NASA Technology Improves Patient’s Mobility

New physical therapy device
© NASA

The new physical therapy device is based on technology originally developed and honed at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md. The technology consists of short segments of flexible cable that connect to hardware, which allow joint-like, multidirectional movement and shock absorption. The NASA engineers incorporated this "cable-compliant" system into a patented walker that supported the pelvis and imitated hip joint movement, which ultimately alleviated pain to injured patients by reducing the amount of weight placed on the legs.

The device allows patients to stand or walk bearing various amounts of their own weight whether they have a sense of balance or not. “It allows them to stand without having three or four therapists helping them,” explained the head of the producing company Ken Messier at Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington, D.C. “So it gets the patient up sooner in the rehabilitation process without a fear of falling and without injuries to the patient or staff.”

The technology also gives patients with degenerative conditions like severe arthritis, multiple sclerosis, Lou Gehrig's Disease, cerebral palsy, and Parkinson's Disease an opportunity to safely extend their mobility, hope its creators.

MEDICA.de; Source: National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA)