I first learned about the Universal Exercise Unit (UEU) when I was in school completing clinical placements. When I started working in Therapy Services at CP nine years ago, I put it on a wish list and was very excited and surprised that we were able to get it funded through a grant in 2021.
The Universal Exercise Unit (UEU) gives our physical and occupational therapists the ability to free up their hands so they are able to help facilitate a client's movement and work less intensively on keeping the client in position. We are able to give cueing to improve the activation of certain muscle groups or quality of movement that is being performed.
The UEU can also be used in a gravitationally eliminated position for clients who are too weak and find that gravity limits their ability to move against it. In addition, it allows the therapist to work on standing for balance, squatting to pick up objects, or transitions from the floor to standing and sitting on objects.
It is so nice to have my hands free to be able to help guide a client in the motion I'm looking for. I also like to use it for learning how to jump because we can use the bungees to assist clients who are not strong enough to clear their feet, or who have balance issues and are concerned about falling.
Jessica Merchak has been a physical therapist at CP for nine years and specializes in working with children. "I try to treat each patient as an individual in order to maximize their function and quality of life."
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