PT Month Day 20: Sandra Jo Rampy – MS Activist – Is Running Again With BalanceWear

Posted on October 21, 2014. Filed under: Achievements, BalanceWear LSO, Exercise, Hope | Tags: , , , , |

Sandra Jo Rampy has been an avid runner and athlete her whole life and has not let a diagnosis with MS stop her. When she was diagnosed in 2002 she began setting fitness goals for herself and never gave up on her body. Today she is Chief Encouragement Officer of the Rampy MS Research Foundation ( ), an organization run by Sandra Jo and her husband Scott. Part of what keeps Sandra Jo going is BalanceWear. BalanceWear has improved her balance and stability and she calls it a life changer. This week, for the first time in 6 years, Sandra Jo will be traveling and navigating a busy airport independently thanks to her new found stability and confidence using BalanceWear. Congratulations Sandra Jo! We hope you have a wonderful trip Below is a video of Sandra Jo taking a jog in her backyard. Before BalanceWear, she was unable to control her body while jogging and had difficulty coming to a stop. She now has a smoother gait and much more control. We are so happy to see her success! See how this activist is helping those with MS Website: Facebook: Twitter: @Research_MS

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SpinoCerebellar ataxia

Posted on July 23, 2012. Filed under: Cerebellar ataxia | Tags: , , , , |

There are many forms of SpinoCerebellar Ataxia: We are going to discuss the following three cases with SCA6.
Spinocerebellar ataxia type 6 (SCA6) is a late onset rare autosomal dominant disorder characterized by peripheral neurapathy (loss of sensation to the feet), poor control of the trunk, wide based gait and uncoordinated walking. Patients will often exhibit oculomotor (eye movement) disorders, dysarthria (poorly articulated speech) and incontinence. The cerebellar degeneration is said to be progressive and permanent.
Prior to being diagnosed, patients may report wooziness, slight imbalance when turning corners, and note lack of coordination, dizziness. The age the disorder typically develops is between 43-52years however this can vary from 19-71years. Other signs of SCA6 are nystagmus (uncontrolled eye movement) and loss of vibratory sense.
I recently saw three women with SCA6 and had good results with Balance-Based Torso-Weighting (BBTW). Today I will write about Rolynn and our first visit…I saw her twice.
I saw Rolynn for the first time in June 5, 2012. She is the youngest and the most able of the three. Rolynn was able to walk without any assistive devices. She complained of difficulty walking. “I feel like I am on a trampoline. If I could just carry a cup of coffee without spilling I would be happy. One of the first things I noticed with this disorder is that when I would lie back on the bed I would feel so dizzy.” She demonstrated how she had to lay down. She would lay on her side with her arm supporting her head, she stayed in that position for a few moments. Then she would let her head down on the bed while she was on her side and rest for a few more seconds. The she would roll the bottom half of her body on to her back wait and then bring her head around. That was the only way she could lay on her back without dizziness. The other major symptom was inability to touch her heel to her shin in a coordination test. She had jerkiness when she first stood up (loss of balance) and often could not stand and just start walking.
After applying BalanceWear on the same day, Rolynn was able to lay down without having to perform the procedure mentioned above. Videos were taken and she didn’t have the downbeat nystagmus (Meaning the eye beats downward) as much while wearing BalanceWear.. Her heel-shin coordination test improved so that she could touch her shin yet it was still jerky but she could get the heel to the shin now…on the same day! Her ability to get up from sitting and stand and walk improved as well as her walking. When I arrived to check her out the next day….To be continued stay tuned


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BalanceWear in the News!

Posted on June 21, 2012. Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , |

Yesterday BalanceWear, Cindy and Mary were highlighted during the ABC News Cast.

If you missed it please take a look:-)

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Balance-Based Torso-Weighting

Posted on May 11, 2012. Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , |

Balance-Based Torso-Weighting®:BBTW is an evidenced-based treatment system for patients with a balance disorders. BBTW consists of an assessment procedure to determine a person’s directional loss of balance and a treatment that results in a custom strategically weighted orthotic. More specifically, an individual is tested in either in sitting or standing in the least stable position to determine a vector or imbalance. In addition several perturbations are given at the torso to determine the person’s specific loss of balance in reactive control. The combination of loss is addressed with placing small, light, flexible, unobtrusive weights in an orthotic to counter balance and impart information to the body about upright control. A determination is made whether a rigid support is added to the garment for additional trunk compression and column support. BalanceWear is worn by the patient on a daily basis to control of the patients balance and mobility.
Randomized controlled trials demonstrated immediate same session improvement in walking speed in subjects with Multiple Sclerosis (MS) and Parkinson’s disease (PD). Improvement in walking speed is often an indicator of improved balance.
Clinical improvements are seen in a multitude of conditions including: stroke (CVA), Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI), Ataxia: both sensory and cerebellar, neurosurgical conditions, cerebral palsy and other balance and sensory conditions.

