May 13, 2003 16:33
SUFFERERS of multiple sclerosis, Parkinson's Disease and other neurological problems are to benefit from a special treadmill at Ipswich Hospital.
The equipment designed to help people gain their confidence in walking again.
The low-speed treadmill is now being used in the hospital's physiotherapy gym.
This is thanks to the generosity of a self-help support group, two national charities and a hospital charitable fund.
The SHIMS (Self Help in MS – a support group set up by patients and their families who attend the hospital), the M.S. Society, the Parkinson's Disease Society and the Trust's Neurology Department Charity Fund all contributed to the £5,000 cost of the treadmill.
Louise Kenworthy, superintendent physiotherapist for neurology, at the hospital, said: "We are delighted to have the treadmill. Most commercial treadmills start at 1.5 miles per hour, which is too fast for our patients. The slow start speed of this treadmill means that people can benefit earlier and therapists can help people with their walking while they are on the treadmill. It has extra safety features and extended hand rails.
"A lot of research is being carried out which shows that treadmill training
is an important part of 're-educating' patients' walking. It also helps
people with their balance and engages central pattern generators in the
central nervous system, which stimulates a more normal, fluid walking pattern
over greater distances. There are also cardio-vascular benefits."
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