Phuong Vu’s experience with NewGait.

Phuong Vu’s experience with NewGait.

Rehab Institute of Michigan

Phuong Vu was an early believer in the NewGait. She has been using the NewGait at the Rehabilitation Institute of Michigan for more than two years, ever since a patient introduced it to her. We had a great conversation with Phuong about her experience using the NewGait.

Phuong Vu Video Interview

Watch the video version here. Phuong Vu discusses her experience with the NewGait.

NewGait CEO, Benga Adeeko, had the opportunity to ask Cathy Ruprecht, PT, NewGait Clinician, and pain specialist, a number of questions regarding the treatment of chronic pain, and how The NewGait has changed the way she practices. Also features Kim Spranger, PT and NewGait Clinician

PHUONG: I actually heard about the NewGait through a client of mine. He had an incomplete spinal cord injury and was researching different modalities and treatment techniques for spinal cord injury. He came across the NewGait and asked me to look into it.

PHUONG: I think we have been using it for about two years or so now. We use it with both our inpatient and outpatient clients and really anybody with a neurological disorder, but primarily spinal cord injury and stroke patients. We have had a lot of positive results from the NewGait, usually improved strength. We’ve had a couple clients get some motor return.

“We have had a lot of positive results from the NewGait, usually improved strength. We’ve had a couple clients get some motor return.”

PHUONG: A couple of our patients have purchased the NewGait and use it as a home exercise program, which I think has definitely helped speed up recovery. Two particular patients that have purchased it are ambulating better, their steps are smoother, they’re actually able to clear their toes when they are walking, and it just makes everything more safe at home.

“Patients that have purchased it are ambulating better, their steps are smoother, they’re actually able to clear their toes when they are walking, and it just makes everything more safe at home.”

PHUONG: I know it looks intimidating with all of the pieces that come with it, but that’s the best part, you can customize it to your patient. It really doesn’t take long to set up, if that is a concern. Once you start using it, it is a fairly easy process and it only takes a few minutes.

PHUONG: With the cost, it is inexpensive compared to some of the other products out on the market. This one allows patients to purchase it for home use to get the carry over. I think that’s been one of the positives that I’ve seen from NewGait, that the cost is pretty inexpensive.

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Kim Spranger tells us her story of discovering the NewGait

Kim Spranger tells us her story of discovering the NewGait

Kim Spranger using the newgait

Kim Spranger Discovers the NewGait

Watch the video version here. Kim Spranger tells us her story as the first therapist to ever use the NewGait.

BENGA: Thank you everyone for joining. Today we had the opportunity to speak with Kim Spranger, one of our founding NewGait clinicians, and discoverer of the NewGait as a rehab device. Kim is a physical therapist in the UP of Michigan and today she is going to tell us her story as the first person to use the NewGait.

Kim Spranger was the first therapist to ever use the NewGait. Today, she is the Director of Culture at NewGait. Listen to her story about discovering the device and her experience using it for Spinal Cord Injury Rehab.

KIM: My name is Kim Spranger, and I’m a physical therapist. I’m a lymphedema specialist, so I have treated lymphedema patients for years, but otherwise, I have been working in outpatient orthopedics for about 14 years now.

KIM: It actually wasn’t a NewGait, when I saw the device, and I saw it, on Facebook, actually. My son pointed it out to me, as a unique training device for runners. Immediately I saw the potential application to physical therapy, so I obtained one and started to use it.

KIM: Well, if I think about the day I just had it in the clinic, I probably used it on 60-70% of the patients that I saw today. I use it for diagnosing, like, what really is problem with their gait? If I try it on them in a certain way does that change their gait? Which helps me know what muscles to train with them. So I use it in a diagnostic sort of way. I use it for biofeedback when I’m trying to teach them something about how they’re moving, but they’re not really hearing me, or they can’t take what I’m saying and then change what they’re doing. It’s great for manual cueing to make that happen. Sometimes people just need some postural stability or feedback, I’ve used it that way as well. Sometimes people are coming in with a neurological condition and they just have so much fatigue or heaviness to their limbs that the NewGait is just a fabulous way to kind of de-weight them. One of the fellows said today, “Wow, it’s just picking up my leg for me.” So I’m using it in all of those different ways throughout my day.

“I probably used it on 60-70% of the patients that I saw today… It’s great for manual cueing… Sometimes people just need some postural stability or feedback.”

KIM: Well, once someone said to me that, as therapists, we are like carpenters, and we have tools in our tool belt. The more tools we have, then the more effectively we can do our job. So the NewGait has become, a special tool in my tool belt. Throughout my day, it’s not like, “oh, this is a certain diagnosis, so I should use the NewGait.” That is not how it works, it’s more like, this is what I see, or don’t see, in how they’re moving, that I now have a whole new set of tools to give them the feedback, and help them reach their goals.

