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The Spiral movement correction suit

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The Spiral movement correction suit is an important component of the Kozyavkin Method.

The Intensive Neurophysiological Rehabilitation System – widely known under the author’s name as the Kozyavkin Method – has been used successfully for over fifteen years to help children with cerebral palsy. The rehabilitation system is based on a multimodal approach, whereby the physical therapist uses various methods, which have a definite impact on patients and whose actions are reciprocally complemented and potentiated.

A new functional status is formed in the patient’s body as a result of the multidimensional impact of our rehabilitation system. Clinically, this status is revealed by the normalization of muscle tone, an increased range of passive and active movements in the joints, an improvement in tissue trophism and activation of cognitive processes. This new functional status gives the patient the opportunity to develop his/her motor functions more rapidly, but necessitates the application of an adapted intensive program for training locomotor functions.

These programs should help patients with cerebral palsy to build up correct movement patterns and eliminate abnormal and primitive movement models.

Seeking new approaches to rehabilitate patients with movement disorders and in need of motor retraining, we decided to use the advances made in a relatively new science – integrative anatomy and physiology. One of the branches of this science is dedicated to functional interrelations among muscle movements.

Research studies have shown that muscles are grouped together – longitudinal muscle groups, muscle pairs (which usually undergo correction treatments to rehabilitate CP patients), and muscle spirals – to attain optimal movement performance. Our attention was drawn to spiral muscles, which are important for forming body functions, which involve not only one segment of the human body, but require coordinated and concerted work of the trunk and limbs.

Moving from one side of the body to the other and joining the right and left sides of the body, muscle spirals ensure bilateral symmetry and proper posture alignment against gravity, crossover correlation of upper and lower limbs during locomotion (walking, running, jumping), body amortization during locomotion, and many other important movement functions.

Muscle spiral groups support the axial skeleton, hold the head in position, ensure physiological flexions of the spinal column, are involved in respiratory movements of the thorax, help the body maintain a stable position, and ensure movements in the limbs. Spiral muscles are formed in the body in parallel with the development of motor functions.

In patients with cerebral palsy, abnormal motor development is accompanied by functional distortions of existing muscle spirals and the formation of abnormal muscle chains. Therefore, one of the objectives of rehabilitating patients with motor disorders lies in recreating spiral muscles in the trunk and limbs, normalizing muscle functions, and forming correct movement patterns for these muscles.

In addition, we closely followed the studies, which were conducted under the supervision of Prof. K.A. Semenova at the Scientific Research Institute of Pediatrics of the Russian Academy of Sciences in Moscow. Her research studies showed that proprioceptive information (impulsion) is one of the main preconditions for the development of a healthy brain; theoretical principles of dynamic proprioceptive movement correction were thus developed.

The first device for correcting movements in patients with cerebral palsy was the modified Penguin suit, developed in the seventies as a means of preventing weightlessness from having a negative impact on an astronaut’s body. A system of elastic straps was built into the suit, which added more physical loads onto human muscles, and partially recreated the effects of gravity. In the early nineties, this suit was modified and adapted for patients with cerebral palsy; it was named the Adeli suit. Researchers continued working to make improvements to this suit and at the end of the nineties, they developed the Gravistat suit, which made it possible to make an even greater impact on the patient’s reflex responses.