No matter whether you are suffering from a chronic disease, are overweight, pregnant, injured or are a top professional athlete wanting to perform at your best, a biokineticist might well be able to help you. Biokineticists are specialised therapists who are professionally aligned to health and medicine and are registered with the Health Professions Council of South Africa. They can help improve your quality of life or your sporting performance by providing you a customised exercise health plan that addresses your specific needs. This is based on the outcome of a thorough individualised assessment.
Biokineticists work in a particular are of speciality and at the Sports Science Institute of SA – there are a range of these.
Orthopaedic & Neurological Rehabilitation Unit
The Orthopaedic and Neurological unit of SSISA Biokinetics Services uses physical activity as the main therapeutic modality for final phase rehabilitation of Orthopaedic and Neurological patients. The unit enjoys a close relationship with UCT’s Division of Exercise Science and Sports Medicine and uses scientifically and evidence-based exercise programmes geared toward the improvement of function, performance and quality of life.
Our clients undergo a comprehensive assessment, which evaluates:
• Muscle weakness and imbalances
• Flexibility and instability
• Neuromuscular co-ordination
• Proprioception and balance
• Cardiovascular function
Our close association with UCT provides us with access to the latest exercise science research and the most advanced tools in exercise rehabilitation. Although one-on-one patient to therapist interaction is our central focus, we also offer Healthy Spines group sessions.
Our expertise as a world class biokinetics facility allows us to work with people with a range of different needs:
• Orthopaedic injuries
• Stroke and cardiac patients
• Arthritic conditions
• Joint replacements
• Back and knee problems
• Neural conditions
• Head and spinal cord injuries
• Pre-operative and Post-operative strengthening
• Injury prevention
• Posture correction
SSISA partnership with THE WALKING WITH BRANDON FOUNDATION (WWBF)
The Walking with Brandon Foundation (WWBF) www.walkingwithbrandonfoundation.org was founded by the Beack Family after their son Brandon was left paralysed from a tragic gymnastics training in 2012. Brandon attended a top rehabilitation facility in the USA – the Shepherd Centre in Atlanta, Georgia- for 6 weeks of advanced neurological rehabilitation and did an advanced therapeutic programme for 6 weeks.
Less than 20% of South Africans have medical aid, meaning that more than 80% of the population depend on government funding for healthcare. Currently, long-term rehabilitation is not a part of the standard of care in South Africa, so very few people reach their full physical ability potential after a neurological injury or disorder. Many remain wheel chair bound with low levels of physical activity.
With this in mind – a partnership of WWBF with the SSISA was developed, in order to offer advanced neurological rehabilitation to a wider range of people. Called the “Therapy & Beyond rehabilitation programme” – it is the first of its kind on the African continent,
The “Therapy & Beyond rehabilitation programme” is evidence based and strives to develop the facilities and knowledge in South Africa to properly provide for the long-term needs of individuals with neurological conditions. The philosophy of the partnership is to help take those affected BEYOND what they previously thought their bodies were capable of, having first provided them with advanced and effective rehabilitation.
Since the acquisition of the EKSO Bionic walking suit, the WWBF has purchased a number of other specialised pieces of equipment. These are all housed at the SSISA Biokinetics Services, where select biokineticists have been individually trained with both the EKSO Bionics suit and other specialised equipment. Patients can then use the equipment under personalised biokineticist supervision.
The “Therapy & Beyond rehabilitation programme” is a six-stage process:
Stage I – Prehabilitation
Stage II – Muscle Recruitment
Stage III – Posture & Joint Stability
Stage IV – Resistance & Endurance Training
Stage V – Pre-Gait
Stage VI – Gait Training