Wednesday, June 13, 2018

BEYOND BALANCE: Active vs Passive Concussion Treatment


The traditional prescription for concussion has for decades been "rest and do nothing." However, in recent years that paradigm has been challenged by a variety of research showing just the opposite: being active and engaged can actually speed concussion recovery.  Links below will take you to articles and research that summarize this evolution:

ARTICLES

RESEARCH LINKS
For a look at how GyroStim can be used in active concussion recovery, click here.

Thursday, June 7, 2018

Strategies in Vestibular/Sensorimotor Exercise

 Taking What Works and Making it Better

Vestibular therapy and exercises can be made more efficient, effective, and engaging with the layering on of additional challenges to brain processing and the sensorimotor system. 


In our work developing the GyroStim methodology, we have identified four main areas where we can enhance client / patient experience.
Although you may not have access to a GyroStim, many of these techniques can be adapted for use with other manual, low-tech modalities. Within each area there are multiple strategies for success. 

Target Strategies to reinforce situational awareness and discernment

  • Targets placed at same or varying heights
  • Targets placed at same or varying distance.
  • Targets identified by colors, numbers, letters or shapes
  • Custom targets: relevant to subject such as aircraft instrument panel
Physical / Situational Strategies to exercise challenges specific to the individual
  • Interactive: rotate (exercise) while actively pursuing targets, with the option to engage in cognitive activities
  • Passive: rotate (exercise) with head fixed and staring at a fixed point (inside the rotating chair)
  • Eyepatch on dominant or non-dominant eye
  • Subject wears sports gear (i.e. football helmet, hockey helmet) during session
  • Crowd/stadium noise or other appropriate background recordings are played loudly during the run 
Laser Pointer Strategies to engage and challenge the sensorimotor system
  • Laser in dominant or non-dominant hand
  • One laser in each hand, alternate left / right hand in sequence
  • One laser in each hand, alternate left / right per clinicians verbal commands
  • Laser mounted on head with headgear, or on other parts of the body as needed
Cognitive Strategies to add processing challenges  and mprove multi-tasking  
  • Counting up or down in sequence
  • Simple or complex math equations
  • Familiar list recitation
  • Short or long term recall challenges
 
For more information about GyroStim visit
gyrostim.com
to learn more about how 
clinicians, trainers, and researchers are using the GyroStim to provide
vestibular stimulation and  sensorimotor exercise

with precision, control and repeatability.
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Monday, May 14, 2018

A Methodology for Applying Vestibular Stimulation


The focus of this blog is the application of vestibular stimulation and sensorimotor exercise to a variety of conditions known to be impacted by the vestibular system. For the purpose of furthering this discussion we are dprosposing the exploration of the GyroStim methodology as a means for delivering this stimulation and exercise.

In Practice:

The GyroStim method is based on the premise that in order to improve one or more aspects of human performance you must challenge it. GyroStim is designed to challenge the three fundamental processes that drive many aspects of human performance:


  • PERCEIVE: Detailed information about what is happening around you is sensed through the eyes (vision), body (proprioception), ears (hearing), vestibular system (balance), and other senses, and sent via the peripheral nervous system to the brain. 
  • PROCESS: Sensory information about the environment is received, coordinated, and distributed throughout the brain, igniting a cascade of processing activity as the brain goes to work, forming an appropriate response to the perceived sensory information.
  • REACT: Once the perceived sensory information has been processed, and a response has been formulated, signals from the brain are fired throughout the body to execute the intended reaction.

Human Performance exists at the intersection of Perceive, Process, and React, as illustrated in the Venn diagram above. It is the sum total of our physical and cognitive ability to interact with the world.


In Practice:

The GyroStim, in practice, trains the brain and body to work better together as one complete human “system." GyroStim exercises and challenges brain processing activities and sensorimotor systems throughout the body that enable you to perceive, process, and react with your surrounding environment.   


GyroStim provides clinicians, athletic trainers, and researchers with a powerful and precise new tool for delivering repetitious stimulation, exercises, and challenges to the brain and sensorimotor systems throughout the body. 

GyroStim can rotate 360 degrees continuously in multiple axes and at varying rates of speed and intensity. During this experience, the subject is typically tasked to interact with the surrounding environment by hitting laser targets that come in and out of view. The subject may also be given verbal cognitive, memory, or mathematical exercises. 

The GyroStim method uses a variety of internal and external stimuli along with variable combinations of speed, intensity, and input provides incremental challenges to an individual’s ability to perceive, process, and react to. 

The foundation of GyroStim training is sensorimotor challenge. It stimulates brain cells to “fire together so that they will wire together” in new, more productive, efficient ways. Here's a look at how GyroStim accomplishes this:

  • Each training session is consists of multiple "runs", each separated by a short rest period. Runs are typically thirty to sixty seconds each but can be shorter or longer as needed. 
  • During each run, subjects experience a prewritten “motion profile”. Motion profiles are identified in terms relative intensity from 1RPM to 30RPM. For example, a Level 3 profile consists of a gentle, predictable and repeating pattern of rocking (pitch) and rotating (yaw) motions at 3 RPM. Level 4 is similar but with a slightly greater pitch and yaw motion than Level 3, and moves at 4 RPM. Higher levels increase in intensity and eventually include continuous 360-degree rotations and motions that are randomized and not predictable, adding to the training challenge.
  • GyroStim has a library of pre-written motion profiles that cover a broad spectrum of intensity and duration. These profiles are used to create a customized experience that targets the specific needs and abilities of each subject.
  • As the subject’s ability to perceive, process, and react improves ---evidenced through data collected on the number of target hits (objective) and symptomatic response (subjective)--- he is incrementally advanced through more challenging levels of speed and intensity. In addition, he may be tasked with specific cognitive exercises during the runs to increase the challenge and complexity of the training session further. 
  • The intensity of each run, number of runs per session, and total number of sessions are driven by the specific objectives for GyroStim training. A person using GyroStim as he recovers from injury or illness, will progress more slowly and train with different profiles than an athlete training to improve sports performance.


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