I feel like the staff that works here are always looking for new and different approaches to what we do. And we talk about it frequently. The thing about this device is, it’s not like, you know, “here’s the directions, and you put it on this way and you always use it the same way.” It’s not like that at all. We’ll be playing around with it, and be like, “Hey, you know, look at this new thing I just did. Oh my gosh, that is so cool.” I heard Megan saying that today about someone, and I will think, “Wow, I should try that on patient X tomorrow, because I see the same thing with him that you’re seeing with this patient.” So it gives us reasons to collaborate and try new things together. Patients will pick up on that energy too. They want to be looked at as individuals and not just doing the same exercises everyday, but instead really modifying things to make their therapy the most effective, and the NewGait has done that for us.

“It gives us reasons to collaborate and try new things. Patients pick up on that energy too. They want to be looked at as individuals and not just doing the same exercises everyday, but instead modifying things to make their therapy the most effective, the NewGait has done that for us.”

KIM: Well, I believe that this group of people has been, literally hand picked for this moment and for this product. We did not go searching for them. They just came into our lives. And yet, we are all very much equally have the same kind of passion for life. We are the kind of people who just really want to make a difference. We’re a team who cares in a way that is unique for this day that we live in. As we’ve all worked together over the last three years or so, it’s been truly an experience for all of us. We don’t do this because we have to, we do this because we want to. There is something within me that is really fulfilled by working on this project and watching what it can do.

“We’re a team who cares in a way that is unique for this day that we live in.”

KIM: Well, that’s easy for me because when I first got it, I had never seen it before so it was like, you know, trying a new bike for the first time. No one had ever used it for therapy before. I had this patient that I really loved and really was rooting for, I had a special connection with her. And to be able to take this thing that was unheard of, put it on her, and go from walking with two canes, to walking without a cane and looking so much more confident, almost immediately, that’s kind of a highlight day for therapists. I would say the second one is when we took it down to a spinal cord Institute in Detroit to see these young men who are so hopeful of regaining function and mobility. We were able to put the NewGait on them and have them be wowed, over and over agin. I love it when people say, “Wow!” I walked out of that building and said, “This has been a very good day.”

“to be able to take this thing that was unheard of, put it on her, and go from walking with two canes, to walking without a cane and looking so much more confident, almost immediately.”

KIM: This device will become like several other devices that I’ve seen over my years in therapy where, initially, it looks novel, and people go, “Hmm, I wonder what that does.” I see that people are going to start to understand what it can do for their clinic and how cost effective it is. I think it will become as common as any other popular rehab tool.

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Lynn Vanwelsenaers’s experience with NewGait

Lynn Vanwelsenaers’s experience with NewGait

prosthetist

Lynn Vanwelsenaers is a certified prosthetist and orthotic fitter in the UP of Michigan. She is one of NewGait's founding clinicians. Today, she is the Director of Product Innovation. Listen to her story about becoming involved back when the NewGait was first being discovered as a rehab tool.

Lynn Vanwelsenaers Video Interview

Watch the video version here. Certified prosthetist and orthotic fitter, Lynn Vanwelsenaers, discusses learning about the NewGait and how it has changed her practice.

 
 

LYNN: My name is Lynn Vanwelsenaers and I am a certified prosthetist and orthotic fitter.

LYNN: I was introduced to the NewGait by Kim Spranger, who happened to stop by my office one day, and asked me if I’d be interested in learning about it. I said, “Certainly.” And then Jordan came to visit me and I actually tried it on that day and ran around in it. I immediately saw that it would make a difference for people with gait imbalances. It’s added a dimension that I didn’t have before. And it actually helps patients have more success earlier on.

LYNN: In my daily practice, I actually use it on new amputee’s who have different gait deviations to help them know how to fire their muscles for gait patterns. I will sometimes use it to see what they’re lacking and what they might need in general. Since I’ve been working with it, I’ve learned to use it to address many muscle imbalance or postural conditions.

“I’ve learned to use it to address many muscle imbalance or postural conditions.”

LYNN: In general, my favorite moment with the NewGait is the smile that it brings to people’s faces when they realize that this actually might work! It looks weird, it makes the patients feel like a puppet sometimes. But when they actually feel what they feel when they’re using it, it spreads a smile across their face and light in their eyes and the hope is restored. That is my favorite moment.

“It spreads a smile across their face and light in their eyes and the hope is restored.”

