An experimental therapy, intensive suit therapy provides a child with proper posture, muscle tone and patterns of movement impaired by disability. It’s considered experimental because there is very little independent data on it. There is inadequate evidence of its effectiveness. There are published anecdotal accounts. The FDA considers it a class one limb orthosis brace. The suit is exempt from the premarket notification procedures of the FDA and the manufacturer does not require to provide evidence prior to marketing.
There were a few studies done. The results are not available in peer-reviewed publications as now. There was a study by Dr. Alexander Frank and associates at the Motion Analysis Laboratory, Assaf Harofeh Medical Center in Israel. It reported the results of 24 children who have CP and a functional level of II, III or IV according to the gross motor function classification system. Patients were randomly assigned to either a standard physical therapy program or a suit. Both groups were treated for 5 days per week for 2 hours. Marginal improvement was noted in both groups without any statistical difference between the two groups.
It’s a complex intervention made of an orthotic suit that has stragtegically-placed bungee cords adjusted in a manner to affect typical flexor and extensor muscle groups. The entire suit acts as a soft exoskeleton that corrects abnormal muscle tone and retrains a person’s brain to recognize correct muscle movements. Most children will not be able to tolerate the suit.
The suits are called the Adeli Suit, Neuro Suit, the Polish Suit, and TheraSuit. The concept of all the suits is consistent. The suit brings to bear pressure based proprioceptive input that directly impacts the vestibular system, and it does so in a way that can be modified to strengthen areas of a child’s body.
- Restoration of physical mobility
- provide proper posture
- restore muscle tone
- restore patterns of movement
Suit Therapy claims to reduce:
- sensory integration challenges