New fitness app available for lower limb prosthesis users

New fitness app available for lower limb prosthesis users
People with a lower limb prosthesis can learn new fitness tips thanks to a new smartphone app from prosthetics company Otto Bock./ Photo courtesy of Otto Bock

People with a lower limb prosthesis can learn new fitness tips thanks to a new smartphone app from Ottobock./ Photo courtesy of Ottobock

Getting the appropriate prosthesis is critical to help patients with a lower limb amputation improve their outcomes and return to an active lifestyle. But just as important is whether the user can make the most of what the prosthesis is able to do. Even when given instruction by a trained therapist, it can be hard to duplicate the activity independently.

But a smartphone app created by prosthetics manufacturer Ottobock aims to help leg amputees improve their strength and mobility. Although it was developed by Ottobock, the exercise programs do not require specialized equipment and are not tied to a specific manufacturer.

Otto Bock Healthcare is one of several industrial collaborators with BADER Consortium.

Within the app there are 16 exercises separated into two different programs. One focuses on strength and endurance, demonstrating exercises that focus on the legs, stomach, back and arms while the user is not wearing the prosthesis.

The second program emphasizes balance and coordination while wearing the prosthesis. Here, the exercises focus on simple sequences of movement to help users stand confidently and exert better control over their prostheses in their activities of daily living, whether that’s at work, at home or on the go.

And there are three progessive levels of difficulty so you don’t have to worry about not being able to complete some of the tasks. The first level is intended for those who recently received a prosthesis while the third level is intended for use by those confident in using their prostheses.

The app is available for iPad and iPhone users for free here or by visiting  iTunes by searching “Fitness for Amputees.”