New modality can aid in recovery/rehabilitation of patients with numerous ailments
When a person becomes injured, the immediate focus turns to protecting and healing the injured body part. Only after this is accomplished—weeks and sometimes months later—do thoughts of rehabilitating and strengthening the affected area take over. But by this time, considerable strength and range of motion have been sacrificed during the extended period of inactivity.
David Bragga, a director of rehabilitation himself, had all these things in mind and more when he created and invented Thera-Box, which he calls the most versatile, durable exercise box on the market. Thera-Box is made up of a horseshoe-shaped base—picture a shoebox cut in half—with a long, extending platform similar to a shoe sizer at a footwear store on which the exercising individual rests their foot.
The platform rests horizontally, but is hinged so as to be pushed upward or downward by the heel, allowing for exercises including calf and shin strengthening and various types of stretches. The platform’s non-skid surface will offer peace of mind to users who’ve become hesitant to exercise after loss of strength or falls. Moreover, Thera-Box is made of solid wood and consists of just one metal hinge, allowing for easy portability and durability for repeated use.
“I designed this tool because I was frustrated with the products I had purchased and was using for strengthening the lower extremities and upper extremity muscles,” Bragga writes on his website. “The tensions did not go low enough nor have the variable tensions needed for strengthening some of my patients or clients.”
One patient, he explained, lost so much strength that he could barely extend his toes or heel to get his foot flat on the floor.
“I wanted to create a tool that would provide minimal resistance to start,” he recalled, “but one that was stable and versatile enough to provide many different tensions from very little to very heavy so that he could begin strengthening his lower extremities and ankle feet while sitting in this weakened condition.
“So I invented this box and began using a low resistance band with him, and eventually he worked his way up to a mid-level band with good muscle strengthening noted. Subsequently, the patient was able to walk again over time.”
Bragga has utilized the Thera-Box in practice to great results for conditions ranging from Parkinson’s Disease and multiple sclerosis to ankle sprains and other orthopedic, lost range of motion-type injuries. But perhaps the most interesting part of his story is the innovative uses Bragga has found for Thera-Box, including conditioning and strengthening for drummers.
Bragga realized that drummers use two types of foot pedals—heel-up and heel-down. In other words, the beater can be released into the drumhead by lowering the heel onto the pedal—thus elevating the toes—or by lowering the toes (elevating the heel). Regardless of the preferred method, four muscle groups are required to complete the motion—hundreds or even thousands of times in a single performance, which requires strength and endurance.
The Thera-Box can also be used in back and upper-body strengthening via resistance bands. And those are just a few of the endless possibilities. “The only limitation on the possibilities with this unique exercise box,” says Bragga, “is your imagination.”