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Use Of Parallel Bars In Rehabilitative & Physical Therapies

Dec 21, 2007
The use of parallel bars in rehabilitative and physical therapies is vitally important in the healthcare profession. Parallel bars are used to help people regain their strength, balance, range of motion, and independence. For people recovering from injuries, illnesses, and other debilitating conditions, parallel bars are important items of physical therapy, rehabilitation, and exercise equipment.

Rehabilitation therapists use parallel bars for coordination exercises. These task-oriented procedures help people with balance and coordination problems, typically resulting from strokes or brain trauma. Patients are required to repeat concise movements that work more than one joint and muscle.

Parallel bars are also used for ambulation exercises to improve a patient's ability to walk independently or with assistance. Before starting such exercises, however, some patient's may need to develop or improve the range of motion of their joints as well as develop any lost muscle strength. This type of training typically begins on parallel bars and then progresses to walking with mobility aids such as walkers, crutches, or walking canes.

Therapy parallel bars are also used for general conditioning exercises. This rehabilitative therapy combines range-of-motion, muscle-strengthening, and ambulatory exercises to counteract effects from being in a wheelchair for a sustained period of time or from prolonged bed rest and immobilization. General conditioning exercises are used to increase heart and lung function as well assist in restoring necessary blood flow.

Parallel bars are vitally important for gait training. On the road to recovery, preparing to walk is a monumental task requiring patience, dedication, an extraordinary amount of will power, and the assistance of a physical therapist. Even if a patient can walk, they may find it extremely difficult without proper rehabilitative therapy. Some injuries, such as those to the brain or spine, commonly effect motor skills and may cause spasms. Gait training can help patients regain their normal ambulatory motion.

For people experiencing a change in their physical abilities, uneven parallel bars and rehabilitative therapy can have significant benefits. Many people are familiar with the importance of rehabilitation following surgeries, injuries, strokes, etc. However rehabilitative therapy has proven to have prodigious benefits for people with chronic illnesses or debilitating conditions such as arthritis, osteoporosis, and multiple sclerosis, which can fundamentally affect all areas of movement and function. Spasticity, weakness, balance, dizziness, cognition, vision, and coordination are just some of the symptoms that can be improved through regular physical therapy. Physical therapy also has an immense amount of psychological benefits that come along with an improvement of confidence, self image, public image, and overall sense of well-being.

For any type of rehabilitation to be successful, it is critical to implement a multi-faceted, interdisciplinary course of therapy incorporating exercises and techniques that have a broad and comprehensive focus. The use of parallel bars for physical therapy is only a fragment of the entire process. Such therapy should always aim to restore maximum independence to all facets of an individual's lifestyle. It is important to remember that not every process of rehabilitation is the same. There are times when different strategies are employed on the same patient and other times when the same strategies are employed on different patients. Therapists must be proficient enough to discern their patients' weaknesses and needs and thereby develop and administer exercise regimens designed to increase mobility, strength, coordination, and balance. Along with the use of parallel bars, therapists should incorporate other rehabilitation equipment such as balance boards, exercise balls, hand & finger exercises, MediCordz, and resistance cords, bands & tubing. Always consult with a certified physical therapist or a chiropractor for the proper and most effective routines and exercises for parallel bars.
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