Restoring the ability to walk is a key step toward independence
Restoring the ability to walk is a key step toward independence

Physical Therapist Joan Mohr

I am a physical therapist who has been practicing since 1956, teaching since 1970, and traveling the world to practice and teach since 1977. I have worked in many developing countries, including Turkey, Albania, Poland, many places in Europe, India, Venezuela, Brazil, Argentina, Chile and China. I work with private therapists, sometimes with rehab centers, and only occasionally in an acute care hospital. I teach therapists from all over the world, working through a translator. My specialty is pediatric physical therapy, particularly working with patients who have head injuries, cerebral palsy, muscular dystrophy and other dystrophy disabilities.

I have been aware of and used the Up n’ Go for two years, and the first thing that excited me about the equipment was the close relationship that using the Up n’ Go has to actual walking. As with walking, the patient’s weight shifts to the lower trunk and pelvis, so the Up n’ Go actually shows a patient how to shift their weight in preparation for actual walking. Unlike other therapy devices, the Up n’ Go allows for total freedom of the hands, which can then be used for balance and other functions. Since there is no weight on the hands, the patient’s respiratory system is also freed up, allowing for easy speech.

The therapist can use the tool to support the patient while he/she works on other parts of the body, without having to hold up the patient while doing so. Because this device is a partial weight bearing device, you can set it to be easier for the patient, or more difficult as he/she progresses.

When toddlers, between one and three years old use the Up n’ Go, it teaches them how to walk, and allows for a goal that they may one day walk out of the device! Other older patients, who could not walk at all, are now able to do so using this device.

This device is a more correct therapy than using a walker, and it allows freedom of movement so that the therapist can strengthen the lower extremities, teach transitional movements like sit to stand, and even do some stretching exercises.

For many patients using this device, it is the first time in their lives that they can stand on their own, and it is amazing the self esteem it produces!

Care givers depend on this device because it saves their backs – they don’t have to physically lift their loved ones.

Acute care therapists like the device because one person can do the work that three or four used to be required to do. The device supports all of the patient’s weight.

You can use this device to work on a patient’s weak side or to have the patient stand on one leg for an exercise. The therapist can position the device to take more weight on one side, so the therapist does not have to lift the weight. The therapist can have the patient practice stepping up and stepping down in slow motion to gain control and strength. Another exercise made much easier with the device is to have the patient place a foot on a ball and work to balance. The patient does not need cognition to do either exercise with the Up n’ Go.

The device started as a way to safely get patients up to a standing position, and then therapists discovered its excellent uses in therapy and began to ask for additions to the device. When a therapist or user uncovers a problem or suggests a new use, they can readily contact the engineer of the device, Eli Razon, who eagerly takes the therapist’s suggestions and works with them to improve the device.

Joan Mohr
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