“CRAWL ASSIST” – A NOVEL ASSISTIVE DEVICE INVENTED BY BANGALORE’S PHYSIOTHERAPIST, HELPS INFANTS TO LEARN HOW TO CRAWL

Dr. Rubeena PT, Physiotherapist from Steadfast neuro Super Specialty Rehab Center has invented a namely “Paediatric Crawl Assist”, which could become a boon for the babies who can not crawl in coming years.

“This device is one of game changer for children with crawling difficulties. Pediatric Crawl assist can be incorporated as important treatment in the usual protocol in addition to conventional treatment for rehabilitation of delayed crawling”, said Dr.Rubeena PT, who is presently serving in Department of Physiotherapy, Steadfast Neuro Super Specialty Rehab Centre, Bangalore. She has applied for patent for her unique invention under Intellectual property India. 

Dr.Rubeena Said, Crawling is a fundamental skill linked to development far beyond simple mobility. Infants who have cerebral palsy and similar conditions learn to crawl late, if at all, pushing back other elements of their development. 

Although Cerebral palsy is non-progressive, motor difficulties caused by brain injury can become worse if the infant does not continue to move. There is a risk that infants with Cerebral palsy may abandon attempts at crawling due to the extra difficulty caused by decreased muscle strength and coordination, which could also affect their subsequent cognitive development. If they are interested in objects in their surroundings, they may not be able to generate the force required to mobilize the body during crawling. A crawling infant may use just their arms, legs or coordinated action amongst all four of their limbs when moving.

As a result, onset of crawling may be delayed, or the infant may never crawl. Delayed or prevented onset of crawling may also have side effects on cognitive development, as exploration of the infant’s environment may be limited and less frequent”.

Babies with delayed milestones very often offer a weakness in their limbs or their trunk muscles. The weakness in either of these muscle groups leads to inability in lifting the trunk resulting in “no Crawling phase” rendering baby to one static position.
This inability can be addressed with the help of physiotherapy techniques especially manual lifting of trunk but the disadvantage of this interventions is we employ these technique only for a limited (specific) period of time. Moreover even if we encourage parents to follow this at home, they may tend to follow it for a limited period of time.
Hence we tried to solve this particular problem of crawling with the help of devising a new or a modified instrument that can be called as, “Pediatric Crawl Assist.” This mechanized device can reduce the effort both on therapist as well as parents to manage these babies for an extended period of time.

Dr.Rubeena PT, Neuro Physiotherapist, Steadfast Neuro Super specialty Rehab, Bangalore

How it works

“The Crawl Assist” provides sufficient assistance lifting the hips. Dr.Rubeena PT says that, “When a child receives help to lift his/her hips it becomes easier for them to place the knees under their body to facilitate crawling.” “The Crawl Assist” supports a child on their hands and knees, creating the pre-stage to crawling and moving around.

Pediatric Crawl assist can be incorporated as important treatment in the usual protocol in addition to conventional treatment for rehabilitation of delayed crawling.

She has made this device as part of her research project in her Master of Physiotherapy (MPT) at The Oxford College of Physiotherapy under Rajiv Gandhi University of health Sciences (RGUHS), Bangalore, India in 2015-17. The research project shown there is a significant improvement on Crawling Cadence, Number of falls, Distance and Speed in children who used Paediatric Crawl Assist (PCA) than children taking other conventional treatment.

I would like to thank my family, Mom and Dad & my brother Suhail. My sincere gratitude and heartfelt thanks to my Uncle Mr. Imtiaz Ahmed , Dr. Bilal Ahmed Mir, Ms Mateenah Makdhoomi for their sustained guidance and motivation.

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