Adaptive Aid for Use in Hoplotherapy™ Neuromusculoskeletal Rehabilitative Activities
Patients with upper extremity disabilities or amputations represent a significant population currently underserved and limited by standard physical therapy rehabilitative techniques. A variety of conditions such as but not limited to loss of one or more digits of the hand, stroke, Parkinsonism, arthritic or birth deformities, industrial accidents and combat injuries may afflict and impair an individual’s ability to utilize conventional physiotherapy exercise equipment. These limitations inevitably result in a deficit ability to grip, hold, control, manipulate, visualize, balance or proprioceptively position the body or hands in space.
Safely chambering, closing the action of, controlling and discharging a firearm requires the both simultaneous and sequential application of a host of cognitive, pulmonary, neuromuscular, strength conditioned and balance tasks in a particular order. However, patients with the conditions identified above are unable to utilize a standard pistol due to design limitations which preclude its use by the injured or disabled. A patented specially adaptive firearm called the Palm Pistol® offers a variety of gripping positions that rehabilitation providers can utilize to augment traditional rehabilitation strategies in the clinic setting and train or retrain neuromotor and sensiomoter pathways to return the patient to recreational or occupation based shooting. The use of the Palm Pistol® in combination with proprietary rehabilitation strategies identified as Hoplotherapy™, offers aggregated and efficient rehabilitative neuromuscular and musculoskeletal exercises unavailable in existing standard pistol designs enabling patient return to normal function or mitigate limitations resulting from their medical condition. Benefits include improved strength, manual dexterity, and eye-hand coordination.
In addition to the improved overall manual and daily activity skills derived from Hoplotherapy™, other psychosocial and psychological benefits accrue. The desire of the disabled individual to return to a recreational, occupational or military service related activity in comradeship with fellow participants is paramount in their recovery or rehabilitation. Such return provides multiple psychological and social rewards including improved self-esteem, confidence, and a regained sense of empowerment. There is no commercially available rehabilitation equipment or tools to replicate handling and shooting a firearm, thus those who desire or are required to return to shooting activities after an upper extremity disability or disease process are unable to safely practice or learn modified techniques to shoot as part of a traditional rehabilitation process. The will to return to a favored recreational outlet is a strong motivating force for the otherwise impaired individual.