TheraTogs garment and strapping systems are so versatile, so customizable, and can be so immediately effective that we understand the temptation to correct many problems at once and to ask caretakers to follow through.
Please do not try to do so.
In the course of a single therapy session, therapists often wish they had more hands to bring to their efforts to train the client to function in improved postural and limb alignment. We are thrilled to be able to provide these clinicians with those “extra hands” in the form of a Velcro-sensitive garment set and assorted straps.
However, when it comes to designing strapping systems that will continue successful treatments at home by providing the massed practice needed for sensorimotor learning, we suggest that clinicians use TheraTogs progressively. The concerns are:
- The client’s tolerance for change. If the problem is new, as in stroke or TBI, tolerance of change is not an issue. If the problem is longstanding, introducing many changes at once can overload the sensory system.
- Fatigue. When straps are applied to shorten overlong muscles and to improve the line of weight-loading, new muscles are recruited and ole, long muscles are weak in the shorted positions.
- The caretaker’s need to learn in digestible portions. With few exceptions, caretakers are already busy, often distracted by other issues at home, and are easily overwhelmed by too much information and too many straps.
We’ve learned over the years to implement common principles of postural control and neuromotor re-education by starting at the base of support and the torso. For example, this 6-year-old boy has Down Syndrome with hyperflexible, pronated feet.
- We began by improving his functioning base of support – his foot alignment and stability. Here, he is wearing SureStep SMOs and sturdy shoes.
- Then we trained his mother to don only the garments at home. We marked all garment closures on the fabric to make correct donning easy. Most caretakers can put the Hipster and Tank Top on in 3 minutes or less. The garments deliver the somatosensory information of a customized body hug. The resistance of the GoldTone fabric to vertical stretch will gently assist the wearer to align the spine and hips.
- When his mother was confident in donning the garments correctly – after a couple of weeks – we added strapping that is targeted to improve functioning alignment of the spine and pelvis only. This fellow uses so much trunk extension that the strapping target is his abdominals. We also marked the tabs and the attachment sites for these straps on the garments to help his mother apply them correctly and to gain confidence.
- Because he continued to walk with feet turned inward, his therapist used the abdominal straps and leg rotation strapping during treatment sessions. When his mother was readily and willing to carry them on at home, she was trained to don them as well.
Because of their versatile design, clinicians can easily adapt TheraTogs strapping systems:
- For optimum effect
- To acknowledge established gains by removal
- To shift the focus of the home program to support current treatment goals
- To meet the needs of the client and caretakers
This instant customizability adds significant value that pre-sewn compression garments can never match.