At the end of December, the Lynden Tribune ran a story on Infinity Rehab therapists from Christian Health Care Center in Lynden, WA that utilize the LiteGait, a partial weight-bearing gait therapy device for children and adults, during rehabilitation sessions with patients. Below is the article in full. Click here to visit the Lynden Tribune website.
LYNDEN, WA – Patrons at the Christian Health Care Center’s award-winning rehabilitation department may notice a new piece of equipment amid the treadmills and exercise hardware.
That’s the LiteGait, a partial-weight-bearing gait therapy device that arrived at the care center about a month ago. The therapists and assistants there have already seen the machine’s benefits after just a few weeks of use.
The LiteGait provides two primary tenets that enhance its benefit exponentially; versatility and, most importantly, safety. The device allows the physical therapist to harness patients in and help them in a wide variety of ways.
“We use it on patients with hundreds of different diagnoses,” said center physical therapist Andrea Blois.
These diagnoses can vary wildly, from strokes to hip replacements to orthopedic injuries. The LiteGait allows physical therapists to adjust the weight being put on each leg depending on a patient’s condition. From there, the possibilities are many.
Patients can use the machine to improve their gait patterns following an injury, with adjustments made depending on which part of the body is injured. The machine encourages an upright posture, and therefore helps with posture alterations that might be necessary following an injury. The LiteGait can even be taken on a treadmill.
The LiteGait machine at the health care center allows the physical therapist to rotate the patient around, allowing practice walking side to side and backwards. This helps facilitate balance and stability.
“It also keeps patients safe and your hands free,” Blois said.
The primary benefit, of course, are the fall-free conditions the LiteGait allows. Instead of requiring two or more physical therapists and assistants to help a patient move around a room, the LiteGait provides a secure way to hold a patient in place, only requiring one physical therapist at a time. the machine keeps the patient upright instead of the physical therapist, and this frees up the therapist’s hands to make adjustments and generally work with the patient.
“The end result is, they can walk with more balance and less falls,” Blois said.”Patients can get to a higher level faster.”
One of the primary goals at the center is to help rehab patients to progress to the “least restrictive device,” whether that’s a cane or a walker or some other option.
“(LiteGait) allows them to take that step sooner to a less restrictive device if that’s a possibility,” Blois said.
The LiteGait expedites each session as well, as it takes just two minutes to harness a patient into the machine. It also eliminates the time that would be taken helping patients out of seats and across rooms.
“It just encourages those behaviors that we as physical therapists are trying to encourage,” Blois said. “Our goal is, of course, to get them home or independent faster, if that’s a possibility. It just covers a whole realm of patients and conditions.”
The christian Health Care Center ha the only LiteGait north of Mount Vernon, WA.