Baltic Care: regain muscle tone with the sling therapy

Sling therapy is an opportunity to give your body a healthy tone and physical condition working through individual classes together with Physiotherapist. It is one of the most effective physiotherapy techniques to strengthen the deep muscles of the spine, gain body stability and muscle strength.

Capital Clinic Riga's Physiotherapist Uldis Sprogis comments: "Sling therapy is a unique alternative for gym or aerobic exercises, even more it happens in individual sessions with the Physiotherapist following an individual exercise plan. It combines an active workout with modern rehabilitation methods. The main objective is to achieve a permanent physical locomotion apparatus strength. Such 'hanging' method might look insecure, however it helps to strengthen our spine condition.”

Sling therapy helps to strengthen the deep, spine supporting muscles, improves metabolism in structures adjacent to the backbone (articular cartilages of vertebrae, inter-vertebral discs and ligaments). When the deep back muscles do not work properly their support functions are taken over by the overlying superficial muscles that hurt from the amount of inappropriate physical load. That results in a number of back movement and posture problems. When activating the deep back muscles properly the pain often goes away. Especially for those patients whose back pain is chronic and to whom doctors say that there are "degenerative changes in the spine" or spondylosis (currently this state is detectable in almost all people at the age of 20 due to the sedentary lifestyle).

Sling therapy can be used by:

•    all of us - people who want to keep themselves in a good physical shape.

•    people with musculo-skeletal problems, headaches, back pain, joint arthrosis or conditions after injuries.

•    people with sedentary lifestyle or frequent involuntary postures (office workers, truck drivers, hairdressers, etc.)

•    new mothers and women after childbirth, when the posture has changed and the back has ached during the pregnancy or on the contrary - the back has started to hurt after giving birth. In this case sling therapy will help to recover and even improve muscle balance, as it was before the pregnancy.

•    people who do not want to go to aerobic classes or gym, exercise in public and values an individual approach.

Sling therapy may be recommended by any doctor, but most often it is recommended by Neurologists, General Practitioners and Traumatologists. The first consultation can also be given by Physiotherapist, assessing if there is a need for a specialist's consultation.

The concept of Sling therapy consists of diagnostic and treatment systems:

•    Diagnostic system - includes muscular endurance test with the help of progressive load in a closed and an open kinematic chain. It is combined with traditional musculo-skeletal system examinations.

•    Treatment system - includes relaxation, increasing range of motion, traction (drawing), muscle stability training, exercises for sensorimotor or nerve conduction velocity improvement, etc.

Sling therapy for kids

For kids till one year of age sling therapy is applied as early stimulation therapy that primarily is planned for prematurely born babies, as well as kids with disturbances of vestibular apparatus, kids that need regular supervision of the doctor already from their early days. Sling therapy includes many elements of game that give pleasure to little ones.

When you use sling therapy as early stimulation swings it can improve:

•    Eye contact of the child and adult and mutual communication;

•    Head control;

•    Chewing, swallowing and talking motor base;

•    Symmetry, controlling of movements of the head and orientation of the middle part;

•    Posture correction in position lying on the stomach or sitting;

•    Supporting movements during the vestibular stimulation and ability to obtain better articulation of sounds, mimicry, and orally motor function – oral – face stimulation.

Reduction of gravity effect

Frequently gravity is the main enemy of the kid and there is a difference between what the kid wants to do and what he/she is really able to do. In this exercising position kid has a great opportunity to develop and perform activity of various muscles. These are skills of movement, ability to develop ones identity.

Improving of stability, balance control

Main task is to change kid’s position from the fixed sitting to squatting position or sitting on ones knees, additionally offering some toy to the kid. If the kid has a cerebral paralysis, then simple fastenings or splints are recommended to straighten legs. This position combined with the stimulation of muscles (in limited period of time) will beneficially impact kids with reduced tension (tonus) of tissues or organs.

Brief look into the history

Sling or bond therapy was created during the II World War with the onset of poliomyelitis (infantile paralysis) epidemics in Europe. Its purpose was to perform exercises without the impact of gravity; and this marked the beginning of therapy and exercising of this kind. When the spread of poliomyelitis decreased in Europe, also the sling therapy was forgotten. The sling therapy resurrected after invention of the Terapi Master – bond therapy equipment in Norway in the end of 20th century and it continued to gain popularity all around the world. In 2007 the brand name TERAPI MASTER was changed to REDCORD.

In the world sling therapy is the most popular in Asian countries, Korea and Japan. Sling therapy idea in Europe has gained the widest support in Austria, Germany, Netherlands, Italy, Spain, Sweden, Israel, Denmark, Finland, Czech Republic, Lithuania, Estonia and Latvia. Currently in Norway approximately 90% of the physiotherapist practices are working with the equipment of REDKORD.

In Latvia Health Centre 4 in 2001 was the first medical centre to begin application of the sling therapy when the sling therapy consulting room was established here. By observing improvement of physical condition in case of muscular-skeletal disturbances, special sling therapy consulting rooms also for children were established, also other medical and rehabilitation institutions started to show interest in this form of therapy a year later.





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