The WalkAide System

Physio@Home have recently invested in training our staff to assess and fit the WalkAide and have clinicians kits available to use in therapy.

Using this in therapy and day-to-day could have huge benefits for a wide selection of our clients including those with multiple sclerosis (MS) and following a stroke or traumatic brain injury (TBI).

So what is FES and the WalkAide?

FES stands for functional electrical stimulation and is a way of using gentle electrical impulses to improve the ability of a person to lift their foot whilst walking and stepping. It may also mean there is no or less need to wear an AFO (ankle-foot orthoses) within footwear.

Poor foot placement affects many adults with neurological conditions and occurs when the muscles at the front of the leg are not strong enough to pick the toes up and give good foot placement. It can also be due to high muscle tone preventing good foot posture.

The WalkAide system analyses the movement of the leg and stimulates the appropriate nerves and muscles which causes the foot to lift with every step. The gentle impulses activate the muscles to raise the foot at the correct time. This creates a more natural walking pattern for you when learning to walk. With repeated use of this machine over time the muscles will increase in size and have more opportunity of developing a favourable movement pattern as it can improve signals sent to and from the brain.

The device can be used on one or both legs and is attached just below the knee. Once the initial set up is complete the device will work automatically and will program itself to your walking pattern. The WalkAide can also be used in a therapeutic mode whilst you are resting which practices bringing the foot up and strengthening the muscles.

To view some pictures of the Walkaide and for further information, please click here.

We are always happy to discuss your individual situation, so please don't hesitate to call us for an informal chat on 01206 396789, or email us on to see if we can help.

In August 2013 I had a Brain Hemorrhage aged 29 before this I was a solicitor at a top 10 law firm and a busy mum of two.

My father-in-law found Kathryn on the internet and having read her profile I knew she was for me. I met Kathryn shortly after in February 2014 after a second stint in hospital. The original Brain hemorrhage has left me with Ataxia, which in turn, has left me with balance, strength and core problems.

When I first met Kathryn I was pleased to use my zimmer frame now I have a walker and crutches (July 2014) and I am far less reliant on my wheelchair.

I find the physio tough in a good way. Kathryn recently went away and the organization was seamless - Beth turned up and was just as tough. Both Kathryn and Beth are really personable and an hour goes by very quickly.

I find Kathryn (and Beth) approachable and friendly. Kathryn often emails me between appointments and her local market knowledge is very good.

I am really/finally starting to see a difference and I hope if we keep on I'll get a semblance of my old life back.

- CW
In March 2010 my wife and I had the 4 o'clock in the morning call that all parents dread. Our son, 29 years old, had had a serious motorcycle accident in Bali. He was in a critical state, with serious head injuries and brain damage, in a coma in a hospital in Bali. What followed was massive anguish and uncertainty, air ambulance jet repatriation a thousand miles away to Singapore, five weeks of fantastic hospital treatment, and then repatriation to UK.

At that point we were more or less on our own; the first available appointment offered for physiotherapy was more than a month away. We came to Beth via a personal contact and she was the best thing that could have happened to us. Beth is definitely not a 'one size fits all' therapist. She listened carefully to the detail of his situation. She carried out her own assessment. Then she devised targeted exercises specific to his needs.

Each visit progressively moved him along the road to improving balance, strength, physical co-ordination, hand to eye co-ordination, fine motor skills and, of equal importance, confidence in his ability to get his old life back.

Beth stressed that her visits were to demonstrate and advise, so that our son's own daily routines in between visits, would be best suited to his continuing improvement.

In those early months she gave him the encouragement, confidence and motivation that he so badly needed.

No one who now meets our son has any idea that he suffered brain injury. Even his old friends cannot tell the difference between the before and after. He was undoubtedly lucky, but a significant chunk of his luck came from knowing Beth.

- Garry, Essex
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