If you are an amputee you can see a Biokineticist or Physiotherapist to help with your conditioning/training goals. Both Physios and Bios are medical professionals that are trained to prescribe exercises for amputees.
There are numerous factors to take into account with regards to your programme which is why it is wise to seek professional advice:
- Location of amputation (upper limb/lower limb)
- Level of amputation on the limb
- Type of amputation (traumatic/voluntary)
- Previous level of activity
- Other medical conditions/co-morbidities
- Type of prosthesis
Biokinetics rehabilitation for the amputee is broken down into four phases:
- Pre-prosthetic rehabilitation/training.
- Prosthetic rehabilitation/training.
- Advanced prosthetic training.
- Elite prosthetic training.
1) Pre-prosthetic rehabilitation/training for amputees.
The Pre-prosthetic phase involves conditioning the amputee for receiving their first prosthesis. There are simple exercises post amputation that will prepare the amputee for ambulation. These exercises are vital to ensure that the amputee has adequate fitness, strength, flexibility, and stump resilience.
The amputee will need to have clearance from the consulting doctor and prosthetist before any exercises can be prescribed. Amputees in a hospital setting will be seen by the hospital physiotherapist or the physiotherapist recommended by the consulting doctor. The duration of this phase will depend on wound healing, availability of components, level of fitness, and sometimes funding.
2) Prosthetic rehabilitation/training for amputees.
The prosthetic phase involves training the amputee to return to active daily living once they have received their new prosthesis. The prosthetic training will depend on the components and socket design. It is wise to have a Biokineticist/Physiotherapist that is familiar with prosthetics to ensure that this phase of training is successful.
3) Advanced prosthetic training for amputees.
A number of amputees feel that they are happy to just move around on their prosthesis. They do not feel the need for advanced training. But this phase can benefit amputees from 8-80 years of age. It introduces complex challenges that amputees face on a daily basis. Doing these complex tasks in a supported environment conditions the amputee for life.
4) Elite prosthetic training for amputees.
Amputees that have athletic ambitions can see a Biokineticist or Physiotherapist for advanced athletic training. Any amputee that has an aspiration to run, jump, dance, hike, surf, climb, cycle, or swim; for fun, or competitively, can benefit from a customised training programme or regular sessions. The programme can be tailor made to focus on the specific goals of speed, endurance, power, agility, and strength. Your periodization/athletic calendar can also be planned with the Biokineticist.
Amputee conditioning includes:
- Strength training
- Cardiovascular endurance
- Gait retraining
Aims of the Biokinetics rehabilitation process:
- Restore the greatest amount of function in the least amount of time
- Provide skills which will require minimal energy expenditure in daily activities
Goals of the Biokinetics rehabilitation process:
- To return to active daily living
- To normalize gait pattern
- To enhance lifestyle specific conditioning
Is Biokinetics for me?
Ask your Prosthetist/Doctor if you are a suitable candidate for advanced gait re-training or exercise conditioning. They can then recommend an experienced Biokineticist or Physiotherapist in your area. It is important that the person you see has prosthetic experience and/or works closely with your Prosthetist.