Published: 08/06/2013

Lite-Gait Equipment Provides Safe Environment to Get People Back on Their Feet

Evangelical Community Hospital welcomed a new addition to its staff in December 2012 - not a new person, a new piece of equipment. Not just any piece of equipment, but a Lite-Gait® device, that allows patients freedom in a safe environment to regain muscle strength, balance and coordination to get back to normal daily activities.
 
The Lite-Gait®, a training device that simultaneously controls weight bearing, posture, and balance allows Evangelical’s physical therapists to provide therapy in a controlled setting with more focus on the elements of recovery. Its unique harness design can be used over a floor surface or can be slid over a treadmill to help individuals concentrate on exercises while knowing they are in a secure environment that won’t allow them to fall.
 
Demonstrations on how the Lite-Gait® works will be exhibited at Evangelical’s Wellness Expo being held on Saturday, September 14, 2013, at the Evangelical Fitness Center at 210 JPM Road, Lewisburg, from 10 am – 2 pm.
 
“When patients feel safe they can concentrate on the techniques and details of exercises that help them build muscle strength and endurance,” said Carey Napp, MPT, Physical Therapist at Evangelical.
 
Napp continued, “For us as therapists, the Lite-Gait® allows us to focus on improved postures and mechanics for walking, while the patient is in a secure environment.”
 
For example, Mary Jane Ebright of Lewisburg has been using the Lite-Gait® during her regularly scheduled therapy sessions to help her regain the balance and strength she lost when she suffered a stroke in April of this year. The stroke caused significant weakness on her left side, limiting her ability to walk.
 
“When I came to Evangelical, I was wheelchair-bound. As someone who has always worked several jobs to support myself, I wanted to get back to being able to move on my own and regain my independence. Evangelical’s Physical Therapy team, along with the Lite-Gait® have gotten me back to being able to walk with the help of a walker and built up my stamina so I can do things I took for granted, like being able to walk long enough to move through the aisles at the grocery store,” Ebright said.
 
The Lite-Gait® allows patients to achieve standing and mobility earlier in the rehab process. Patients are able to walk on a treadmill without the fear of falling. It can also be used on solid surfaces to assist in kneeling and balance related exercises. The therapists can then facilitate form and monitor progress with each patient. By doing exercises and strengthening patient’s core muscles at a pace that is comfortable to them, physical therapy builds the foundation to get them back to living.
 
The staff has used the equipment to assist patients, who are adjusting to prosthesis use, have spinal cord and head injuries, Multiple Sclerosis, stroke, and other neurological diseases. They see many possibilities to use it in even greater ways in the future including assisting individuals with Parkinsons disease or anyone who may have balance issues.
 
Julie Charlton, MPT, ATC, Physical Therapist at Evangelical said, “Many people think of Physical Therapy as it relates to orthopedic injuries, but there is so much more that we treat. Patients have a choice when it comes to therapy needs and our team is prepared to do whatever we can, with the resources we have, to get people back to quality of life and feeling safer in their homes and during their daily activities. The Lite-Gait® allows us to customize a therapy program for each patient’s individual needs.”
 
In addition to having the Lite-Gait® device available for demonstration, the upcoming Wellness Expo will include activities that encourage healthier lifestyles.
 
Scheduled for the day are: 
    FREE fitness class demos
    FREE health screens including blood pressure and body composition
    Sign-up for the 10,000 steps program - each new member receives a FREE pedometer
    Wellness Discussions for a Healthy Lifestyle will be presented including safe walking, golf, and heart health
    Educational information will be available on nutrition, exercise, and consultation on health and risk factors

For more information on the Wellness Expo, call Evangelical’s Rehabilitation Services and Fitness Center at (570) 524-2600.
 
Evangelical Community Hospital received the Healthgrades Outstanding Patient Experience Award in 2013 for the fifth consecutive year, making it one of two hospitals in Pennsylvania to be recognized for consistent, positive patient experience.
 
Evangelical is a non-profit organization that employs approximately 1,300 people and has more than 170 employed and non-employed physicians on staff. The Hospital is licensed to accommodate 130 overnight patients, 12 acute rehab patients and 18 bassinets. The Hospital serves residents throughout the Central Susquehanna Valley, including those living in Snyder, Union, Northumberland and Lycoming Counties.

 

Mary Jane Ebright of Lewisburg received physical therapy at Evangelical Community Hospital where the Lite-Gait device played an integral role in recovery from a stroke that left her with muscle weakness on her left side.
From left to right: Carey Napp, MPT, Physical Therapist at Evangelical, Mary Jane Ebright, and Julie Charlton, MPT, ATC, Physical Therapist at Evangelical.

 

Positioned over the treadmill, the Lite-Gait device stabilizes patients, like Mary Jane Ebright, so they can concentrate on the exercises that help them get back on their feet without the fear of falling.