When the topic of linear actuators is brought up, generally, one would think only of industrial applications. A few examples of these would be satellites, solar tracking systems, or military weaponry. However, these products are not limited to industrial operations. Linear actuators can provide a variety of benefits to commercial applications as well.
Medicine and healthcare is one of industry that has benefitted from the use of linear actuators in many applications. The latest news is that linear actuators can be used to support physical therapy regimes.
The Function of Linear Actuators in Physical Therapy Equipment
Physical therapy equipment is utilized to support the healing process of physically challenged or aged patients. The equipment helps the patients regain their physical strength so that they can get back to living their lives independently.
Linear actuators were found to be very useful in one particular application – electrical rehabilitation chairs. These chairs are particularly used for aged patients, who may have difficulty walking. The chair is designed to perform two basic actions:
- Deliver vibrations to the patient’s limbs, neck, hips
- Provide static loading to the lower limbs by vibrating the footplate
The Science Behind the Equipment
Through research, it was found that vibrations can be used to place various muscles of the body under a certain amount of tension. The combination of tension and vibration is what builds lower extremity strength in patients. This can help restore lost muscle function, and even support the treatment of conditions like muscle atrophy.
The electric linear actuator is installed directly with the chair. The actuator transfers vibrations to the device, thus providing the requisite amount of tension to the patient’s muscles. The linear actuators used for physical therapy also plays a part in stability. It ensures that there is no excessive vibrations, or a backlash of vibrations. This also means that the actuator maintains the precise amount of static load required to perform the operation effectively. Thus, the machine can be controlled by the physical therapist to ensure that the patient undergoes effective treatment.
This is an amazing example of how linear actuators can be used in specialized applications to meet the needs of professionals and the public. It supports the suitability of this product in medical and healthcare applications.