A Treatment Proposal with Lower Extremity Robotic Devices: Performance of Postural Analysis and Determination of Exercises Using the REX Robot

Marie A. Beirne, PT, DPT, Kathryn Nedley, OTD, OTR, ATP, Sherri Wallis, PT, DPT, and Gerard E. Francisco, MD

Exercise is an intervention commonly used in the management of multiple sclerosis (MS). The more recent understanding is that exercise is a very important part of maintaining functional independence in individuals with MS. Many studies and research has shown that properly prescribed exercise programs can decrease impairments in MS, as well as improving activities of daily living, and quality of life. Standing exercises are very hard, and sometimes unsafe and very fatiguing, for individuals who suffer from the debilitating disease progression of MS. The REX allows individuals to stand in a safe manner and perform various exercises  while maintaining proper alignment of the foot, ankle, knee, hip and trunk.  Participants who use the REX can possibly stand for a longer duration, with potentially less fatigue, compared to regular standing activities but more research is needed to determine this.  Individuals may feel more comfortable and safe while performing exercises in the REX due to increased stability and improved postural alignment.  Various exercises can be performed in the REX to address postural dysfunction.