Robotic Device Can Help Rehab Patients with Ankle-Foot Disorders

foot disordersAccording to researchers from Carnegie Mellon University, Harvard University, the University of Southern California, MIT and Biosenses, they have developed a soft, wearable robotic device powered by pneumatic artificial muscle actuators—which is enormously beneficial for rehabbing patients with ankle-foot disorders, such as drop foot.

The orthotic device uses soft plastics and composite materials together with pneumatic artificial muscle (PAMs) sensors to achieve the realistic and natural motions in the ankle. Four test subjects were attached with the device and researchers found that the prototype generated an ankle range of 27 degrees sagittal motion. Patients with neuromuscular disorders of the feet may be candidates for the aid the device is capable of providing.

If you have experienced a foot or ankle injury, there may be a variety of therapy options available to you. For help choosing one, consult podiatrist Dr. Bryant Tarr of Westford Podiatry. Dr. Tarr can analyze your recovery and offer you advice on what therapy would be most effective. 

Most common injuries

People who are constantly on their feet are prone to a variety of injuries. Therefore, it is important to take part in physical therapy in order to get back on the right track quickly.

What to do when injured

Physical Therapy – This specialized treatment will focus on the affected area, speeding up recovery and the overall healing process. This is important for those wanting to get back into the game quickly. It is a proven method that has helped millions of people return from any injury.

During physical therapy you will undergo regimented training to get back into full form. Training is often very difficult, especially at first when the foot feels weak. These are some steps physical therapy often involves:

  1. Basic stretching & twisting exercises – getting the feet’s mobility and flexibility up.
  2. Massaging – the therapist will massage the injured area in order to activate and relax the muscles.
  3. Strengthening Exercises – this allows the muscles in the affected area to regain their full strength, a vital step towards full recovery.

With the advancements in technology and greater knowledge of how muscles and joints work, physical therapists can turn things around dramatically.    

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact our office in Sudbury and Westford, MA. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot ankle injuries.

Read more about Foot Therapy.