What is the Lokomat?
The Lokomat is a robotic walking machine which mimics a normal walking gait. This incredible piece of technology is often the main reason why many of our clients chose Aim2Walk for their therapy. I was mesmerized and extremely excited when I first saw the robocop looking device. For people who use wheelchairs and crave to walk again, this machine must look like paradise.
- Spinal Cord Injury
- Stroke (Cerebrovascular Accident)
- Brain Injury
- Multiple Sclerosis
- Cerebral Palsy
- Parkinson’s Disease
- Other neurological injuries/conditions that affect mobility
- Orthopedic injuries/conditions that affect mobility (joint replacement, post surgery, etc.)
Although the Lokomat is effective for many different types of clients, it’s not always the best choice for each client. It is mainly up to our physiotherapists to decide whether the Lokomat will be the most effective form of therapy for the clients’ main goals. This is the key to determine who will and will not use the machine. What are your main therapy goals?
Two main goals clients often have when using the Lokomat include:
1. to regain function in their legs
2. to improve walking gait patterns
Although these are two very important goals, we have many clients who use the machine for other important reasons:
3. improve range of motion
4. improve circulation
5. stimulate bowel movements
6. maintain/improve bone density
7. regulate blood pressure
8. decrease spasticity
9. improve quality of sleep
10. mentally rewarding
Aim2Walk’s therapists enjoy having the Lokomat as part of the therapy plan for many clients. We can see the excitment and joy in our clients’ eyes when they stand up straight. It’s a powerful experience to see themselves stand and walk when they’re normally sitting in a wheelchair. Although many of our clients have little to no feeling in their legs, they will often feel tingling, burning or other sensations while walking on the treadmill. The continual movement, stretching of muscles and range of motion in the joints will increase circulation. For our wheelchair users, sitting in a chair 95% of the time can cause constipation and bloating. Often the Lokomat, will stretch and stimulate the bowels and keep a client “regular.”
At Aim2Walk each client is very unique and that means their treatment plan needs to be as well. If you are a candidate for the Lokomat, we strongly encourage you to participate in our training program. Often clients will receive therapy 2-3 days a week for 2 hours each treatment. We find this is the best way to see optimal results; however, it again depends on what your main goals are.
Have you tried the Lokomat? If so, we’d love to hear how the Lokomat has benefited you! Please comment below and share your stories about the Lokomat.