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Stepping Toward Stroke Recovery
Two years ago, Michele Blivin suffered a massive bilateral stroke that left her unable to talk, walk, hold her head up or use her hands. After several months. Michele began to regain some of her mobility but she was unable to walk.
Michele’s daughter saw a news story on technology that might help her mother — the Ekso bionic exoskeleton, a wearable bionic suit that enables individuals with lower extremity paralysis or weakness to stand and walk. Good Shepherd was the first rehabilitation facility in North America to offer the Ekso with Variable Assist software, which allows clinicians to augment their patients’ strength by tuning the amount of power contributed to either leg. This software makes the Ekso ideal for people who have suffered weakness due to a stroke.
“The concept of repetitive motions leading to the return of mobility is the theory of neuroplasticity,” says Sue Golden, director of Neurorehabilitation at Good Shepherd. “By reproducing movements over and over, something a therapist may not be able to do without the aid of technology like the Ekso, we are seeking to rewire the brain and re-establish neural connections.”
After just a few weeks of therapy with the Ekso, Michele says her core muscles feel stronger and she is able to move from a sitting to standing position more easily. She recently walked more than 500 steps in the Ekso in one therapy session.
To learn more, call 1-888-44-REHAB (73422) or contact us.