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Balance Invention Developed

Posted on April 14, 2012. Filed under: BalanceWear - About Cindy | Tags: , , , , |

As a physical therapist, I work with patients with complex medical needs. Driven by a series of observations during my work with patients, I created and developed a novel treatment for patients challenged with abnormal balance and mobility. I would like to share the story of how I created and developed the balance assessment technique program known as Balance-Based Torso-Weighting® and the balance correction product now known as BalanceWear®.

I was working on an osteoporosis research study to determine whether community based exercises could result in improved balance and mobility with people after they had a suffered a fracture.  As a part of this research, we were utilizing weighted vests in an attempt to promote strengthening, balance, and improved mobility. We would add increasing weight symmetrically at the bottom of the vest slowly over a few months. People in our study would learn to sit to stand, perform lunges, etc while wearing the vest.

At the same time, I was also working as a home health physical therapist. One of my patients, “Mary”, had multiple sclerosis and very poor balance.  After working with Mary for a while, and seeing her struggle with balance, I had the thought “what if I could change a person’s balance by placing small amounts of weight strategically at different points on the body to counter-balance her directional balance losses something like placing small weights on a car wheel’s rim to balance the tire – wheel assembly?

To my surprise, amazing improvements happened immediately as soon as I tried my new technique. Mary improved from walking very poorly to almost normally. The only thing I had done was apply 1.5 pounds of weight to counter-balance where I found her directional imbalance. Not only did her walking improve but she could turn around, walk backwards, and reported she was less dizzy.  Her comment was “I don’t have to think to move.” We both started to cry.

When someone says they don’t have to think to move, it is quite incredible because that is what it is like when we don’t have any balance & mobility problems. Hmm… What had I come up with???

See the videos on the bottom right hand side of the page.

After that dramatic improvement with this patient, I couldn’t sleep. This totally new therapy changed Mary’s walking poorly to nearly normally. In the many years I had been a therapist, I never before had seen this type of improvement in a single treatment.

This realization changed how I treat patients forever! It changed how I analyze all patient balance and mobility care and created the passion I now have for correcting balance in all patients that I encounter.

That observation and treatment has now led to a whole new line of research in physical therapy.

I began trying out this concept on many different patients with a wide variety of balance disorders and learned that each person  has their own unique directional balance loss most of which could be corrected by Balance-Based Torso-Weighting: BBTW. When I corrected their balance by placing light weights strategically for balance loss, many people started moving better during the same treatment. I video-taped many of patients and showed their improved balance accomplishments to Dr. Gail Widener, PT, PhD at Samuel Merritt University in Oakland, California.

We have been doing research together ever since. Dr. Widener has been funded by the California Physical Therapy Fund and the National MS Society for research with BBTW. In 2010, Dr. Widener and Dr. Allen, PT, PhD at San Francisco State received a NIH Recovery Grant to further the study of BBTW in people with MS. We will be starting the second phase of this grant in May.

Some people in my blog state that I am really educated about what I relate in the blog. This is because I am the inventor, a physical therapist, an educator in BBTW, and a researcher in all the studies. I perform all the strategic weighting in the studies. I created, developed, and continue to work closely as we develop BalanceWear products for people with disabling balance and mobility conditions.

Stay Tuned:

My next blog will be about what BBTW actually is!

Be healthy and never stop trying.


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Parkinson’s Disease Talk on Blog Radio

Posted on March 30, 2012. Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , , |

Please join me next Wednesday at 3 PM PST April 4th, 2012

Improve your balance and mobility with Balance-Based Torso-Weighting (BBTW). The BBTW method — an assessment of directional instability and subsequent strategic weight placement on the torso — has been shown to provide same day improvements in people with balance and mobility challenges. Join me as I interview Cynthia Gibson-Horn, PT, cofounder of Motion Therapeutics, to discuss this innovative treatment that produces immediate improvements in balance and mobility for people with Parkinson’s disease and others with balance and mobility challenges.

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Balance-Based Torso-Weghting Class August 14

Posted on July 23, 2011. Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , , |

If you live in the Pittsburgh area and are a therapist and want to attend the training or you have a balance and mobilty problem and want to be a volunteer to try the vest contact

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