Journal of Rehabilitation Research & Development (JRRD)

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Volume 51 Number 2, 2014
   Pages 297 — 304

Abstract — Elastic head support for persons with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis

Andrew Hansen, PhD;1–2* Beau Bedore, MA;1 Eric Nickel, MS;1 Kristin Hanowski, DPT;1 Sonya Tangen, MS, OTR/L, ATP;1 Gary Goldish, MD1–2

1Minneapolis Department of Veterans Affairs Health Care System, Minneapolis, MN; 2Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN

Abstract — This article describes an inexpensive elastic head support for persons with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and neck muscle weakness and also presents a case series to examine its effectiveness. The device offers support to the head while the user is seated, standing, and walking, providing support for persons in various stages of ALS. The head support system was tested in seven male patients with ALS. Before and after the 2 wk trial, the subjects answered questions related to their communication efficacy, difficulty swallowing, level of neck discomfort, number of hours being upright before neck discomfort, comfort in social settings, and rating of perceived dyspnea. Subjects also answered specific questions related to the elastic head support after the 2 wk trial. The results suggested that the elastic head support is useful for some, but not all, patients.

Key words: amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, braces, cervical orthosis, elastic head support, head, neck, neck muscle weakness, orthotic devices, range of motion, rehabilitation.


View HTML ¦ View PDF ¦ Contents Vol. 51, No.2
This article and any supplementary material should be cited as follows:
Hansen A, Bedore B, Nickel E, Hanowski K, Tangen S, Goldish G. Elastic head support for persons with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. J Rehabil Res Dev. 2014;51(2): 297–304.
http://dx.doi.org/10.1682/JRRD.2013.03.0072
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