LYNN: Our team is set apart from others because we actually work really well together. We put first things first. We are grateful. And it’s just a joy to work with everybody who is passionate and focused and excited about what we’re doing.

LYNN: I believe that the NewGait is going to change rehab as we know it today. I think it’s going to add a dimension. It’s going to help people actually restore parts of their lives that they haven’t had, and it’s going to allow people to get back to more functional living.

“The NewGait is going to change rehab as we know it today.”

Kate Rose reflects on her experiences with The NewGait and how it has improved her treatment plans

Kate Rose reflects on her experiences with The NewGait and how it has improved her treatment plans

prosthetist

Physical Therapist, Kate Rose, reflects on her experiences with The NewGait and how it has improved her treatment plans. Not only does she use it on her patients, but has additional experience using the NewGait herself for chronic pain. Listen to her educational story.

Kate Rose Video Interview

Watch the video version here. Physical therapist, Kate Rose, reflects on her experiences with the NewGait and how it has improved her treatment plans.

 

KATE: My name is Kate Rose. And I’m a physical therapist in Marquette, Michigan, and I work in an outpatient clinic.

KATE: I’ve been a physical therapist for over 30 years. I did a fellowship with Gary Gray, who is a movement scientist, one of the leaders in the nation in movement science, and he’s a physical therapist to professional athletes and just an amazing man. His philosophy is called applied functional science. And it’s based on the science of movement. And so, I’m going to say that’s my specialty. It’s called AFS. It’s just looking at the body as a whole. Because when your foot hits the ground, everything, there is a chain reaction in every joint in your body. And so, we don’t want to isolate one joint and look at that, we want to look at the whole body always, which fits in really well with the NewGait!

“We don’t want to isolate one joint and look at that, we want to look at the whole body always, which fits in really well with the NewGait!”

KATE: I got introduced by Kim Spranger, who we both know is an incredibly enthusiastic person. And the minute she saw the NewGait, she couldn’t believe what the potential was in physical therapy. She told me about it and at the time, I was working in home health. So, she came and did an in-service at our clinic and left us with a unit. And we were able to play around with it in home health. But then I went back to outpatient, and I started working with Kim closely, and she showed me so many things, with so many patients.

KATE: I use it a lot with the older folks that come in with all kinds of weaknesses. I’ve used it with our athletes, we work with a high school that’s right across the street from our clinic. And also our knee replacement patients I have used it a lot with them.

KATE: After using it for a while, it became less intimidating, you know? I just knew what to do. In the beginning, I wasn’t sure what to do. And I’ll tell you what else really helped, is having those extra D-Anchors, now we just have a bunch of those on every piece. So, once it’s on somebody and you decide to add something else, you just have to get a bungee and hook it up. But it was just using it. Like anything, the more you use it, it just becomes familiar and a heck of a lot easier. You could start more simply. And I think that would be a great way to introduce people to using it is to not feel like you have to use every single piece. The first time just put the leg piece or something.

“Like anything, the more you use it, it just becomes familiar and a heck of a lot easier.”

KATE: As time went on, I just started seeing more and more potential for it and using it on a lot more people. Initially, you say, “I’m going to use this on my stroke patient or my neuro patient because it’s such an obvious need.” But then if they look at the potential of it, you go, “Well, wait a minute, what about this person who just has a bunch of postural issues that you cannot seem to chew away.” So I think you’re right, it’s exactly that you see the potential more as it gets user friendly for you. And even the potential as a strengthening tool. Not just a replacement for a weak muscle, but to strengthen a muscle. 

“It’s exactly that you see the potential more as it gets user friendly for you. And even the potential as a strengthening tool. Not just a replacement for a weak muscle.”

KATE: I had a herniated disk, I had weakness in my leg. I got the NewGait out and I put it on and I put it where the scientists told me I was weak. I put it on my hip abductors. And I put it on my foot dorsiflexors, and I walked. Initially, I had a lot on the hip. And did that ever work my hip. I saw how you could strengthen the opposing muscles. So, then I took it off the hip and just used it on my ankle. And then I could do that walk without any trouble. One day, I walked nine miles with that on. I used it for three weeks and every time I just got progressively stronger. So how much of that is actually the NewGait, plus healing? Who really knows? But after about three weeks, which is this week, I think I’m ready to take a walk without it. I haven’t taken a walk without it. I probably walked every other day. And three to five miles except that one nine-mile day.

“I saw how you could strengthen the opposing muscles. So, then I took it off the hip and just used it on my ankle. And then I could do that walk without any trouble.”

KATE: I just think that as we look at healthcare today, we have less and less visits. The more we can promote healing and creative ways with less visits, the better. The more effective we will be and the happier our patients will be.

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