodology.