FROM THE EXPERT:

DR BENOIT MAERTENS, Neurological and Functional Rehabilitation Centre (CNRF), Fraiture-en-Condroz, Belgium.

Together with his team, DR MAERTENS has collected clinical data concerning the use of the HUBER® system in Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, particularly in the context of neurological and locomotor diseases.

PRELIMINARY OBSERVATIONS ON DIFFERENT PATHOLOGIES

Initial observations were made in 71 patients with different pathologies (Multiple Sclerosis, Parkinson’s disease, knee or hip replacements, lower limb amputation, etc.) and resulted in more than 500 work sessions.
This first step has led to the finding that the use of the HUBER® system is possible in rehabilitation, even for patients with severe conditions. HUBER® was well received by patients because the exercises with the HUBER® are fun and stimulating. Rehabilitation work on HUBER® has made it possible to tone the overall musculature and work on balance by stimulating the superior functions. The patient focused on their screen, to automatically adapt to the supports on the ground. Individuals over the age of 80 have been able to perform simple exercises completely correctly and in a safe environment that is fully compatible with a functional rehabilitation program.

EFFECT ON WALKING IN MS PATIENTS

A comparative study was then conducted to test the effectiveness of the HUBER® device on various components of MS disability. The study included 20 patients (two groups) with relatively stable MS with low or moderate motor impairment. HUBER® (10 sessions) was included in the classic rehabilitation of patients. Efficacy was sought mainly in terms of the patient’s balance, walking and quality of life. There was a significant improvement in walking speed and a clear negative correlation with sensory disorders. That is, the greater the sensory disorders, the more that training on HUBER® improved walking time.

 

EFFECT ON QUALITY OF LIFE IN MS PATIENTS

Satisfaction questionnaires were completed. The general responses reflected a very positive perception of rehabilitation on HUBER®. No patients reported any significant problems with the device. After the relatively low-intensity exercises proposed, patients did not report having felt any muscle contracture or pain. The vast majority of patients wanted to continue exercising on HUBER®.

CONCLUSIONS

 

In addition to overall muscle strengthening, training with the HUBER® system targets proprioception and balance in a very specific way, along with intense stimulation of the psychomotor functions. The main finding of this study is the significant improvement in walking time seen in MS patients who had 10 sessions on Huber®. This improvement in walking time seems specific to training on Huber® because there was no change in performance under the control conditions. The satisfaction questionnaires show that training and rehabilitation on Huber® are very tolerated. Patients appreciate this targeted work. It is motivating and likely to promote a patient’s adherence to the whole of rehabilitation. It can help motivate the patient in their rehabilitation.

 

PERSPECTIVES ON ROUTINE CLINICAL USE

The HUBER® system allows the development of a range of rehabilitation protocols to act on different components of the disability that MS can cause. This highly complex and unique mode of mechanotherapy makes it possible to work on strengthening the muscles (upper limbs, lower limbs and trunk), coordination, balance and higher functions (mainly attentional disorders). Depending on the methods chosen and the way in which the sessions are carried out, the objective may be more specifically aimed at one or more of these objectives.

The scientific data resulting from these observations allow us to affirm that that rehabilitation on the HUBER® can improve walking in people with MS. This improvement is probably secondary to the result of a positive effect that training on Huber® produces in one or more of the disability’s characteristics: loss of strength, coordination, attention, etc.


SOURCES:

  • Using the Huber Technique in Physical Medicine and rehabilitation/ Utilisation du système HUBER en Médecine Physique et Réadaptation. MAERTENS B., HOULMONT F., LÉONARD Y., CORNEA R., ADAM S. 15th European Congress of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation (ESPMR); 16-20 May 2006; Madrid.
  • New device used for the rehabilitation of patients with multiple sclerosis. MAERTENS B., HOULMONT F., LÉONARD Y., ADAM S. XXth National Congress of the French Society of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation (SOFMER); 19-21 October 2006; Rouen, France
  • Using the HUBER technique for the rehabilitation of patients with multiple sclerosis / Utilisation du système HUBER pour la rééducation de patients atteints de Sclérose En Plaques. MAERTENS DE NOORDHOUT B., HOULMONT F., LÉONARD Y., CORNEA R., ADAM S. Annual Meeting of Rehabilitation In Multiple Sclerosis (RIMS), XVIII technical workshop; 10-12 May 2006; Barcelona.

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