Ashleigh has a new piece of exercise equipment that we think is producing some good results. It is an eVO pedaler from Assistive Therapy Solutions Inc. www.assistivetherapy.com This machine is an exercise bike but it is motor driven and has handles that also exercise the arms.
Since Ashleigh has hemiparesis where one side is much weaker than the other as a result of her brain injury, the motor helps pedal the bike on the weak side. We have already seen increased endurance and strenghtening and well as reduction in tone in her left arm. When Ashleigh first started her left arm could not even be stretched to remain on the handle bar. Now she can keep her hand (with assistance) on top of the handle through the range of motion. We have found that her left arm stays more relaxed even hours later when she is back in bed. Ashleigh really enjoys the eVO and it is now her first choice when the therapists ask her what she would like to do in her therapy sessions. Ashleigh typically pedals for about 40 minutes in her therapy sessions. We start off slow and then ramp up fairly quickly to the higher speeds. Then after fifteen minutes or so, we turn the machine off and she pedals the bike manually for about five minutes. There is now just one little area in the rotation where we have to help the left foot lift the pedal through the cycle. After the manual period we rest for a minute or so and then she does more pedaling for the rest of the session. The pictures include Ashleigh and her therapists – Jan OT, and Julian PT, and me.