As people reach middle age and older, injuries or arthritis in joints can lead to discomfort and mobility problems. One of the most common causes of chronic knee pain and disability is osteoarthritis – the age-related wear and tear that often occurs in people over the age of 50. In some cases, when the damage is severe, an orthopedic surgeon will recommend a knee replacement.
Good aftercare following surgery, including physical therapy, will help patients experience a full recovery and restored movement and strength. A newly revised pedalling device, designed by Canadian Physiotherapist André Riopel, can help improve surgical recovery and increase mobility in people who are frail, elderly, have arthritis or have suffered a stroke.
According to a recent article in Northern Ontario Business, the Viscus is a therapeutic pedalling machine that helps the healing process and improves mobility by encouraging gentle movement, lubricating joints and slowly increasing strength. Viscus is designed to be used while seated and pedalled by either hands or feet. The flywheel requires little effort, using momentum to propel the wheel easily around the dead points and creating a smooth pedalling motion.
Some of Riopel’s early prototypes are still in use in northern Ontario facilities where patients in long-term care can use the pedalling machines while watching television or playing cards. Recently, patients receiving dialysis treatment at Sault Area Hospital have started using the devices to help relieve boredom and boost the treatment’s efficacy.
New research is also showing promising results using the Viscus flywheel to improve function in patients following total knee replacement. The device sells for about $1,000 and is primarily purchased by health-care facilities, however, Riopel is looking for partnerships that would allow individuals to rent the device for their recovery period. Nearly all of the parts for the Viscus are manufactured in Ontario and assembled by the inventor in Sault Ste. Marie.
Learn more here about the benefits of the Viscus for people recovering from surgery, stroke or suffering from chronic illnesses including Parkinson’s and dementia. Viscus also provides circulatory benefits to improve blood flow and is excellent for arthritis by helping to lubricate joints.