The History of Suit Therapy - Motion therapy in space suits, initially designed to counteract the weightlessness by adding elastic resistance to movement, was first implemented in Russia in the late 1980s. This therapy, called suit therapy or Dynamic Proprioceptive Correction (DPC), has been popularized as a treatment modality in Poland and is focused on improving sensory stimulation and providing patients with the ability to stand and move through suit thearpy resistance. This method allows a person to learn movement, standing posture and balance strategies.
Suit Therapy Improve Patterns of Movement
Suit Therapy (Dynamic Proprioceptive Correction) improves and changes proprioception (pressure from the muscles, ligaments, joints), reduces abnormal reflexes, facilitates proper movement. Individual placement of the elastic bands moves the entire body back into more vertical posture with proper feet position. Center of gravity moves back and downward thus assisting relaxed upright posture. Also, changes in muscle tone can be seen immediately. Additional weight bearing provides strong feedback to the brain which helps create new improved patterns of movement such as with ambulation while the body is maintaining proper posture. Great benefits are seen in patients with ataxia and athethosis through the stabilizing effect to the trunk.
DPC is a comprehensive rehabilitation method developed by Prof. Xenia Semenova at the Pediatric Research Institute of the Russian Medical Academy in Moscow. Her studies demonstrate that appropriate proprioceptive information is a key precondition for brain development and laid out the basics of the movement corrective program of proprioceptive activities.
The first suit used for the motor correction of movement in patients with CP was the modified suit known as the "Penguin", created in the 70's for the prevention complications due to weightlessness in astronauts. Elastic straps set into the space-suit provide an additional load on the muscles and partially reconstitute the influence of the field of gravity. In the 90's the "Penguin" suit was modified and adapted for patients with CP and received the name "ADELI" suits (a US version of it known as "Neuro-Suit"). The original concept was continuously improved and by the end of 90's a new suit, was created. According to the latest studies it provides even more beneficial effect on the movement and reflex responses of CP patients.
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