Meeting Individual Needs
There is a difference between what people
need and what they want. This applies to all human beings as
we try to balance all aspects of our lives. We have
responsibilities at home and at work. We have ambitions and
goals to achieve. It is difficult to organize our lives into
separate compartments; consequently, our individual wants
and needs blend into our existing lifestyle. It is easy to
get caught up in the demands of everyday life and lose sight
of what we need most or even what we really want. Such is
The use of the phrase physically challenged is used to describe an individual with physical limitations. While it is more descriptive than the term handicapped, it does not tell the whole story of neuromuscular disorders. The pathology of muscle weakness and sensory loss resulting in balance and efficiency difficulties in neuromuscular disorders make activities such as ambulation more difficult. The physical effort required becomes greater. The desire to ambulate can overcome the pathology but only at the expense of increased energy and effort. Individuals with neuromuscular disorders are people first and are not defined by their pathology! We all must deal with the challenges of life. Neuromuscular disorders add to these challenges in ways that may be hard to describe by those who have it, let alone those who do not! In order to meet the normal challenges of life, neuromuscular disorders become secondary to the demands of life in general. Human beings are comprised of a complex combination of physical and psychological elements. It is hard to separate the mind and body.
With this in mind, we can put the need for bracing solutions in perspective. The need for bracing in a neuromuscular disorder is to maintain or restore efficient ambulation. In order to achieve this goal, it is necessary to prevent or correct deformities resulting from muscle weakness and muscle imbalance. The mechanics of gait and balance must be understood by the orthotist and Physical Therapist. An orthotic support system must address the body mechanics in all planes of motion. Traditional support systems made of polypropylene or metal and leather do not control these forces in all planes. They are one - dimensional in terms of the function they offer. This method of treatment is not a solution. DynamicBracingSolutions™ offers true solutions for individual needs. These solutions have been achieved through careful study of human motion, mechanics and balance along with the development of a multi - dimensional support system. The system is complex and involves a computer software program designed to measure the deficits of each individual. The recorded data are then used to fabricate a specialized carbon graphite orthosis that is dynamic in nature. While revolutionary, this aspect of the treatment approach only addresses the physical needs of the individual with neuromuscular disorders.
The solutions based upon the physical needs of the individual will cause change. The more the orthotist understands the mechanical profile each person presents, the better the solution and the greater the change. Solving the mechanical issues alone will not guarantee success. To succeed, the person in need of bracing solutions must adhere to the recommended protocol of treatment in order to realize the potential of the orthosis. As individuals, we react to change in many ways. Change can be good or bad. This is where our wants and desires come into play. It is necessary to prepare for change. Long standing compensations for balance and functional deficits result in habits that are perceived as "normal." Changes that improve mechanics and balance are positive. The need for these changes and the resulting effect on the body must be understood to avoid a negative reaction.
As humans, we perceive our physical environment in our minds. To be successful in any endeavor, we must want to succeed! We also must have the desire to do whatever it takes to succeed. In the case of bracing solutions, it is truly a case of mind over matter. DynamicBracingSolutions™ offers the potential to succeed. The treatment protocol is an integral part of the program. The orthosis alone does not ensure success. It is a team effort. The team includes the client and supportive family members, the orthotist, physician, and physical therapist. Every member of the team must be committed to the same treatment plan in its entirety. If the team is determined and willing to persevere, then optimal results can be obtained. One must look beyond the initial changes created by the orthosis with a goal-oriented attitude. Everyone must be working towards the same goal. As in life, to persevere is to succeed! The ultimate responsibility for the success of the treatment plan is the client.
There are many factors that can undermine the potential success of our DynamicBracingSolutions™. Considering alternatives to our solutions after the fact is counterproductive. Listening to well-meaning professionals, friends, family members, information on the Internet or other people with neuromuscular disorders using different treatment plans, can lead to failure. The advice could be based upon a totally different technology or a lack of knowledge concerning new technologies. In such cases, the conflicting information creates doubt. This is not new in medical practice. Innovative treatment plans that deviate from the norm, are historically challenged. Our network is comprised of highly educated and trained professionals that have demonstrated a track record of patient centered outcomes. These select professionals possess a high degree of knowledge and interest in the science and technology underlying our approach to treatment. Before any ideas can be dismissed, they must be understood! Goal oriented practitioners owe it to their clients and themselves to investigate all possibilities of treatment. We have documentation to validate the results of our DynamicBracingSolutions™. This cannot be said for all treatment approaches.
In summary, it must be emphasized that the client is the most important member of the team. Clients who follow our protocols to the letter with the support of like-minded professionals and family members will obtain the best outcomes. The treatment protocol established by DynamicBracingSolutions™ is based upon complex mechanical and movement strategies combined with the advanced technology of our orthotic support systems. Education and understanding must lead to a true belief in the approach. Commitment and effort on the part of the client and other team members will lead to more efficient ambulation. Solutions don't just happen. They must be thought out, planned and executed for each individual's needs. The lowest common denominator is the desire to improve. We must welcome change. If we truly want to succeed, we will. All it takes is effort and perseverance.