06 Oct We Are Here: Helping People With Cerebral Palsy Achieve Greater Mobility
Cerebral palsy (CP) is the most common physical disability in childhood — and also one of the least understood. Caused by damage to the developing brain either during pregnancy or shortly after birth, CP can affect body movement, muscle control, muscle coordination, muscle tone, reflex, posture and balance. Its impact can range from a weakness in one hand to almost a complete lack of voluntary movement. Some people with CP may also have visual, learning, hearing, speech, epilepsy and intellectual impairments.
October 6 is World Cerebral Palsy Day, and more than just an awareness day, it’s a social movement “to ensure that everyone with CP has the same rights, access and opportunities as anyone else.” One of the campaign’s primary goals is to create new solutions to everyday problems. At Mobility+Designed, that’s our goal, too — and why we developed the M+D Crutch.
One Bride’s Journey to Standing Tall
Stephanie Mlodzik, who has CP, experienced a serious fall in 2015. “Falling is not uncommon for someone living with CP,” Stephanie said, but she hyperextended her arm and sustained a severe sprain to the tendons from her shoulder to her wrist on her “good arm.”
With physical therapy, Stephanie was determined to recover and regain her strength, but her canes (standard forearm crutches) caused extreme pain to her wrists. Other models put too much pressure on her arms. “When you don’t feel confident that you are not going to fall, and you feel pain from walking, you are not going to move,” Stephanie said.
Shortly after her injury, Stephanie got engaged and made a new goal: to walk down the aisle to her groom and look into his eyes on their wedding day. She doubled down on physical therapy and ordered the M+D Crutch.
When they arrived and she stood up with them for the first time, Stephanie “got lost in tears. It was the first time in four years I’d been able to look at the man I love face to face, without worrying about losing my balance or the effort of standing distracting from the moment.”
Because of the many years Stephanie used standard forearm crutches, her body and muscles were used to leaning forward instead of standing up straight. In order to adapt to the M+D Crutch, she started by using them at a shorter height. Slowly, over the course of a month, she increased the height of the crutch legs one position at a time, gradually bringing her to an upright posture at her full height.
“These are amazing, but completely different than any other canes out there,” Stephanie said. “I was working muscles I didn’t even know I had!”
While getting used to the M+D Crutch took some time, Stephanie said she felt stronger and could walk farther without tiring so quickly. By the end of her first month of use, she could walk around her entire block in less than 20 minutes — something she hadn’t been able to do for years.
Other people also noticed how much things changed and commented on how she seemed happier and more confident. “Standing taller and seeing people face to face is so freeing,” she said. “It’s something I didn’t even realize I needed.”
With the help of the M+D Crutch, Stephanie’s hard work and perseverance paid off. On July 8, 2018, she reached her goal to walk down the aisle to her groom and look into his eyes on their wedding day.
How the M+D Crutch Can Help You
Every part of the M+D Crutch was engineered for maximum comfort, versatility and functionality. Unlike regular crutches and canes, the M+D Crutch supports users’ forearms and elbows, relieving pressure in the hands, wrists and soft underarm tissue and preventing the debilitating injuries normally associated with crutch and cane use.
Getting in and out of the M+D Crutch is quick and easy with the flexible, anti-microbial arm bands, which conform to your arms to provide support. The hinged arm cradle can be unlocked to provide an enhanced range of motion by enabling you to reach for things without having to remove your crutch. The ergonomic hand grips rotate out of the way with the push of a button, freeing your hands for other things. Plus, the specially designed feet cushion the impact of each step and can take on any terrain or weather.
If you or a loved one have CP, or rely on a mobility aid for any reason, learn more about the M+D Crutch. We want to help you experience greater mobility, with more versatility and less pain. You can order a pair or single crutch on our website for convenient, hassle-free delivery.