The Montgomery Advertiser reports that students in the Alabama State University’s Physical Therapy program are training to use a new therapeutic device, the Active Therapeutic Movement 2 (ATM2), for patients suffering from low back pain. A product of Sunnyvale, California-based BackProject® Corporation, is thought to offer a completely new approach in physical therapy:
Hoffman [founder of BackProject-ed.] said unlike traditional therapy, in which patients perform tasks against the direction of painful movements, the ATM2 has them performing these movements in the natural direction–in the direction of their pain. Adjustable belts and ratchets both compensate for the lack of gravity and control the amount of pressure patients react to, as they repeatedly perform the otherwise pain-inducing movement.
The new approach offers full control of the position of the pelvis and a large range of compression so that the patient’s movements can be normalized.
“We have the patient redo the painful movement on the unit, where they can do it pain-free,” Hoffman said.
Hoffman and Colbert demonstrate the functions of the ATM2 device.
Even in everyday activities, the muscles of people with back pain are continuously firing just to keep the person stable, he said.
Once on the unit, “those muscles don’t need to fire anymore,” he said. “The strain goes down with each notch of the ratchet.”
Hoffman said during the exercises, the central nervous system “memorizes” the pain-free movements; joints are repositioned so that when patients are off the unit, they’re able to perform the movement in an extended range, without pain, he said.
The product page at BackProject…