Advanced Biomechanical Rehabilitation [Mechanical engineering]

Advanced Biomechanical Rehabilitation

We went along to a seminar concerning ABR with Leonid Blyum in Sydney this Feb. It was very interesting informtion and from a man who is passionate about helping special needs children, and also passionate about the problems with the current medical system of treatment. Leonid was in Sydney for the CP conference on just before this, and did the seminar and asessments while he was here.

He is a very interesting guy - his manner is a little intense and his talk a little repetitive as he goes over things a bit. I guess I was expecting more a description of what ABR is, how it works, where it came from etc, however, his seminar was more focused on how to best 'treat' a special needs child and care for them while navigating a system of medical "experts" with a range of varied recommendations from ignoring the problem through to drastic durgical intervention to treat symptoms.

He passed on information from the CP conference abour the GMFCS - Gross Motor Function Classiscation System - that is used to "classify" our children into their level of capabiltiy - level from 1 (best) - 5 (extremely limited). There is a graph "curve" that is associated with these levels vs the age of the child, and a "level 5" child will reach/develop 90% of it's motor abilities by just under age 3. They believe that people cannot beat this curve, and after the "maximum" capability is reached it is a matter of treating symptoms and problems with botox (muscle 'relaxant' - toxin), surgery (hip etc), metal rods (in back), growth plates, baclofen pumps (pain management) etc.

He also stated that the conference, and the general approach taken, is to focus on arm/leg movement, but there is little to no focus on trunk/head strength. There was one paper presented on trunk strength in sleep. There apparently is an assumption that the children will be wheelchair bound, so it's about making them comfortable in the wheelchair and helping them move arms and legs rather than strengthen their body to support such movements.

He contends that weightbearing is a key issue; but weightbearing is not skill - it is a more primitive function. Weight bearing is not a muscular - muscles themselves are very expensive - i.e. trying to hold up a weight for an extended period with your arm muscles will not last - they are not designed for constant continual use. Our weight bearing happens automatically - we don't exert ourseves to do it - it is related to compressional strength through our body, which he contends is through the fascia rather than specific muscles. Yet physio and other movement treatments tend to try and fix lack of development and movement by encouraging the child to repetitively use muscles to perform functions that would nomally be a part of weightbearing. Without the compressional strength present, these movements cannot be supported.

He also stated that epilieptic drugs are designed for "normal" people with seizures, they are not tested on children...

Duraband Duraband Personal Gym
Sports (Duraband)
  • Shoulder & Upper Back Excersises
  • Chest & Lower Back Excersises
  • Elbow & Lower Wrist Excersises
  • Lower Extremity Exercises
  • Foot & Ankle Excersises
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